BEDFORD, Ohio (WJW) — A judge denied a late effort on behalf of the city of Bedford to keep University Hospitals from permanently shutting down an emergency room.

University Hospitals announced in July it would close inpatient and emergency departments at both its Bedford and Richmond Heights facilities due to a staff shortage.

On Thursday, Bedford officials filed a temporary restraining order to prevent the closure of the hospital, which opened in 1928.

Bedford City Manager Michael Mallis said the initial request was denied Thursday night. However, officials will again present their case in front of a judge during a Tuesday hearing.

A spokesperson for University Hospitals in a statement said the filing was “without merit.”

Mallis disagrees.

“At the end of the day, the facts are we sat across the table from UH for a year and regularly — almost on a monthly basis — they continuously told us there were absolutely zero plans to close this hospital,” he said.

In a statement, Bedford Mayor Stan Koci said the closure creates ” … a medical desert in communities where the majority of residents are African-American, economically disadvantaged, elderly and on Medicaid.”

Mallis said it will also be a disservice to the community who has come to depend on its close proximity to the hospital.

“That emergency room is imperative to these communities,” said Mallis. “We’re talking about communities with a high percentage of senior citizens. We’re talking communities with households that are economically challenged.”

Katrina Smith, who said she has epilepsy, lives on the same street as the hospital and depends on access to emergency care.

“I’ve been treated for them, but I still have to take a lot of medications,” said Smith. “I might have a grand mal [seizure] and 911 come get me and takes me across the street. … I think it’s sad because they didn’t give us any notice they just snatched the ER, like, ‘OK, no more emergency room,’ and [there’s] not another close by, really.”

A University Hospitals spokesperson said in a statement Friday the decision to consolidate patient care was difficult, but that it will result in higher quality care, now that staff can be utilized more effectively.

Physician services at both campuses will remain, despite the closure of emergency departments.

“That’s not an investment they’re abandoning the southeast side of Cleveland,” said Mallis.

The city will lose about $900,000 in income tax as a result of the closure, Mallis said.