Tom Murtaugh

Emilie Syberg / WBAA

The Tippecanoe County Commissioners passed an ordinance Monday fining residents who discard non-recyclable items at the county’s recycling drop-off sites.

Offenders are docked $250 for the first violation, $1,000 for a second violation within one year, and up to $2,500 for a third violation in 12 months.

“We’ve had electronics, water heaters, construction debris, scooters, bicycles, you name it—things have been left there that are just truly not recyclable,” Commissioner Tom Murtaugh says.

Taylor Haggerty / WBAA News

Commercial wind energy technology is no longer allowed within Tippecanoe County. County Commissioners unanimously approved a ban on large-scale wind farms at their meeting Monday.

Wind farms have sparked contentious debate in several West Central Indiana counties. Tippecanoe County commissioners argue that because of the county’s high population density and potential for economic growth, the developments aren’t a good fit.

Taylor Haggerty / WBAA News

An ordinance that would ban large-scale wind farms from Tippecanoe County is moving on to county commissioners for approval and implementation. The Area Plan Commission voted to recommend its passage at a meeting Wednesday.

Meeting attendants argued both for and against wind turbines. That’s a change from previous discussions of the proposed ban, which were mostly opposed to wind farm development.

Those in favor of wind farms say the ban is a step back for Tippecanoe County and limits potential developments in sustainable, green energy.

Wind turbines sit on farmland surrounding a home
Taylor Haggerty / WBAA News

Wind energy is a growing industry in Indiana, but not every community is receptive to the development. Tippecanoe County is working on a proposal to ban wind farms, and Montgomery County is in the midst of an intense debate over two proposed farms.

Stan Jastrzebski / WBAA News

Perhaps the most decorated Democrat ever to serve Indiana in Congress – Birch Bayh – has passed away.

He left a legacy for other Democrats – including Lafayette Mayor Tony Roswarski – to follow, but is that sort of progressivism waning? Mayor Roswarski describes himself as a conservative Democrat, and he doesn’t have a challenger as he pursues a fifth term in office in this year’s race, which would seem to indicate popularity.

We inquire about the way forward for Democrats in Indiana this week on WBAA’s Ask The Mayor.

Stan Jastrzebski / WBAA News

By the slimmest of margins, Tippecanoe County’s needle exchange program will survive for at least one more year.

A 2-1 vote by the county commissioners Monday came down only after Commissioner David Byers – who’d declined for weeks to state his stance publicly – voted in favor of a continuance.

Byers says he was swayed by talking to other commissioners at a recent state conference and by listening closely to public comment at Monday’s meeting from those who are unhappy about the exchange operating in a residential neighborhood in Lafayette.

Scott Meyers / Flickr / https://www.flickr.com/photos/89022304

The Tippecanoe County Area Plan Commission appears poised to approve new rules governing where self-storage facilities may be built and what happens inside of them.

The APC will consider a proposal at a meeting this week which would bar such facilities from being built on land currently zoned for agricultural use.

County Commissioner Tom Murtaugh helped spearhead the ordinance and says it comes out of a permit denial for land next to a creek on the far eastern edge of Lafayette.

Lafayette, Tippecanoe County Leaders Move To Enact Transgender Protections

Sep 7, 2016
Sarah Fentem / WBAA News

Both the Tippecanoe County Commissioners and the Lafayette City Council voted Tuesday to add protections for the transgender community to existing human rights ordinances.

The commissioners must still vote once more this month to make their move final, but the Lafayette vote was the last in what's been a charged debate.

After a lengthy and spirited public debate, the Lafayette City Council voted unanimously Tuesday night to approve an amendment adding gender identity protections to the city’s human relations ordinance.

GREEN VS. WHITE

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.

Chris Morisse Vizza / WBAA News

Hoosiers changed the way property taxes are calculated, says Tippecanoe County Auditor Bob Plantenga, when voters in 2009 overwhelmingly approved a constitutional amendment setting permanent limits on all property taxes.

The total tax bill on residential property can’t exceed 1-percent of the home’s gross assessed value.

Tax bills on rental units, Ag land and long-term care facilities can’t exceed 2-percent of the value. The limit for business and industry is 3-percent.

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