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As West Lafayette Ponders Changing To A Second Class City, Costs And Space Issues Loom

LuAnn Snawder

The mold keeping West Lafayette leaders out of city hall may pose unexpected problems as the city considers upgrading from a third class municipality to a second class one.

That’s because the newly-created clerk’s office will likely need a considerable amount of space, according to one clerk who recently made a similar transition.

Clerk Vicki Conlin says Jeffersonville city leaders didn’t realize how much real estate she and her employees would need when, in 2012, that city made the switch.

One requirement of all Indiana second-class cities is that they have a clerk. West Lafayette lawmakers know this, but what they may not realize is how much space the clerk’s operations can take up. Conlin says it took months for her office to come together and begin functioning as normal.

“We didn’t even have any desks,” Conlin says. “When I came in January 1 of 2012, I was given a conference room. I had a laptop computer that was old, an old 386 computer. I had no storage files, we were living out of boxes.”

With West Lafayette currently holding meetings and conducting city business outside city hall because of the mold problem, finding space could prove both expensive and challenging for the city.

Conlin says the financial costs associated with Jeffersonville’s transformation were considerable, including paying to redistrict the city council and add two more seats to it.

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