News from Hennepin County


August 2015

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Marion Greene
Commissioner, 3rd District

Ray Hoover
Principal Aide

Pam Fahlstrom
Administrative Assistant


Join me in my effort to expand awareness of and involvement with Hennepin County! I'm holding office hours across the district each month. Come with questions, come with opinions, or just come to say hi.

This month's office hours are August 21 from 2-4PM at Honey & Rye in St. Louis Park at 4501 Excelsior Boulevard.


The 3rd District serves the city of St. Louis Park, and parts of west and downtown Minneapolis.

3rd District map

View larger map


Join the SWLRT Project Office (SPO) for a Community Workshop

The Kenilworth Landscape Design project is a unique opportunity to shape the Kenilworth corridor and balance transit and active trails with the natural surroundings. Join the SPO and Met Council from 9-11:30 AM at the Blake Upper School on Saturday, August 8th. For more details, click here.

Hazardous Waste Collection Events

Hennepin County organizes collection events to give residents more convenient local options for disposing of household hazardous wastes. 

Collection events are held Thursday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

August 20 – 22 in south Minneapolis

Learn more about event locations, guidelines and materials accepted.

Fix-It Clinics

Fix-It Clinics provide an opportunity to receive free, guided assistance from handy volunteers on disassembling, troubleshooting and repairing small household appliances, clothing, electronics, mobile devices and more.

Upcoming Fix-It Clinics are scheduled for the following dates and locations:

Sunday, August 9 from noon to 4 p.m. at Arc’s Value Village in Bloomington

Saturday, September 19 from noon to 4 p.m. at the University of Minnesota Reuse Program warehouse in Minneapolis

For more information or to volunteer, contact Nancy Lo at or 612-348-9195.


County departments, agencies & other entities

Hennepin County libraries

Hennepin County Medical Center

Hennepin volunteers

Online services

Phone directory

Service Center information

Southwest Light Rail

Understanding your property tax

City of Minneapolis

City of St. Louis Park





I hope you enjoy this month's District 3 newsletter. Visit our website to find more ways to connect with the county.  

Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns.  I value your opinions. 

My best,



Significant change begins in Child Protection Services

On July 7th, the board initiated significant changes to Child Protection Services (CPS) by implementing an Oversight Committee, and instructing administration to:

  • Create a data unit to compile statistics on CPS
  • Improve early intervention responses for chronic neglect cases, cases screened out by CPS and cases closed by CPS
  • Complete a comprehensive Workload Study for CPS staff
  • Provide a comprehensive evaluation of the “Results-Only Work Environment” program for CPS, including consideration of changes at existing facilities as well as spatial planning for future buildings
  • Make operational changes such that all child protection calls are received by county staff, during and after business hours
  • Communicate to the board a list of social service providers used by CPS, with most recent annual expenditures for each agency

Hennepin County will also hire 68 more social workers, 30 case support staff, and five attorneys. In order to pay for this, the board approved a transfer in contingency funds, and accepted a state funding infusion expressly for this purpose. The additional funding will enable the Human Services and Public Health Department to begin to adopt a series of recommendations put forth by Governor Dayton’s Task Force on the Protection of Children, and by a county-initiated comprehensive review of services to county-involved children and youth. 

Following the meeting on July 7th, I released a statement on the board's actions, which you can read here.


Board approves funding for reduced-scope SWLRT 

On July 7th, the Hennepin County board became the first elected body to offer a formal funding commitment to a Southwest Light Rail Transit (SWLRT) plan that reduces the project’s scope by more than a quarter billion dollars and adds other local investments to the funding mix. This is consistent with the funding plan approved last week by the SWLRT Corridor Management Committee.   


National Night Out on August 4th

National Night Out is an annual nationwide event that encourages residents to get out in the community, holding block parties and getting to know their neighbors. This year, National Night Out will be held on Tuesday, August 4th. 

For more information about National Night out in Minneapolis, click here. For St. Louis Park, click here.

Board passes Stepping Up initiative

On July 7th, the Hennepin County Board voted to endorse the Stepping Up initiative. Stepping Up is part of a broader national action to reduce the number of people with mental illnesses in our county jail; to commit to sharing lessons learned with other counties in Minnesota and across the country; and to encourage all county officials, employees and residents to participate in Stepping Up.

Measures include:

  • Convening a diverse team of leaders and decision makers from multiple agencies, committed to safely reducing the number of people with mental illnesses in jails
  • Working to better identify those who enter jails with mental illnesses and assess their recidivism risk, then using that baseline information to guide decision-making at every level
  • Examining treatment and service capacity and access to determine which county programs and services are available for people with mental illnesses and co-occurring substance use disorders
  • Developing a research-based plan with measurable outcomes
  • Creating a process to track progress, and report successes

Much of this work is already being done by the County Attorney's Office, the Sheriff's Office, and public safety and human services departments. To learn more, click here.

project map

West Lake Multimodal Transportation Study Update

The West Lake Multimodal Transportation Study is a cooperative effort between Hennepin County, Minneapolis,  the Metropolitan Council, and the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board that is being conducted to identify motorized and non-motorized traffic needs, challenges, and opportunities in the vacinity of the planned West Lake LRT station.

The project team has been busy over the past few months:

  • On April 21st, a walking tour of the area was conducted with more than 35 participants
  • A community workshop was held on April 29th with 30 participants
  • A series of meetings were held with Cedar-Isles-Dean Neighborhood association, West Calhoun Neighborhood Council, Minneapolis Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee, Midtown Greenway Coalition, Private Business Owners, and Homeowner Associations
  • Over 230 respondents completed the online survey and over 90 respondents provided comments on the Wikimap
  • The project team began field reviews and data collection that will aid in the analysis to be conducted in the coming months

The project team is currently working to:

  • Evaluate and quantify existing travel conditions and environmental considerations
  • Analyze multimodal connectivity, safety, accessibility, and mobility
  • Develop short, medium, and long term recommendations for the study area

To learn more about the study, visit the project website here.

