William Casteel/Newcomerstown News

West Lafayette Police Chief Terry Mardis stands beside the department's newest addition to the family, a shiny, 2006 model police cruiser. The department will now have three cruisers that will be utilized full time.

West Lafayette Police Department upgrades radio system

William Casteel

Newcomerstown News

WEST LAFAYETTE -- The West Lafayette Police Department will now save valuable time and money with the recent purchase of a new radio system that has been installed into the three cruisers.

According to Police Chief Terry Mardis, the department will now be able to speak directly with the local company No. 6 and surrounding fire departments (Coshocton, Newcomerstown). He said prior to this when the police department needed to speak with the fire department, it was necessary to go through a dispatcher, thus losing time. He adds that the new radio will also save the fire department on unnecessary fuel cost by notifying the fire department if they are actually needed or not. He said police department would be dispatched to a scene as first responder. They can then determine if the fire department is going to be necessary verses dispatch possibly sending out the fire department immediately, then finding they were not needed.

Aside from the purpose of the radio capability with West Lafayette Fire Department and nearby village fire departments, the radios will also be connected with EMS, LEARNS, Inner City systems that are utilized frequently by the police department.

Mardis said the radios were purchased through the Homeland Security grant with the assistance of James Van Horn of the Coshocton County Emergency Medical Agency (EMA). The Coshocton City Fire Department also provided support to West Lafayette through the loan of several of the same types of radios until West Lafayette could complete installation of the new system.

According to the report by Mardis at the March 14 village council meeting, the radios will be a great asset to the police department, fire department and the village. He said time will be saved, thus saving the village money as well.

Mardis also reported that the department also recently received the 2006 model police cruiser that had been earlier approved. The department now has three units that will be utilized full time.

Other business discussed by village council included:

* West Lafayette Chamber of Commerce is planning the annual dinner for April 12. According to Chamber President Christie Maurer, the event will take place and is being catered by Schumaker Farms. Social time will begin at 6 p.m. with dinner starting at 6:30 p.m. The cost is $16 per person. The event is by invitation only and Maurer is requesting reservations by March 29.

* Following a recommendation by Mayor Jack Patterson, council approved the village's annual Chamber of Commerce membership fee at a cost of $25.

* First reading was given for an ordinance establishing the 2011 pay, benefits scale for village employees.

* First reading was given for an ordinance to regulate trees and establish offenses related to trees within the village.

* Council approved a resolution to request additional funding from the Ohio Water Development Authority.

* Council approved a resolution authorizing the fiscal officer Lisa Stiteler as the prevailing wage compliance officer (PWCO) for the administration of the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG).

* Council approved an ordinance for continuing an interim industrial discharge wastewater rate for Pearl Valley, effective for April through June 30, 2011.

Council's next meeting is March 28.