ADA — Ada Village Council Tuesday night assured that the water treatment plant would be in good hands, the 2021 budget would be in good shape, the downtown Christmas lighting is in good repair, and even next year’s village insurance rate will be pretty good.

Ada Police Chief Michael Harnishfeger said that working with relatively new Fiscal Officer Patty Navin has, in his estimation, been stellar because of exemplary “professionalism and responsiveness.”

Councilmember Jeff Oestrich, who, too, has been involved with the budget process this year, also praised Ms. Navin and said that developing the budget for next year has been a tremendously “streamlined” process. What’s been of particular help, he continued, is the working with each department in a “line-item” fashion this year, as opposed to a more generalized approach.

This allowed for a much more quantifiable look at each department in regard to spending patterns, and so on, he continued. (Some $6.9 million has been budgeted, overall, for Ada fiscal expenses in 2021.)

One of those expenses will be $19 an hour (plus benefits) for a new “Operator in Training” at the Water Treatment Plant. Jenera’s Brian Howard was picked among seven solid finalists for the job, said Ada Village Administrator Jamie Hall.

Mr. Hall said Mr. Howard had previously worked at a chemical plant for 20 years and he will be getting ongoing training while working at the water plant. Council approved his hiring unanimously and he will start Dec. 21.

Mr. Hall advised council he will be back at the Dec. 15 Council meeting with an invoice for village insurance for 2021. He said this year village insurance cost approximately $55,000, and it should be a bit lower, at about $54,000, for the next year.

Council President Bob Simmons said the year-end evaluation process for village employees will be starting soon. He will be working with Mayor Dave Retterer on this, and the hope is to have all the evaluations finished by the end of the month.

And Mr. Simmons also wanted to offer a shout out to village employees who worked on the Ada downtown lighting displays this year.