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November 18, 2019
 

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Ada council: Recent hire at Ada Police Department quits

By Amy Eddings
A set-back for the Ada Police, storm sewer projects, and surprising bids for repainting the water tower were topics at Tuesday’s village council meeting in Ada.

In his report to councilors and mayor, Chief Michael Harnishfeger announced that a recent hire to the police department is leaving.

"Ryan Schroeder, our full time officer that we hired in July or August. he’s midway in our probation, and he’s leaving us,” said Chief Harnishfeger with a grimace.  “He’s going to go back to selling cars.”

He said he hated the process of finding and training a new officer.

"I hate that, because each year, I say I want to contribute more to the Hardin County Drug Task Force and it seems each year we don’t have the personnel,” he said.  He said the process will delay him “a quarter of the year” before they can “do what they want to do."

The chief said he posted a notice of the job opening on the department’s Facebook page.  Heroin and other opiates remain an ongoing problem for Hardin County, and Ohio.  Harnishfeger said he’s attending an “emergency heroin symposium” this Thursday hosted by Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine in Columbus.

The council passed a resolution empowering Mayor David Retterer to apply to the Ohio Public Works Commission for funds for storm sewer improvements on the village’s west side, near Ohio Northern University. 

It also approved a resolution empowering the mayor to enter into agreements with Choice One Engineering Corporation for storm sewer improvements on North Simon Street.

The North Simon Street project is estimated to cost about $265,000.  It involves removing and replacing the existing storm sewer, with new conduits, catch basins and manholes along North Simon Street between East North Avenue and Montford Avenue.  It will reverse the drainage flow to the south and then to the east through an existing 30-inch storm sewer. 

The capacity of that water main will not be studied as part of the project. 

Councilors also approved a resolution authorizing Mayor Retterer to accept up to $45,000 in grant money from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources for improvements to the pool. 

Village Assistant Administrator Jamie Hall said it will go toward repairs to the pool slide.  He asked the council to declare an emergency for fixing the aging slide, which already had spot repairs made before last summer’s pool season.

“It would just make sense if we had it rehabbed this spring and that would save the expense of temporary repairs,” said Hall.  “With the timing of that, this spring is going to come pretty quick."

Councilors approved the emergency designation.

• The American Red Cross/Ada Kiwanis Club has already requested to use the pool from July 11-July 22, 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., for its annual learn-to-swim program. 

• Ada Public Library has also requested use of the pool on July 6, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., with a rain date on July 7.  The library typically holds a pool party at the conclusion of its summer reading program. 

The requests were granted, free of charge, to the library and the Kiwanis Club.

Village assistant administrator Jamie Hall told councilors that the wastewater treatment plant’s new screening system is bringing up more solids than expected, requiring additional equipment to deal with it.  He said the village will come to the council in the near future to request a washer compactor to further dissolve the solid waste and de-water the resulting non-treatable sludge so that it can be disposed of in a landfill. 

Without the washer compactor, Hall said, the sludge is too watery to go to the village’s contracted landfills with Republic Services and would have to be sent, at much higher hauling costs, to a landfill that’s further away.

Hall said the new equipment would cost about $120,000 to $150,000.  He advised the council to approve the spending now, while the village has the money.

"We still have funds available with the contract, with our contingency funds,” he said.  "If we don’t do it two or three years down the road, we’ll have problems trying to fund it.  We really feel long term that it’s needed." 

Village administrator Jim Meyer brought the meeting to a close with some potential bad news for the village’s bottom line.  The bids for repainting the village water tower came in much higher than expected.

“The estimate [by Dixon Engineering] was $194,000.  The highest bid was $358,000 and $248,000 was the lowest,” said Meyer, to murmurs from councilors.  “I don’t know why.  We’ve never had a project that has been that far over estimate"

He said Dixon Engineering, which is assisting in the project, is going to call the bidders seeking answers.  “We may have to change the estimate, based on what they find out.”

Any increase, he said, would have to be taken out of water reserve funds.  The painting project will be delayed by a month or so.

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