New adult exercise equipment will soon be installed at Rutherford Park, the Houston City Council heard on Monday.
The venue, the city’s latest park, is on Westwood Drive west of the Houston Memorial Airport. The effort is primarily funded through a Healthy Schools, Healthy Communities grant totaling about $40,000 for the equipment and required rubber padding. The city will contribute $4,500 and install lights at the park.
HSHC is an initiative of the Missouri Foundation for Health (MFH) primarily designed to address the national trend of childhood weight issues. The MFH was formed in February 2000 as a result of Blue Cross Blue Shield’s changeover from a nonprofit to for-profit company, because federal law requires that proceeds from the sale of tax-exempt entities be directed toward charitable purposes.
Earlene Stoops is the local community wellness coordinator.
Most recently, it paid for the materials that allowed walkways to be marked at intersections. New playground equipment also is being installed. They’ve also made contributions for equipment at the Lone Star Plaza Annex, including the community kitchen and meeting room.
In other matters, members:
—Were deadlocked on an effort to update hangar leases at the Houston Memorial Airport. A motion to implement the changes and associated fees died after a 2-2 vote that required a tie-breaker vote by Mayor Don Tottingham who agreed to not make the changes. Aldermen Joe Honeycutt and Chalky Wells supported the measure. Members David Arthur and Vicki Narancich opposed it. Absent was member Mary Barnes. Sheila Walker abstained because her mother, a former city clerk, had been involved in earlier discussions.
—Heard from Rodney Ramsey of a private probation business on South Sam Houston Blvd. The firm will begin a community service program for governmental bodies and other not-for-profits.
—Decided to give employees the Friday after Thanksgiving off. City hall also will be closed. Some city workers attended the meeting.
—Held the first reading of an ordinance that will increase electrical rates about 10 percent for commercial and industrial users. The move affects about 35 accounts. Letters will be sent to those included. Some personal contacts also are being made. Final approval is expected Dec. 5.
—Approved the Missouri Municipal League negotiating on its behalf for a telecommunications settlement with TracFone. The city will pay 5 percent of any funds received.
—Contributed $25 to the Tiger Backboard program.
—Learned that funds remain for an asphalt overlay on Waverly Street from Hamrick Avenue to Quaker Street.
—Heard bids have been received to demolish a city-owned home on Third Street. An insurance audit determined costly repairs were needed. Adult education classes held there have moved to the Lone Star Plaza Annex on Main Street.