John Dennis

City of West Lafayette

A major budget line item for any city is its infrastructure.

From repairing roads and bridges to maintaining a fleet of vehicles, upkeep isn’t cheap.

On this week’s Ask The Mayor, we find out from West Lafayette Mayor John Dennis what a number of developments on the state and local level mean for his city’s future.

City of West Lafayette

West Lafayette officials are in the process of deciding what to do about City Hall.

Mold drove them out of the building on Navajo Drive in February.

Mayor John Dennis says options for the future of city hall include bringing the current building up to code, completing gutting and renovating the structure, or razing the building and starting over—likely at a different location.

He says public hearings next year will give residents the opportunity to have input into the final decision.

City of West Lafayette

As he prepares to run for a third term next year, voter turnout has West Lafayette Mayor John Dennis concerned.

Less than a third of registered Tippecanoe County voters cast ballots in this year’s elections – and that number leaves out the one-third of eligible voters who aren’t even registered.

So might a small minority of the county pick next year’s winners?

A lot of this week’s program is spent talking about the ramifications of an election cycle so predictable voters appear to have stopped caring.

City of West Lafayette

West Lafayette mayor John Dennis says there are still improvements to make in the way law enforcement deals with domestic violence situations, but he’s not sure that should include enhanced mandatory minimum sentences.

"If there's an understanding that there is a definitive penalty -- a non-defensible penalty -- for a specific act, does that enhance the severity of that act? And it's a question that we as a society don't really know yet," Dennis says.

City of West Lafayette

Some questions for Mayor Dennis:

What’s the latest on the State Street project? I’ve seen little repairs here and there, but nothing that’ll compare to the scope of what the city is planning…

Now that city leaders have voted to become a Class 2 city, you’ve again got to redistrict, but it has to be done quickly, before the November election, right?

City of West Lafayette

Some questions for the mayor this week:

You’ve been critical of Amtrak’s Hoosier State service, even as the city has helped subsidize its continued operation during the past year. This week, it was announced a private firm in Chicago, Corridor Capital, is the preferred vendor to operate the line starting in October. Is that any better, in your estimation, than Amtrak running the trains?

Dave Emerson / https://www.flickr.com/photos/daveemerson/

The city of West Lafayette is using some of its savings to help cover costs associated with the extreme weather this past winter.

The City Council has approved using $390,000 dollars from the Rainy Day fund to pay for things such as sand and salt, as well as repairs to potholes and cracks in area roads.

Mayor John Dennis says the money will also help cover unexpected overtime costs.

He says the Council doesn’t plan on making any changes to the budget for the upcoming winter.

WL city hall problems more extensive than originally thought

Apr 29, 2014

West Lafayette City Hall could be headed for demolition.

The building has been vacant since early February after the discovery of mold on all three levels.

Mayor John Dennis says a consultant is examining the structure and will report on its findings in August.

He says the initial review indicates the mold problem is more pervasive than originally thought.

And Dennis says water continues to leak into the basement due to the deterioration of the building’s substructure.

WL creates Facilities Director position

Mar 26, 2014

A new department head level position has been created in the City of West Lafayette.

Timothy Clark will assume the position of Facilities Director.

Mayor John Dennis says for years the city has hired contractors to conduct all of the work on the city’s facilities.

He says adding this position will be more efficient and cost effective.

Clark will take the oath of office at next Tuesday’s Board of Public Works and Safety meeting.

WL officials adjusting to move from City Hall

Mar 18, 2014

The West Lafayette Board of Works has approved spending up to 35-thousand dollars to determine the extent of a mold problem in City Hall.

All offices were moved out of the building in February to allow for an environmental remediation survey.

Mayor John Dennis says the results will determine whether or not officials move back into the building.

Currently, the mayor and the clerk-treasurer are on the second floor of the Police Department, while the Engineering and Development offices are in Morton Community Center.

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