County, cities work to bring back Healthy Communities

ARLINGTON — The county health district is soliciting support from area cities to explore a new funding method for its Healthy Communities project.

Sixteen municipalities — including the cities of Arlington and Marysville — have either been approached or have decided to support the Snohomish Health District’s plan to request federal stimulus dollars from the Center for Disease Control to fund the project, which was cut out of the health district budget earlier this year.

Each city or entity received a concept summary of the district’s new plan. According to a letter submitted to the city of Arlington, the federal funding would cover 16 Healthy Communities Specialists to be hired and supervised by the health district.

Those specialists would be placed into participating cities and towns, government offices and the Tulalip tribes.

One specialist would be placed in both Arlington and Marysville, city officials said.

City of Arlington spokeswoman Kristin Banfield said the Arlington City Council was notified of the potential funding at the Nov. 9 Council workshop.

Participating cities would be required to provide office space and support to the new staff members, and would technically work for the city but receive compensation from the health district.

In a draft letter of support, city of Arlington Mayor Margaret Larson said that the city recognizes the importance of decreasing obesity in Snohomish County.

“We see the Healthy Communities project as a positive step toward improving the health of all of our citizens and will enable us as a community to maintain positive changes and revers the growing trend of obesity/overweight children and adults among out population,” Larson wrote in the letter, dated Nov. 6.

The Arlington specialist would also cover Darrington and Smokey Point, according to the county proposal.

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