Chris Nuss of the Walker County Health Action Partnership went before the Jasper City Council during Tuesday’s council meeting to ask for permission to host a community day on Saturday, May 3, at Memorial Park.
Events planned for the day include a 1-mile walk, 11-mile bike ride and Zumba and Crossfit workouts. There will also be events for kids throughout the day.
“This is a very import event. Yes, it will be fun, but it’s also important because Walker County ranks 66th out of 67 counties in health-related issues,” Nuss said.
The county also ranks next to last in premature deaths, she said.
“Our folks are dying younger because of poor health,” she said, adding that 35 percent of Walker County residents are ranked as being in poor health.
Statewide, figures show that just 21 percent of Alabamians are perceived to be in poor health. The number of work days missed because of bad health is also higher in Walker County, compared to the state average.
“Just from an economic standpoint, we need a healthy workforce,” she said.
The Walker County Health Action Partnership is working to address the issues, Nuss said. “There’s lots of activities here for people to be healthy.”
The four anchor groups that make up the Walker County Health Action Partnership are the Walker Area Community Foundation, Walker Baptist Medical Center, the University of Alabama and United Way of Central Alabama.
“What’s so exciting right now is that we have such momentum growing,” Nuss said. “We have community partners coming together from all over the county and the region to address these issues. We have many assets in Walker County, so we don’t have to start from scratch. That’s the good news. We have a lot of opportunities here for people to be active, to be fit and to be healthy.
“We want to create an environment where people have the opportunity, where the healthy choice is the easy choice.”
The city council also announced that the city will recognize April as Child Abuse Prevention Month.
Jasper Mayor Sonny Posey presented Lila Sears, executive director of the Walker County Child Advocacy Center, with a proclamation Tuesday.
“For years, we’ve made this declaration and have always been happy to do so because it involves events that are so significant and important in any community, and ours in particular because it is our community,” Posey said.
Posey read the proclamation to the council, which, in part, said, “children are vital to our state’s success, prosperity and quality of life, as well as being our most vulnerable asset … all children deserve to have safe, stable nurturing and a healthy home in the community that foster their well-being.”
In other business, council members:
•approved the minutes of the April 1 meeting.
•adopted an amendment to the city’s budget concerning the city’s 2014 Foothills Festival, which is set for Sept. 12-13 in downtown Jasper.
•approved sending proposals for performance contracting for professional services.
•held a public hearing concerning a property that falls under the city’s nuisance abatement ordinance.
•approved a motion to reapply for a TAP grant for downtown revitalization that is due May 1.
•declared the property that once housed Hickoryland Barbecue as a nuisance under the city’s nuisance abatement ordinance.
•introduced an ordinance to annex a property at 1996 Cooner Road in Jasper.
•approved a motion giving city public works director Joe Matthews permission to replace the traffic light at the intersection of 20th Street and 4th Avenue with a four-way stop sign.
•heard from city council member Sandi Sudduth, who requested a parade permit to host ‘Church in the Street’ on Sunday, April 27.
The council agreed to close a portion of 28th Street from 12:30 until 5 p.m. that day to allow the event to proceed.
•heard from city council member Jennifer Williams Smith, who said the city will again host a sectional swim party for Special Olympics Thursday night, and a swim meet Friday morning.
More than 120 special needs athletes from across the state are expected to be in Jasper for the event.
•heard from city council member Jed Daniel, who nominated Steve Gillott to serve as the District 1 representative on the Jasper City Board of Education. Gillott will replace Roy Beall, whose term is expiring.
The council approved the nomination.
The council then adjourned Tuesday’s meeting, which will reconvene at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, April 22, to address the bond issuance regarding construction of the new Walker High School.