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Bordenkircher delivers West Lafayette State of the Village

| January 26, 2016
Stephen R. Bordenkircher

Stephen R. Bordenkircher

For the Village of West Lafayette 2015 was a year of accomplishments, challenges, and change.  I would be remiss not to acknowledge the accomplishments and long tenure of retired Mayor Jack Paterson. Jack Patterson in his time as a public servant spent four (4) years as a member of Village Council, three (3) years as a part time village police officer, and finally a twenty-four (24) year run as mayor of the village. He was faced with many challenges. He took the village through a new water treatment plant, faced many financial challenges, and took the village through a recession, the toughest financial times most of us have seen and yet we came through with finances in the positive column. We wish Jack Patterson many successes in his retirement.

We would also recognize the significant tenure (approximately 20 years) of Councilman Roger Warne who retired from council at the end of 2015. Roger chaired the finance committee and exercised great care in overseeing village finances. We wish Roger Warne much success in his retirement.

As 2015 began the village started with a beginning balance of $1,305,528.52 in its accounts. During 2015 we had receipts of $1,707,216.55 and expenses of $1,566,035.14, with $13,484.06 encumbered for remaining 2015 expenses and finished the year with an unencumbered balance of $1,433,225.87. Some of the highlights are as follows:

  • The General Fund began the year with $268,433.23 and ended with an unencumbered balance of $276,063.82.
  • The Street Fund began the year with $42,206.87 and ended with an unencumbered balance of $57,846.96
  • The State Highway Fund began the year with $20,689.60 and ended with an unencumbered balance of $25,302.16.
  • The Income Tax Street Repair Fund began the year with $135,227.63 and ended with an unencumbered balance of $150,143.79.
  • The Fire Fund began the year with $177,058.71 and ended with an unencumbered balance of $216,724.81.
  • The Water Fund began the year with $384,535.26 and ended with an unencumbered balance of $380,619.48.
  • The Sewer Fund began the year with $253,178.03 and ended with an unencumbered balance of $265,616.79.

The Village Administrator oversaw and accomplished a number of projects for the village in 2015. New roll-up doors were installed at the bandstand, a new outdoor warning siren was installed at an approximate cost of $25,000.00, and this was paid with a grant of approximately $23,500.00 with the village covering the balance of the cost. Water and sewer were installed to the concession stand at the Water Park Ballfields for Ridgewood Recreation at an approximate cost of $30,000.00 of which approximately $29,000.00 was paid for by a grant and the balance by the village. Stewart Avenue was paved, Orchard Street was paved and widened for Fire Department safe egress at the cost of approximately $120,000.00 of which 100% was covered by a grant. The village installed 16 new fire hydrants at an approximate cost of $130,000.00 of which approximately $122,500.00 was covered by a grant with the balance being paid by the village. We paved Oak Street from Main to Union, Kirk Street from Railroad to Main Street, and Fifth Street from Oak Street to Center Street for an approximate cost of $66,000.00 of which approximately $33,000.00 was paid for with a grant and the balance paid for by the village. A water line was installed along State Route 751 at the eastern end of the village for a cost of approximately $370,000.00, with a grant paying approximately $252,000.00 and the balance paid by the village. Finally, West Main Street was paved from Oak Street to the western corporation limit at an approximate cost of $235,000.00, with approximately $188,000.00 paid by a grant and the balance paid by the village. The Water, Sewer, and Street Departments finished the year with no injuries.

The Police Department was lead by Chief Terry Mardis, and was staffed by three (3) full time officers and three (3) part time officers. The Department handled 30 accident reports, 2,245 calls or complaints, 100 criminal arrests, 78 domestic calls, 19 felony cases, 1049 follow-up calls, 137 traffic arrests, 332 traffic stops, 266 warnings, and drove 21,429 miles.

The Fire Department was lead by Chief Glenn Hill and was staffed by 2 assistant chiefs, 3 captains, 3 lieutenants, and 11 firefighters. Of note fourteen (14) firefighters hold a firefighter 2 rating. The department responded to 41 fires, 1 overpressure rupture, 54 rescues and emergency medical services, 24 hazardous conditions, 5 service calls, 12 good intent calls, 19 false alarms, and 2 severe weather calls, for a total of 158 calls.

The Village Fiscal Officer Sara Warne, began her service to the village midyear and successfully took the village through its routine state audit. The Fiscal Officer has worked to improve fiscal responsibilities and maintain village personnel files.

During 2015 Shannon Haines took on the responsibility of the Village Tax Administrator and is preparing in earnest for this year’s filings.

As we move into 2016 there is no shortage of challenges. In February Police Chief Mardis will be retiring and the village is currently preparing for his departure. The Public Safety Committee has begun recruiting efforts to fill the soon to be open position. We wish Chief Mardis the best for the future as he and his wife start a new chapter.

We have produced an employee handbook in draft form and are working to have it in place in February 2016.

Areas of concern to be addressed include: the lack of a good communication system for village employees. The Village Administrator doing double duty, working as the administrator and as our class II operator of the village water treatment plant. If something happens to the administrator the village would potentially loose the village administrator and the water department class II operator. The Public Works and Ordinance committees are actively working on a proposed solution.

The Fire Department has some dated equipment. Currently the department is working on grant applications and hopes to replace a tanker truck this year. A second truck, a pumper, will need to be replaced in the next few years as well.

We will be working to improve our computer network for village offices and village council.

Village council welcomed new member Bo Fortune, Bo was appointed to fill the empty council seat vacated by Roger Warne as a result of his retirement.

The Business and Community Development Committee will begin laying the ground work later this year to posture for future growth. As we move into 2016 I encourage your involvement and support.

We have applied for paving grants to help cover 2016 paving projects estimated at $74,000. This would cover paving part of Fairview Street, part of Seventh Street, and part of Railroad Street. This would have a 50% local matching fund from the village. In addition, the Public Works Committee is discussing using some of the 203 Income Tax Street Funds to pave the rest of Seventh Street, Indian Circle, and a couple other small areas.

We acknowledge and appreciate the local businesses for keeping their business local and supporting the village.

As I close this report, I would like to acknowledge our very fine employees, their sacrifices, and dedication to the village. A special thank you to the village police officers and village firefighters for having our backs and looking out for us.

Very Truly,

Village of West Lafayette Mayor Stephen R. Bordenkircher

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