Hennepin County Profile


To share more about the work of Hennepin County, we profile a county employee who lives in District 3. Each month spotlights a person from varying departments and occupations.

Lindsey Thomas

Lindsey Thomas is a resident of the Lynnhurst neighborhood, and is an Assistant Medical Examiner for the Hennepin County Medical Examiner's Office.  

Click here to find out how Lindsey Thomas makes Hennepin County tick.

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Board meeting highlights

Funding for homelessness prevention, rehousing

On July 7th the Hennepin County Board accepted funding for the Family Homeless Prevention and Assistance Program. Services are aimed at preventing homelessness and quickly re-housing people who become homeless. Interventions include:

  • Financial assistance to pay rent
  • Legal services to negotiate tenancy and eviction issues
  • Rapid re-housing services to resettle homeless families and singles staying in county-paid shelters
  • Youth services to either reunify families or stabilize youth housing
  • Transitional housing for families at high risk of homelessness recidivism

Community partners include Community Action Partnership of Suburban Hennepin (CAPSH), Catholic Charities Community Emergency Assistance Program, Lutheran Social Services, People Responding in Social Ministry, Mid-MN Legal Assistance, Simpson Housing, Volunteers Enlisted to Assist People (VEAP), St. Stephen's, YMCA, YouthLink, Oasis and The Link.

New Facility Services director appointed

On July 7th, the board confirmed the appointment of Michael Sable to the position of Facility Services director. Mike holds a MBA from the University of St. Thomas and brings many years of local government leadership experience. He most recently served as Interim City Manager for the City of Brooklyn Park, where his duties included oversight of the city's communications, human resources and information technology services. Mike worked for Hennepin County previously, from 2002 to 2007.

Environmental Response Fund projects approved

On July 7th the board approved Environmental Response Fund requests for 10 remediation projects. These grant awards preserve or support development of 799 affordable housing units, enhance green space, significantly increase tax base, and provide new construction and permanent jobs.

Projects include:


  • 4041 Hiawatha Avenue, to assist with contaminated soil cleanup and soil gas vapor mitigation associated with development of affordable housing units
  • 700 Central, for contaminated soil cleanup and soil gas vapor mitigation associated with renovation of vacant buildings into market rate apartments and new commercial space
  • Former Superior Plating, for operation of a remediation system in preparation for the development of a mixed-use commercial and multifamily residential redevelopment
  • Minneapolis Sculpture Gardens, for contaminated soil cleanup during park renovations
  • North Loop Commons, for contaminated soil cleanup and soil vapor mitigation to renovate a vacant building for future charter school, commercial use, and office use
  • Seward Towers East and West, for asbestos abatement as part of their renovation of two existing low income/section 8 residential buildings

St. Louis Park

  • The Shoreham, for contaminated soil cleanup associated with development of market-rate and affordable housing and office space

Board OKs $3 million in SWLRT infrastructure costs and $5 million in environmental cleanup

At the July 21st meeting, the board agreed to set aside $3 million for infrastructure costs associated with the Southwest Light Rail project. Potential uses are creating elements that connect communities to station areas, acquiring needed lands and improving water quality. The county funding will come from the Southwest Community Works program, and will be available 2016-2019. 

The board also approved $5 million from the Environmental Response Fund (ERF) to address areas of contamination associated with SWLRT. Each Community Works and ERF dollar spent is matched by federal New Starts funding. 

Board intends land transfer to Met Council for SWLRT

At the July 21st meeting, the Hennepin County Regional Railroad Authority Board stated its intention to transfer portions of the Kenilworth and Cedar Lakes rail corridor for the Southwest Light Rail Transit Project, subject to certain conditions and future actions. The Board's action will assist in receiving matching federal dollars for the project. The land includes portions of the Kenilworth and Cedar Lake rail corridor from Royalston Avenue in Minneapolis to approximately 2,000 feet west of 11th Avenue in Minnetonka.

$12 million committed for Orange Line Bus Rapid Transit to south metro

At the July 21st meeting, the board committed to provide as much as $12.8 million of the local funding for the Orange Line Bus Rapid Transit Project capital costs. The line will extend from downtown Minneapolis, 17 miles along Interstate 35W to Burnsville. The project will have 11 stations in Hennepin County and one station in Dakota County. The total capital cost for the project is estimated to be $150.7 million. Construction is scheduled to begin in 2017 with operations beginning in late 2019. The federal government will provide 50 percent of the funding; 30 percent will come from the Counties Transit Improvement Board; 10 percent from the state; and 10 percent local. Hennepin County’s allocation represents 86 percent of the local share, based on the number of stops and riders from Minneapolis.

New labor relations director appointed

The board voted to appoint Katherine Megarry to the position of labor relations director at Hennepin County. She will begin her duties on August 24. Megarry comes to the position with nearly 20 years of experience in the labor relations field. She has experience in both the public and private sector, most recently with Macy's Corporation. She currently has responsibility for a number of union contracts for Macy's in their North, Midwest and Boston markets. Megarry holds a Bachelor's degree from Hamline University and a Master's degree in Industrial Relations/Law from the University of Minnesota's Carlson School of Management. 

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Board briefings

You're invited! In addition to our regularly scheduled board meetings, the County Board often meets for updates on Thursday mornings. These are informal opportunities to discuss emerging issues. No decisions are made, and the topics are subject to change. Board briefings occur in the board room on the 24th floor of the Hennepin County Government Center and are open to the public.

August 13
Specialty Courts

August 27
Long term care services/staffing

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