WEST LAFAYETTE -- The annual "State of the Village," a recap of West Lafayette's previous year of operation was recently presented by Mayor Jack Patterson.
He reported to council and press that looking back at the accomplishments for the year, none of it would have occurred without the cohesive efforts from all departments within the village. He added that each department worked together and created positive outcomes for some of the challenges they faced.
"Village council has also continued to demonstrate a willingness to be proactive and this has paid great dividends for the village," he said.
Patterson said the village finished the year (2010) "in the black thanks to the careful spending from all the department supervisors."
The total funds ($658,054.74) were up by $20,278.87 from 2009's final figures. Patterson said the village will be working with a new budget of $1,416,356.08 for 2011. He expressed gratitude to the finance committee and fiscal officer for their diligent work with the budget, and said the village was in a positive status due to "cutting corners, and saving money when it appeared the village could be faced with financial shortfall."
Patterson specifically expressed gratitude to fiscal officer Lisa Stiteler who has assumed duties for several positions; treasurer, tax administrator and council clerk while dealing with personal health issues.
He added, "She has proved invaluable with saving the village money."
He also thanked the billing clerk/office manager Shannon Hains for her responsible work with water and sewer accounts and successfully working through the new billing/meter reading plan that was implemented this past year.
Village Administrator Dave Kadri was commended for his efforts with the water and wastewater treatment plant. He and Travis Hahn both completed class I water and wastewater operator certification and successfully passed the test for water/wastewater II. Both having these certifications will be a major asset to the village.
Patterson also expressed his thanks to police chief Terry Mardis and his department for their outstanding work and dedication to the citizens of West Lafayette. Chief Mardis had obtained several grants for new equipment. The department also promoted their first female sergeant -- Erin Miller.
The fire department and EMS were also commended for their obvious ongoing dedication to the citizens of West Lafayette. Patterson said, "Each of these departments have done another outstanding job this past year."
Dean Wears joined village council this past year, replacing Gary Loos. Mayor Patterson said, "Councilman Wears was assigned to his committees and has basically hit the ground running."
Bill Owens was thanked for his past year of providing legal direction to the village.
Patterson also recognized the school district's recent growth thanks to new families that have established residency in West Lafayette.
Burt Park also received notice for the improvements this past year; new lighting and new cement work around the band stand.
West Lafayette Chamber of Commerce was recognized for their efforts in attracting people to the village via the Hometown Festival, Yellow Flag yard sales, the Halloween party and Christmas parade.
Mayor Patterson asked that the community continue to support West Lafayette's local businesses so that their services can remain available for the community's convenience.
In conclusion, Patterson said, "The state of the village is sound. I pledge to do my best in continuing to serve the village of West Lafayette and work together with village council as a unit to retain the success that we have had. I will also continue with my open door policy as I have for the past 19 years. I want to voice appreciation to the residents of West Lafayette for their support to our elected officials. You have all contributed to our success. We look forward to another successful and prosperous year."
Other business conducted at the Jan. 24 meeting included:
* A correction to the 2011 street committee is as follows: Ron Lusk; chairperson, Kelly Gossett, Dean Wears.
* A second reading was given to a hazard mitigation plan as submitted by the Coshocton County Emergency Management Agency (CCEMA). This is regarding the CCEMA applying for funding for possible necessary equipment. The CCEMA is encouraging each municipality to adopt the plan to increase their chance of obtaining additional funding as it becomes available.
* An emergency passage was approved by council following a second reading for the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Recreational Trails program. The application due date is Feb. 4.
* An emergency passage was also approved for the project agreement for the grant and loan from Ohio Public Works Commission. The application has a 45 day return. The potential money will be used as fall back funds for the water treatment plant.
* Rich Wheeler was approved to exceed 40 hours/week as a fill in at the water treatment plant as necessary.
* Bill Owens was approved for $220 cost to attend Ohio Municipal Attorney's meeting in March 20011 to be held in Columbus.
* The first Chamber of Commerce meeting for 2011 will take place Jan. 25 to discuss this year's upcoming events that are sponsored by the chamber.
Council's next meeting will be Feb. 14.