The newest Ada Village Council member, Ken Lauria, was sworn in during the village council meeting Tuesday night - Ada Herald
The newest Ada Village Council member, Ken Lauria, was sworn in during the village council meeting Tuesday night. (Ada Herald/Joe Shriner)

ADA — News Bulletin: No Ada village government shut down…

Ada Village Council, with absolutely no partisan haggling to speak of, approved an almost $11 million dollar operating budget for fiscal 2019 at Tuesday night’s village council meeting.

The exact figure was: $10,942,032.35.

While she didn’t have the final data for December of this year in yet, Village Fiscal Officer Crystal Huffer said after the meeting that the state of Ada Village finances, currently, were “quite healthy” in general.

Besides the budget appropriation, the meeting also saw the swearing in of a new, and actually quite professionally diverse, councilmember; some comments from a Mid-Ohio Energy Coop representative; the approving of a recurring yearly agreement for municipal court indigent reimbursement; and, opening the door for bids on a 33-acre tract of farmland in Ada’s Industrial Park.

New Councilmember Ken Lauria was sworn in to fill in for the rest of lBeth Fenton’s term. She had recently resigned.

Lauria has an engineering degree from Villanova University (And, yes, he said he’s a huge Villanova b-ball fan.), and he also has a law degree from Brooklyn Law School in New York.

He is also the Director of Information Services for Healthpro in Lima, has been on his church’s Finance Council, and recently helped spearhead a drive to establish a “Dog Park” in Ada. After the meeting, he said he sees Ada as quite a “gem,” and hopes his work on council will help maintain, even enhance, that.

Council also authorized an agreement with the Hardin County Commissioners for “municipal court indigent defendant representation reimbursement.”

In an ancillary interview on this topic, area lawyer Mitch Kingsley said “indigent funds” are crucial for people who otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford being represented. However Kingsley continued that money “trickles down” (after other priorities) into this type of fund nationwide, and often there is not enough to cover what’s needed.

He said that while people do want “equal justice for all,” a mantra from state-to-state is that they also want “less taxes.” So the duality often doesn’t match up.

The council meeting also included some input from Mid-Ohio Energy Cooperative representative John Metcalf. Mid-Ohio is petitioning for “franchise rights” to operate within a certain territory of Ada that the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) determined back in 1978.

Councilmember Don Fleming wondered if the village should get some kind of remuneration for granting the franchise rights. But Mr. Metcalf said no that it wasn’t structured that way under PUCO protocol. Mayor Dave Retterer then joked that at least the village should get, say, a “Good Guy” plaque for granting the franchise rights. Mr. Metcalf smiled.