Blue Zones Blueprint Dies In Mayville Committee

(Mayville) Mayville officials and representatives from the Dodge County Blue Zones Project discussed the city’s future involvement in the health initiative Monday night. A 54-page document was presented to the Finance Committee outlining the “Blue Zones 2018 Community Blueprint.” Among other things, the blueprint highlights as area of focus safer routes to school, beautification of the city and better access to the river.

The Blue Zones Project is sponsored by the Beaver Dam Community Hospital through 2019. Several alderpersons questioned what would happen after the contract comes to an end next year. Blue Zones Project Lead Linda Klinger says there is no specific plan in place currently but added that the hospital has shown no indication on ending their sponsorship. Other council members questioned why the blueprint, which came from the Blue Zones Steering Committee, was even on the finance agenda.

Mayor Rob Boelk, who originally signed the 2017 blueprint, says a document of its size cannot be approved by a city administrator without council approval. Alderman Bob Smith says the 2018 plan lacks specific details on implementation and possible financial impacts to the city. Smith says he is all for healthy choices but he does not understand how Blue Zones can ask the city to spend money without identifying what it is for, when the program ends and how much certain projects will cost.

Dodge County Blue Zones Community Program Manager Leslie Covell Hershberger says their outline is not asking for any money from the city and they would come before the council prior to any major projects. Smith says governments do not work that way and that the city must be fiscally responsible when setting their yearly budgets. Finance Committee Chairman Gene Frings called for a motion but committee members failed to take action. Hershberger says that Blue Zones will continue to work with Mayville businesses and community organizations to implement healthy life choices.