$ 10 million in loans approved for EORH | News, Sports, Jobs

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TL File Photo / SHELLEY HANSON Eastern Ohio Regional Hospital administrator Bernie Albertini stands inside the emergency room window at the facility earlier this summer. Ohio Representative Jack Cera announced Monday that EORH was receiving $ 10 million in state control board loans to help it reopen.

MARTINS FERRY – Ohio Rep. Jack Cera, D-Bellaire and Ohio Senator Frank Hoagland, R-Mingo Junction, both announced on Monday the approval of $ 10 million in loans to help the hospital East Ohio Regional Council to take the necessary steps to reopen and upgrade the building located at Martins Ferry.

The money approved by lawmakers at Monday’s Board of Control meeting will help fund the purchase of new machinery and equipment, as well as make improvements to the structure of the hospital itself.

“As a member of the State Controlling Board, I am always happy to support worthy projects that benefit the residents of Eastern Ohio. The approval of this low interest loan will create 300 new jobs on this site ”, said Cera.

Cera said the closure of the hospital in September 2019 by its former owner, Alecto Healthcare Services, was devastating for local residents. At that time, Cera was working with many community leaders to try to save the hospital. Cera said he was happy to see the allowance approved for the hospital.

Hoagland noted that the facility had provided quality health care for 114 years before it closed.

“These funds will go a long way in providing them with the necessary resources not only to maintain their services and jobs, but also to develop them.” he said.

Hoagland noted that the additional funding needed to secure the loan was approved by the General Assembly last week as part of Bill 614, an amendment submitted by Hoagland. The bill awaits the governor’s signature.

An announcement was made last May that EORH has been purchased by a new owner, Dr John Johnson of the Dayton area, who plans to reopen the facility by the end of this year.

Meanwhile, the Board of Control has also approved more than $ 12.2 million in funding for the reclamation of abandoned mining lands in many counties in the Appalachian Mountains in the state of Ohio. Cera noted that tens of thousands of acres of land in eastern and southeastern Ohio have yet to be reclaimed.

Cera has introduced legislation in the last three general assemblies to increase funding for mine reclamation. The proposal created a new source of funding for reclamation, which is necessary due to lower taxes on severance pay in coal mines at the state and federal levels. He hopes the Legislature and Congress will work to find more funding to clean up these sites.

Local projects include:

∫ Friendship Park Highwall – $ 2 million to rehabilitate the highways in Friendship Park and create additional walking and horse trails. The grant will help finance an ecological restoration project;

∫ The Jefferson County Industrial Park should receive an estimated amount of $ 300,000 for the development of a site on an abandoned mining dump in order to prepare a specific building by the Jefferson County Commissioners;

∫ The Laney Field Highwall Reclamation project in Jefferson County is expected to receive $ 284,392, which will be used to build a safe and maintainable site for usable space for the community park, which also houses a community baseball field

Cera noted that environmental assessment for wildlife restoration and economic opportunities are key factors in any reclamation project. Ohio is one of six Appalachian states with the most high priority projects to address.

“These essential projects not only clean the environment, but also make the land useful for economic and community development”, said Cera.

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