Tippecanoe County

KEVIN HARBER / https://www.flickr.com/photos/kevharb/

A new ordinance requires all tattoo and body piercing shops in Tippecanoe County to obtain a permit.

Officials say the new rules are for the health and safety of both the artists and their customers.

Area shop owners appear to be in favor of the ordinance in theory.

But some acknowledge it could establish a financial burden that some may find difficult to shoulder.

The new ordinance lists requirements a business must meet to be able to provide tattoo and piercing services.

Dennis S Hurd / https://www.flickr.com/photos/dennissylvesterhurd/

Most people associate gangs with big cities.

But a forum for youth services workers this week brought attention to the problem in Tippecanoe County.

Local authorities say while there are gangs in the area they’re nowhere near the level of, say, Waco, Texas where a fight between rival bikers resulted in nine deaths this week.

But some fear gang influence could rise to that level if the community doesn’t band together to limit it.

Ken Clare / https://www.flickr.com/photos/kenclareblog/

New animal control ordinances are in place for the city of Lafayette and the unincorporated portions of Tippecanoe County.

Review of the existing ordinances was prompted by different reasons in the two municipalities, but the goal of the new policies is the same: to keep the pet population healthy and at a manageable level.

Nathan Gibbs / https://www.flickr.com/photos/nathangibbs/

Registered voters in Tippecanoe County will have 19 vote center sites available to cast their ballots on Election Day next month.

That’s the same number as in the May primary.

County Clerk Christa Coffey says they decided not to scale back, even though some are predicting record low turnout.

She says the easier it is for people to vote, the better.

Early voting begins tomorrow in the County.

Coffey says the only thing that would prevent a registered voter from casting their ballot is not having a photo ID.

Nic McPhee / https://www.flickr.com/photos/nicmcphee/

In advance of budget hearings later this summer to establish a spending plan for 2015, Tippecanoe County officials are looking at the long-range economic forecast.

Financial consultant Greg Guerrettaz says while the county has kept its head above water during recent tight financial times, there could be tougher times ahead.

He expects little if any growth in revenue, but potentially large increases in expenses such as health care and fuel and electricity.

Tippecanoe County is seeing a significant decrease in the number of juveniles being arrested.

Youth Services executive director Rebecca Humphrey says 1,031 youth were arrested in 2010, compared to 883 in 2013.

That’s a 14.4% drop.

And Humphrey says 51% fewer juveniles are being held in secure detention, which saves the county money.

The data is being compiled as part of the Juvenile Detention Alternative Initiative which the county has been a part of since 2008.

Tippecanoe Co elevates travel advisory

Jan 5, 2014

Tippecanoe County again has raised the level of its travel advisory.

Officials have issued a Warning due to road conditions. A Warning means all roadways are closed to non-emergency vehicles and personnel. The Warning is in effect until further notice.

Clinton County Commissioners declared a Level 1 Snow Emergency until further notice.  Frankfort Mayor Chris Barnes has done the same for the City of Frankfort. A Level 1 means only emergency vehicles are allowed on the roads. Motorists can be ticketed or, in some cases, even arrested if not in compliance.

WL property owners begin paying stormwater fee

Jan 2, 2014

The New Year means a new fee for West Lafayette residents.

It’s being assessed on homes and businesses to address stormwater issues, such as flooding and pollution run-off to the Wabash River.

Mayor John Dennis says the fee is needed to meet federal and state environmental requirements.

Widespread storm damage reported in Tippecanoe County

Nov 18, 2013

Nearly 12,000 Duke Energy customers in Tippecanoe County remain without power this morning, after a series of strong storms swept through the area yesterday.

Tipmont REMC is still working to restore power to a few thousand homes.

Heavy rain and high winds brought down trees and power lines and caused damage to homes, schools, and businesses.

Much of the destruction occurred in the southern portion of Tippecanoe County.

Southwestern Middle School and Mintonye Elementary School each sustained significant damage, although no injuries were reported.

Lafayette area sustains damage from strong storms

Nov 17, 2013

The strong storms and high winds that moved through the Greater-Lafayette area earlier brought with them power outages and damage to the southern part of Tippecanoe County.

The Tippecanoe School Corporation has confirmed damage to Southwestern Middle School and Mintonye (min TAW nee) Elementary School. The nature and extent is not known, but there were no injuries reported.

A company on US 52, south of Veteran’s Memorial Parkway sustained heavy damage. A portion of Voestalpine Rotec was essentially destroyed. No known injuries have been reported in that case, either.

County Council approves 2014 budget

Oct 8, 2013

The 2014 budget for Tippecanoe County has received final approval from the council.

The spending plan is roughly $1.5-million more than the current year.

Much of that increase is going toward stipends for employees.

Full-time workers will receive an extra $1,000, while regular part-timers will get a bonus of $800.

There remains a gap of a little more than $700,000 between estimated revenues and expenses.

Council president Roland Winger says that will be covered by cash reserves.

County could restrict use of fireworks

Aug 5, 2013

Tippecanoe County commissioners this morning will review rules for setting off fireworks.

Currently, it’s legal to use the devices any day of the year outside the Lafayette and West Lafayette city limits.

But officials are expected to consider an ordinance that would limit the use to match the state’s guidelines — June 29th through July 9th, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.

Commissioners say the move is in response to complaints by constituents.

The Tippecanoe County assessor is going to ask for additional cars for her staff during the upcoming budget cycle.

Linda Phillips asked for three cars earlier this year, but the county council only approved buying one.

Members asked her to bring back data to show it was less expensive than reimbursing employees for mileage. That update is planned for next month.

Phillips says the operating cost of the one car used now is far less than paying mileage. She says the two additional cars she requested are needed for next year’s cyclical reassessment.

Tippecanoe County officials are close to solidifying minimum fund balances as they prepare to craft a new budget.

Members of the commission and council met with the county’s financial planner Thursday to fine tune their strategy.

Council President Roland Winger says taxpayers should know that the minimum balances they agree on are flexible.

“It’s not saying that we lawfully can’t go under that level if there’s some kind of emergency need. It’s a minimum target balance.”

He also says they don’t want to get down to the amount if the need is not there.

The repeal of Indiana’s inheritance tax in the new two-year budget affects more than state coffers. Counties received the revenue as well.

In Tippecanoe County, as much as $500,000 has been collected in some years.

Treasurer Bob Plantenga says the tax was already being phased out before the complete elimination, which is retroactive to January. He says there will be an impact on the county’s general fund.

“I usually budget $400,000 of revenue for the General Fund, and you know that is certainly a few departments’ worth of expenditures that we will not be receiving.”

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