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West Lafayette City Council Officially Rescinds Mask Mandate At First In-Person Meeting This Year

The view from behind Council President Peter Bunder (WBAA News/Ben Thorp)

The West Lafayette City Council officially rescinded the city’s COVID-19 mask ordinance Monday night. 

The ordinance had been in place since last September, after Mayor John Dennis’s executive order on masking was struck down by a Tippecanoe County judge. 

In May, the city announced that it would no longer enforce the mandate but the ordinance technically remained in place until the council took action to remove it. 

Mayor Dennis thanked the council for their support in keeping the mandate in place. 

“The mask mandate wasn’t exclusively to protect the individual,” he said. “It was to protect everyone. And based on the number of tickets that we wrote - which was none - it seemed it was well received by the population.”

During the discussion of the mandate, councilman Nick DeBoer noted roughly 57% of the West Lafayette area has been fully vaccinated.  

President Peter Bunder expressed hope that vaccination number could reach 70% by July.

The council voted unanimously to roll back the ordinance. 

The city council meeting was also the first in-person meeting since last year. 

West Lafayette Mayor John Dennis and Council President Peter Bunder (WBAA News/Ben Thorp)

According to West Lafayette Mayor John Dennis the council had not met in person since April of 2020. 

During his opening comments, the mayor noted that the return to in person government meetings is a good thing for transparency. 

“It’s nice to be able to have public meetings where the public can interact with public officials as they should,” he said.

Council President Peter Bunder said he’s particularly excited about the building itself, which was renovated in their absence. 

“It’s exciting, it's fun,” he said. “We have a new toy to play with. It’s good to see people again. It’s good to have conversations before and after meetings which we just didn’t have on zoom.”

The city will continue offering video streams of the meetings for public convenience. 

Council President Peter Bunder (WBAA News/Ben Thorp)