ASHVILLE — The Village of Ashville has declared a State of Emergency that went into effect at midnight last night.

Ashville Mayor Chuck Wise issued the declaration due to the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. As part of the emergency order, Wise has closed all public access to Village offices.

Wise said the order means that Ashville government is working a little bit differently than normal but they’re still doing basic and essential tasks, like operating the water, sewer and police departments, as an example.

“We’re following the mandates put out by [Governor Mike DeWine],” Wise said. “This measure allows us to move around some council meetings to an as-needed basis. We, as of right now, have to meet under the open meeting laws and we’re hoping that legislation this week will allow us to meet by Skype or Facetime or something similar and stream it over the web at the same time so the public can attend.”

Wise said as part of the order, starting today the Village will be operating at half staff with the exception of the police department.

Wise is wondering about the construction projects planned for this summer and how the shutdowns will affect those.

“We have major projects scheduled this summer in conjunction with [the Ohio Department of Transportation] as far as rebuilding Main and Long Street but some things are more important at this time. We’re kind of on a wait and see basis at this time,” he stated.

Wise noted Ashville Community Park would remain open and people should keep their distance from one another but still get outside.

“The park is open for people to walk if they just keep their distance and not congregate,” Wise commented. “If they start to congregate the police will break them up. Do get out if we have some sunshine and get some exercise. It’s good for your mental health.”

Read the full order below:

The following DECLARATION OF A STATE OF EMERGENCY has been issued by Charles K. Wise, Mayor of Ashville.

WHEREAS, due to the novel outbreak of COVlD-19 and the potential threat of community spread, and the number of reported cases globally, and state-wide and;

WHEREAS, as a result of the above-described emergency l have determined that there is an imminent threat of, or existing conditions which have caused or will cause, widespread or severe contamination or loss of life; and

WHEREAS, As Mayor of the Village of Ashville I am hereby: declaring a State of Emergency and imposing the restrictions and prohibitions ordered herein as necessary to maintain order and protect public health, safety, and welfare, and to secure property.

NOW, THEREFORE, pursuant to the authority vested in me as the Mayor of the Village of Ashville under Title Five of the Village of Ashville.

Section 1. A State of Emergency is hereby declared within the jurisdiction of Ashville, Ohio.

Section 2. The Emergency area covered by this state of emergency shall include the entire Village.

Section 3. The following restrictions and prohibitions are imposed:

A. Restricted Access: All Village of Ashville government buildings shall be closed to public access.

B. Other: At this time regular trash pick-up shall continue. At this time no water will be turned off unless requested or an emergency.

Section 4. I hereby order all Village of Ashville law enforcement officers, employees, and all other Emergency management personnel subject to Village control to cooperate in the enforcement and implementation of the provisions of this Declaration, all applicable local ordinances, state and federal laws, and the Village Emergency Operations Plan. Any violation of any order hereunder is a Misdemeanor of the First Degree.

Section 5. I hereby order this declaration: (n) to be distributed to the news media and other organizations calculated to bring its contents to the attention of the general public; (b) to be filed with Ashville’s Clerk- Treasurer and (e) to be distributed to others as necessary to ensure proper implementation of this declaration

Section 6. This declaration shall take effect on March 23, 2020.

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