Last week, members of the Marshall County Council voted 6 to 1 to pass a resolution to rescind the council’s previous decision to provide funding for the Blue Zones Project.

The one-sentence resolution stated, “Whereas the Marshall County Council approved financial support in the amount of $525,000 for Blue Zones funding on August 8, 2022, in Resolution 2022-16 by a 5-2 margin, we hereby rescind that support and oppose any future support for Blue Zones funding.” 

During Thursday’s meeting, Councilman Tim Harman read his resolution and commented, “There’s a lot of actually good things in Blue Zones, meaning healthy lifestyles which is something we all should aspire to.”  He continued, “It’s very costly and very speculative and there’s no guaranteed outcome. I will say this for local government – we know what we’re getting when we spend $525,000 on roads, bridges, parks, etc.  We don’t know what we’re getting exactly.  So, it just seems to me that if we’re going to spend money we should spend it wisely.”  

Council President Jesse Bohannon said he had received feedback from members of the public that some other local units of government are reconsidering their support and they were hoping the council would weigh in on the funding.  He said, “While I know there is no existing appropriation anymore, all those died on January 1st but there was still the commitment that was hanging out there and I thought it would be appropriate to deal with that.”

Councilman Will Patterson motioned to approve the resolution and said most people don’t like Blue Zones for a variety of reasons including that they don’t like the concept and or they don’t like the government being in their personal business.

Councilwoman Nicole Cox seconded the motion and said, “I’ve done a lot of research and I’ve talked to a lot of people and the answer is no, we don’t need government in this and we don’t need to support a for-profit and spend millions of dollars to bring a for-profit business in.”

The Marshall Council voted 6-1 to approve the resolution with Councilman Jim Masterson being the only no vote.