ANDOVER — Village Council approved an ordinance giving Mayor Jerry Dibell authorization to begin discussions with the University Hospitals for the purpose of buying the emergency room facility that closed last spring when COVID-19 hit the area.

“For the good of the area it would be good to have an emergency room,” said Andover Village Council President Curt Williams.

Dibell said he has been talking with UH officials since November in hopes of re-opening an emergency room, but he said officials are more interested in an urgent care facility. Village officials have expressed concerns about the distance to an emergency room in Ashtabula, Youngstown or Geauga County.

Dibell said he believes another hospital system would be more interested in opening an emergency room facility if the village already owned the property.

Andover Village Solicitor Richard Kotila suggested an ordinance giving Dibell specific authorization to talk numbers with hospital officials would be a good idea and Williams made the motion and it passed unanimously.

In other

business

• Andover Village Fiscal Officer Cathy Williams announced a new policy allowing people interested in receiving village meeting reports or minutes to request and pay for them the day after each meeting at Village Hall. She said a freedom of information act was filed against her through the Ohio Attorney General’s Office by Glenn Day seeking minutes for the last year.

• Dibell also suggested the village consider putting in a “Splash Pad” at Recreation Park and upgrade the playground equipment. Williams said the thought it would be a good idea, but indicated a private facility was considering the creation of a “Splash Pad.”

Williams said the village should look into the idea if private enterprise does not make the investment in such a facility.

• Williams also gave a report on progress of the bike trail that is scheduled to be created through the village. He said Ashtabula County Metroparks Grant Administrator Larry Frimerman indicated $1.3 million has been raised for the project and the “environmental design group” has been working in the area.

Williams said up to eight miles of trail through Andover could be completed this year.

• Council scheduled a public hearing for 5 p.m. March 22 to discuss several zoning changes for the planning commission. Kotila said the zoning change would clear up a few small details.

• Village Council also approved an ordnance allowing the village to charge a “provider fee” for cable companies active in the village. Kotila said a change in state law made the ordinance necessary and indicated the revenues generated would remain at 3 percent.

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