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May 25, 2020

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Ada begins process of becoming Special Energy District

By Amy Eddings

Members of Ada’s village council granted Mayor David Retter the authority to start forming an Energy Special Improvement District so that the village, Ohio Northern University, local businesses and apartment complexes can apply for low-interest loans for energy conservation projects.

The emergency resolution allows the mayor to prepare a petition to establish the district and begin forming a separate entity that will govern it.  Council members voted to make the resolution an emergency measure, allowing the mayor to act immediately instead of waiting 30 days, because of the need to create the district in a timely manner in order to get financing.  

The original plan by village administrators was to have the Community Improvement Council manage the district,  but village counsel Janet Napier explained that, under the rules of the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority’s Property Assessed Clean Energy Financing program (PACE), the CIC could not act in that capacity alone.

She told council members that the village would create a new entity to apply for designation as a Special Energy Improvement District and then let the CIC run it.  

“That’s how Toledo does it,” she explained.

PACE provides loans of up to 15 years at a rate of 4.5 to 5.5 percent interest for energy efficiency improvements to existing buildings or for renewable energy projects that involve government facilities and commercial projects.

Assistant Administrator Jamie Hall said the program could offset the costs of a $43,000 upgrade that’s currently underway to repair and repoint the exterior masonry of the Village Hall.

“There’s also the possibility of converting the street lamps to LED,” he told the Icon.

Ohio Northern University officials have expressed strong interest in PACE.

23 pool employees hired

The council also approved the hiring of 23 pool employees, including manager Lorna Spar and head lifeguard Michaela Guyton, for the summer.  The public pool opens on May 28.

Drug forfeiture benefits police

In his report to the council, Police Chief Michael Harnishfeger said the department has received a truck and a handgun as part of a drug forfeiture.  He said the truck will be sold online through GovDeals.com.  The gun will eventually be sold to a gun dealer.  The chief said the proceeds of these sales will be split with the Hardin County prosecutor’s office and the Hardin County Drug Task Force.

Few committees had reports and the council’s business was conducted rapidly.  The meeting lasted approximately 40 minutes, with a 10 minute break for an executive session to discuss pool personnel.