State of West Lafayette speech delivered by mayor

| January 27, 2015

WEST LAFAYETTE – The year 2014 brought highs and lows for us here in the Village. The financial numbers for Village operations ended in the positive. The uncertainty of our levies passing in 2014 brought concerns. The state of the Village of West Lafayette is good. We are looking forward to a fresh start for 2015.

We have weathered the blows of 2014 and picked ourselves up to face 2015 with hopes of another successful year.

I turn my thoughts to pleasant memories and I feel blessed I live in a free country.

My goals are the same in 2015 as in 2014. I always hope for the betterment of the Village looking for current businesses to prosper, new business growth and a safe and pleasant place for all to live.

I am so pleased the community came together and we passed two very important levies in 2014. The police levy passing now means we will continue to have the 24/7 protection we all deserve for safety. The general operating levy passing means we can continue to operate the Village at the level we all least expect. This makes me proud to live here.

We hit a small bump in the road to success when our Fiscal Officer, Lisa Stiteler, decided to leave our employment to possibly better herself. I appreciate all you did for us, Lisa, over the years and wish you the best of luck in the future. We were fortunate to hire a former part-time person to help us continue our financial operations for a few months. Thank you Kim Meek-Obed. After a great effort by our hiring committee, in July we hired Roberta Moore as the new Fiscal Officer and she is doing great filling the Village’s needs. The Fiscal Officer is a very important position in the Village when it comes to finances. Roberta also is responsible for processing Village income taxes and clerking Village Council. Thanks Roberta.

We were still able to make positive things happen in the Village even though we had the loss of other employees through retirement or moving on to other employment in 2014. We work on a small budget and in some cases we decided it best not to replace those that left. We still strive to maintain the level of operations with the great staff that remains with us.

I am quite pleased with all Village departments and their employees who worked to help cut corners and still maintain a productive work force. Thank you, John Newell and Terry Johnson for your many years of service and keeping the Village streets and property clean and safe.

A long time employee retired on the last day of 2013 after 50 plus years of service. Fire Chief Gaylord Hill gave up the reins of the Village Fire Department to spend time with his family. I wish you the best of luck, Chief. We worked many years as a team.

In 2014, I appointed Assistant Fire Chief Glenn Hill to the position of West Lafayette Fire Chief and handed him the reins and the responsibility of guiding his great group of volunteer fire fighters along the path of continued success. We have a great group there and I feel very secure with having them in the Village for protection. Those guys not only protect the Village, they provide four (4) townships with fire protection. I know they strive to maintain a high level of operations with the equipment they have. A goal I have had for several years is to give them newer equipment and we have struggled financially. Small grants have helped. One big goal is a new fire truck. I look forward to seeing this happen in the near future. We all deserve the security. We also brought new volunteer fire personnel to the department. Welcome to the new West Lafayette fire fighters.

Office Manager Shannon Hains provided us with her assistance in the Administrative Office during the transition period of our Fiscal Officer. She assisted me day to day to keep deposits made and mail call up to date.  And she still completed her own responsibilities also. Keeping water and wastewater accounts in order is a big responsibility and so is handling phone calls. Thank you Shannon for your much appreciated assistance.

The year 2014 was the first year for the Park Board Committee to have operating funds to begin the improvements to our Burt Park along with other recreational areas. We replaced the roof on the band stand and removed several diseased trees. After trimming the remaining trees, we have more open areas to enjoy. The future improvements will include new doors and vinyl siding on the Band Stand and additional lighting at the Rotary shelter. We plan to replace the trees removed with new trees. Burt Park has been actively used by individuals from April to November. Remember, the park is available by reservation only.

Village Administrator Dave Kadri has continued to show his willingness to improve his qualifications. He earned his Class 2 Water License in 2014 and he should be earning his Class 2 Wastewater License in 2015. With changes in staffing at the water plant and wastewater plant in 2014, Dave has been busy keeping us in compliance with EPA regulations. In early 2014, we had a large amount of water usage we were not able to account for. This amounted to approximately 70,000 gallons a day for days. His team was finally able to locate the problems thanks to some phone calls from residents and our own testing. The problems were bad underground water lines all pretty much located before our water meters and unoccupied houses. Thanks Dave.

Even though grants were a little more difficult to obtain and the amounts available were smaller in 2014, we did manage some black topping of Village streets and the patching of pot holes. Thanks to our residents, the street fund levy helps us to complete paving projects each year.

The Village Administrator, Fire Chief and a committee had discussed our fuel distribution system and how to modernize it. After much discussion, we went to a fuel card system to purchase our fuel. This system seems to be much more accurate in accounting for fuel usage and easier to use.

I want to express my thanks to our local Janusian Club, Councilman Ron Lusk and Annin Flag for introducing us to the new Village Flag. This flag was adopted by Village Council and has been displayed on street light poles, flag poles and in yards this past summer. These flags are available thru the West Lafayette Chamber of Commerce.

I want to thank Chief Terry Mardis and our superior Police Department for another year of providing us a safe and secure place to live. In 2014, this department handled 2,559 calls/complaints, 338 traffic stops and had 16 criminal arrests along with other arrests, warnings issued and 16 felony cases. Also, Chief Mardis has worked with Homeland Security to obtain a grant for new laptop computers for the cruisers to enhance communications with other agencies. He also has a much improved radio system, thanks to the county.

I want to thank all our department supervisors and the employees for their efforts to maintain cost control in 2014 and hope to continue this dedication into 2015.

I wish to close this State of The Village of West Lafayette by thanking a dedicated Village Council for a job well done in 2014. I consider it an honor and a pleasure to work with all of you to make West Lafayette a great place to live. The State of the Village of West Lafayette is good!

God bless everyone in the coming year and thanks to everyone for your cooperation, trust, and dedication to our village.

Thank You!

Mayor Jack Patterson

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Category: Government

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