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West Lafayette 2012 State of the Village

| January 29, 2013

I begin my annual State of the Village address by reflecting on the year 2012 and the accomplishments of the Village of West Lafayette.

After continued cuts in local and state government funding, we have managed to end 2012 on a positive level in all departments. Through their combined efforts, with all Department leaders closely monitoring their budgets, we have ended our finances in the black. Now this positive status doesn’t mean everything is peaches and cream for the Village. We will need to continue to adjust for additional funding cuts in the years to come.

Our total appropriations for 2012 were $1,580,694 and our appropriations for 2013 are $1,573,369. Our total receipts for 2012 amounted to $1,482,787 and our total expenditures were $1,431,029. The General Fund, however, received $445,970 and spent $474,804. We must be proactive and look ahead to put off any financial disaster.

Continuing on the positive side, we were able to get Russell Avenue paved thanks to our concerned citizens. It was necessary to get the ½ mil income tax levy passed in order to generate funds for our street paving. With all the government funds being cut, we did not know where the funds would come from for future paving. I know it has been a project that many citizens wanted completed. Thanks again to our citizens for passing this levy. A problem of long standing storm water on East Russell Avenue at Plainfield Road was also fixed prior to the paving. This entire Russell Avenue project was very expensive and most likely could not have been completed without the levy.

The street repair fund received $86,074 from the levy and we spent $84,901 last year.  Our 2013 projects includes a storm water problem at Union and Kirk, paving part of Union Avenue, part of Kirk Street and part of Johnson Street.

Another large project that began in 2012 was the upgrades to our Wastewater Treatment Plant. Earlier we had discussions with the Coshocton County Commissioners to work with them to help Pearl Valley Cheese dispose with their waste. Also the Village of Fresno had concerns with their septic systems and needed to treat their waste through some sort of a treatment plant. The Village of West Lafayette stepped up and said we will help. Taking on this extra waste caused our treatment plant to run at maximum capacity with no room for surges. 

Our Utility Committee met with the Village Administrator and others and laid out the plans for our plant upgrade. The Village obtained grants and no interest loans and began the upgrade in 2012. We are hoping this project will be completed in early 2013. This project cost was estimated at over a million and a half dollars.

A FEMA grant was applied for to assist with buying new Scott Air Packs for the Village Fire Department. Our present air packs were old and were not up to fire standards. With a grant being approved in late 2012, we look forward to each volunteer fireman having new air packs, an important safety device.

Also, formula grants helped us to buy new street signs and stop signs for the Village.  Not all signs were installed in 2012, but this project should be completed in 2013.

We purchased a street sweeper to replace the old one that was getting four quarts of oil to the mile. The repair to this old sweeper would have cost as much as to purchase a good used one. It was not a new sweeper, but had been serviced and was ready to go to work. This newer sweeper had several features that were a definite improvement over the old one.

We hired a data mapping company that assisted us in preparing a GPS map for the water shut off boxes. In the past, if we needed to shut off water to repair breaks, it was difficult to locate the correct shut off valve. This new GPS mapping will aid us and improve the efficiency of our projects.

A special project that just got off the planning table in 2012 was the Hartville Homes sewer tap project. Our Utility Department Committee and the Village Administrator have been working to supply a wastewater line to Hartville Homes to accept their waste products. We have scheduled this project to be completed in 2013.

I give most credit for our financial status to our Fiscal Officer, Lisa Stiteler, for keeping us informed of our budget levels. Lisa attends the monthly Finance Committee meetings and informs the committee and myself of our monthly expenses and balances. Lisa is also the income tax administrator for the village. Thank you for a job well done in 2012.

Dave Kadri, our Village Administrator, deserves much credit for the Village moving forward with the community projects I had mentioned earlier. Dave meets with the Utility Committee and the Street Committee and inputs his ideas and is open to suggestions that the committees have for the betterment of the Village. In 2012, Dave received notice that he became a certified Class One Wastewater Operator. The EPA now also recognizes Dave as a certified operator. Our Wastewater Plant Superintendent, Travis Hahn, has been approved as a Class II Wastewater Operator in 2012. Congratulations to both of you and thank you for a job well done in 2012.

The street and utility employees deserve recognition for a job well done for keeping the Village beautiful and all our utilities working. Thank you.

The Village Fire Department, with its 18 members, Chief and Assistant Chief, has done an excellent job keeping us and the surrounding townships safe. In 2012 the department responded to 154 calls. The department is currently responsible for fire protection in the Village of West Lafayette, Lafayette Township, Linton Township, Oxford Township and White Eyes Township. As reported earlier, they should be receiving the new Scott Air Packs soon which will make their job safer. The department participates in several money making projects each year to raise funds for equipment that is not purchased through grants. Support your local fire Department. Thanks for your protection WLFD.

Our West Lafayette Police Department, with Police Chief Terry Mardis, is a top rated department in my book. The department has four full time officers and a Chief that protects the Village 24 hours in a day. We also have very good part time officers who are there to assist when needed. In 2012, our department handled 303 complaints, made 375 traffic stops and made 116 traffic arrests. I believe our citizens feel safe with the protection the department gives. Thank you WLPD.

Shannon Hains is our Office Manager in the Administrative Office. Shannon is there to take your utility payments answer the phone and handle any complaints and compliments. She prepares the water and sewer bills each month and assists the Village Administrator. She is the go to person that places the ads and announcements on the Village TV channel.  Shannon wears several hats and I do appreciate her hard work. Thank you, Shannon.

We saw new construction and expansion to the Circle K store on West Main Street.  More gasoline pumps, diesel pump, expanded Subway and more floor space for merchandise. When construction is completed, parking should be much improved.

We had a new auto repair shop, A & D Auto repair, open on East Main Street. They offer a variety of auto repair. Welcome to the Village and good luck Ardie and Denny Varian.

Plans were put in motion in 2012 for an auto sales business on North Kirk Street.  Construction has started and we look forward to the opening in 2013. Welcome and good luck Jason Prater and Joe Brush.

 I hope I have not missed recognizing any additional new businesses in town. If I have, I apologize.

To all of our current businesses, I wish you luck in 2013 and hope 2012 was successful for you. I encourage all our citizens to patronize our local businesses as they are a part of the success of the Village.

In 2012 the Village Administrator, Police Chief and I met at various times with the Coshocton County IT Department to see if they would be willing to contract with the Village to provide IT support. A study was made on everything that the County had to offer and a decision was made by Village Council to sign the contract. Cost avoidances and benefits were reviewed before Council accepted the County proposal. Work will begin in early 2013 making us part of the County computer system.

I wish to thank all Village Personnel and Village Council for their efforts to operate within our budget and to thank our residents for understanding the financial situations that are occurring not only in West Lafayette but everywhere concerning spending cuts. We will strive to give our residents the highest level of support as possible.

In conclusion, I can say the State of the Village is sound.

I want to offer my personal thanks for another year of outstanding cooperation between Village Council and the Mayor. I do appreciate everyone’s dedication to this fine Village.

My goal is to strive for the continued success of the Village as in past years.

Thank you.

Jack Patterson, mayor

 

Category: Government

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Article contributed to The Beacon.

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