HERKIMER — Walking is an exercise most people can enjoy and Herkimer County HealthNet is hoping to encourage more of them to make it a part of their regular routine.
Elyse Enea, program coordinator at HealthNet, presented a proposed walking route and directional signs to the Herkimer village board during a meeting last week.
The route starts at the Arc Herkimer business park and proceeds along East German Street and turning right onto Willow where it follows along the hydraulic canal park path to Weber Avenue, and then south on North Main Street to Court and North Washington streets before returning to German Street to head back to the starting point. Signs would be posted to guide walkers along what is being termed the Mohawk Valley Mile. The first sign would include a graphic showing the entire route, according to Enea.
“We’d provide the signs. The village would have to put them up,” she said.
She said the program is similar to a Healthy Mondays or Monday Mile program in Syracuse that encourages people to get out and walk. She added research shows that people who exercise at the start of the week are more likely to continue exercising throughout the remainder of the week.
The village board agreed to the plan.
“HealthNet has been a good partner to the village,” said Mayor Tony Brindisi.
Enea said in a telephone interview that HealthNet also hopes to set up walking routes in the villages of Frankfort, Mohawk and Ilion, as well as the city of Little Falls.
“We’ll encourage people attending our wellness seminars and diabetes prevention seminars to use the routes,” she said. “Our goal is to have sustainable, accessible walking routes that anyone can use anytime free of charge.”
Herkimer County HealthNet works to combat obesity and diabetes and promote physical activity and improved nutrition through its Creating Healthy Places to Live, Work and Play program.
The board approved a new five-year bond anticipation note totaling $237,100 to finance equipment for village departments. The bond will include $30,000 for a new telephone system for the village office that will also provide a voice messaging system and fiber optics, along with Internet service to the wastewater treatment plant and the department of public works garage as well as funding for a new police vehicle, air bottles for the fire department and a leaf machine, bucket truck and track loader for the department of public works.
The board also passed a resolution to renew the $213,133 2015 equipment BAN.
Trustee Mark Ainsworth pointed out that approving a new equipment BAN now means there will be no opportunity for major equipment purchases next year.
In Other Business
The board approved a request from Ronald Hess Jr., president of the Herkimer Business and Professional Association, for the third annual Herkimer Diamond Festival to be held Friday and Saturday, Aug. 4 and 5, on North Main Street. Plans call for live music, food vendors, an art show and a street basketball contest, he said.
A request from the Herkimer Elks Lodge to use Myers Park for its car show on Aug. 5 was also approved.
The board approved training for first line supervisors for the fire department — two acting deputies or lieutenants — to attend training in New York.
Police Chief Michael Jory reported he was planning to set up a Facebook page for the village police department. He and a police captain and the investigator would be authorized to post items on the page.
Jory also reported he would like to put bicycle officers on the street again. He said there are police officers in the department who are interested and three bicycles are available. The only cost would be that of uniforms.
The board asked for additional information on a college student’s request to intern with the village police department.