John Dennis

INDOT To Spend $70M On Tippecanoe County Roads, Bridges

Jul 13, 2017
Stan Jastrzebski / WBAA

Gov. Eric Holcomb rolled out a regionally-specific portion of the state’s five-year infrastructure plan Thursday during a stop in West Lafayette. The governor and INDOT officials say interstates and bridges will be hit hardest with orange barrels.

INDOT Commissioner Joe McGuinness says one of the big priorities is adding lanes to I-65 and I-70 – he says he’d like to see a minimum of three lanes run each direction.

McGuinness says overpasses are also targeted in the plan.

J J / flickr.com/photos/tattoodjay/4172577749

Update, 1:10 p.m.: All public safety phone lines are fully functional at this time.

Phone lines at Tippecanoe County’s public safety departments spent most of this morning running on a backup system to receive non-emergency calls.

West Lafayette Mayor John Dennis says a power outage at the county jail knocked out a phone server, and took down the non-emergency lines.

Tippecanoe County Sheriff Barry Richard says though the primary line went out, a secondary system took over for the administrative phones.

courtesy Mayors National Climate Change Agenda

West Lafayette Mayor John Dennis has joined a growing group of municipal leaders opposed to Donald Trump’s removal of the United States from the Paris Climate Accord.

Dennis says he has joined a group of more than 200 so-called “Climate Mayors” nationwide, who’ve pledged their cities will uphold environmental regulations, even as the President seeks to escape them.

Dennis says he disagrees with assertions from Trump and many other Republicans that environmental rules are job-killers.

City of West Lafayette

As legislation season ends and a prolonged construction season begins in West Lafayette, the city faces challenges from multiple sides.

On one side is a bill which would have given cell phone companies carte blanche to put small cell towers almost anywhere they could find a utility hookup.

On the other are small business owners who say the city and Purdue University may benefit from State Street’s overhaul, but they’re being imperiled.

Philip Brookes / https://www.flickr.com/photos/philipbrookes/

The cities of West Lafayette, Crawfordsville and Lafayette are among those in Indiana which have begun legislating to head off the effects of a bill giving sweeping new rights to cell phone companies.

The law, which Gov. Eric Holcomb has until Thursday to sign, allows so-called micro cell phone towers to be erected so cell phone signal strength doesn't wane as often.

West Lafayette Development Director Erik Carlson told his city's Board of Public Works Saturday that the technology is valuable, but that it has its share of problems.

City of West Lafayette

In his state of the city address earlier this year, West Lafayette Mayor John Dennis prodded President Donald Trump. This came after the mayor attended an anti-Trump rally held by women’s groups the day after the president’s inauguration.

Now, it’s not new for the mayor to break with Republican dogma and anger other GOP officeholders – just look at his tiffs with then-governor Mike Pence over same-sex marriage and the state’s so-called religious freedom bill. But pushing back against the president is a different sort of battle.

City of West Lafayette

In his state of the city speech Monday night, West Lafayette mayor John Dennis said the city sets a standard for quality of life.

He then reminded the council that in the face of a new presidential administration, the city’s philosophy of inclusion should be upheld.

Dennis says the city’s residents celebrate diversity. He says the best demonstration of that local feeling came with the recent women’s rally in downtown Lafayette, in which he participated.

City of West Lafayette

After years of literally molding over, West Lafayette’s city hall has been demolished. But what will replace it is still unclear – as is where that replacement might stand.

Steve Burns / WTIU

Tippecanoe County officials may be coalescing around the idea of using a mobile unit to house the county’s recently-approved syringe services program.

City of West Lafayette

Now that West Lafayette has hired a contractor to demolish the old city hall on Navajo Drive, what's next for the site, and why did it take two years to do something with the mold-contaminated building?

What does Mayor John Dennis want from the city's new Development Director, Erik Carlson? Dennis says Carlson is a "take charge kind of guy" who can recruit businesses to the city of roof tops and tree tops, not smokestacks.

The mayor explains why he's an ardent supporter of putting micro chips in pets.

City of West Lafayette

You might say this week’s Ask The Mayor is all about cameras.

They’re watching us as we drive, and we talk on this week's show about how the city of West Lafayette is trying to use them to streamline traffic.

They’re also on us when police pull us over while driving – and the cost of getting copies of that video may be going up sharply.

Also on today’s show, as construction has gotten going on the periphery of the State Street overhaul, we ask about a couple other ancillary issues.

Local Governments Jump At Road Funding, But How Far Will It Go?

Jun 24, 2016
Lee Coursey / https://www.flickr.com/photos/leeco/

As if there aren’t enough orange construction barrels on Indiana roads, drivers should brace for more.

Repairing roads was the priority this year when state lawmakers voted to return local income tax dollars to cities, towns and counties across the state.

How The Cash Can Be Spent

Seventy-five percent of the money must be spent on roads.

Lawmakers allowed local governments to spend the remaining quarter of the money they’re getting back on a non-road project or to put it away for future use.

City of West Lafayette

It’s an open question how much money the city of West Lafayette will have in the coming years.

It’s going to be stretched thin to help pay Purdue back for the State Street overhaul and a major bridge tax would put many property owners at state-mandated tax caps. So does the city need to get bigger to net more money?

We put that question to West Lafayette’s John Dennis this week on Ask The Mayor.

Last month, Lafayette Mayor Tony Roswarski said on this program that the local media played some role in causing anxiety about road construction.

City of West Lafayette

The city of West Lafayette has settled a legal case brought by a man shocked with a stun gun at Chauncey Hill Mall in 2013 for taping a police takedown of another person.

On this edition of Ask The Mayor, we talk with John Dennis about whether the incident has led to disciplinary action for any of the officers or changes in the way the city’s police conduct their business.

Also on today’s show, in a construction season where Greater Lafayette’s motto might as well be “you can’t get there from here,” why is the city doing seemingly non-essential roadwork?

City of West Lafayette

Tippecanoe County wants to establish a new major bridge tax to cover the costs of replacing large bridges 20 to 50 years from now.  But, creating the tax would subtract some revenue from the city of West Lafayette.  Mayor John Dennis weighs in on the costs versus benefits of paying to maintain county bridges.

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