Safe Routes to School project application approvedWilliam CasteelNewcomerstown NewsWEST LAFAYETTE -- A pending study to be done by the Ohio Department of Transportation may soon determine whether the village of West Lafayette may need to make changes or improvements to various streets and sidewalks, and incur additional expenses or not. Council members approved Mayor Jack Patterson to sign an application to possibly be considered for the study known as the Safe Routes to School project. The intention for the program is to develop a school route travel plan for school districts across the state. The study will focus on walking and driving routes that are used to access schools. Village council briefly discussed concerns about the study during the Oct. 25 council meeting. They questioned whether the village would be obligated to follow all recommendations that are made by ODOT following the outcome of the study. Ordinance committee member Ron Lusk said the project's estimated cost per each school was $2,000. The village could possibly receive 100 percent of the project cost or possibly be required to pay additional expenses following recommendations. According to the ordinance, the Local Public Agency (the village of West Lafayette) would further agree to pay 100 percent of the cost over and above the maximum amount that will be provided through the project. Mayor Patterson said the village will proceed with completing the application at this point, then investigate the requirements further before accepting to actually participate in the study.The deadline for the Safe Routes to School Project is Nov. 5.Council's next meeting is Nov. 8 at 7 p.m. in council chambers.