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Commissioner, District 2
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District 2 serves the cities of Golden Valley, Medicine Lake, north and northeast Minneapolis, southeast Plymouth and St. Anthony.
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Understanding your property tax
Happy New Year 2016! May your new year be healthy,
prosperous, and filled with love and joy.
Don't forget: Don't drink and drive. Take a cab or, Metro
Transit has partnered up with Miller Lite and J.J. Taylor Distributing Company
of MN, Inc. to offer free
rides on New Year's Eve! No fares, no coupons – just hop on any Metro
Transit bus or light-rail train from 6 p.m. tonight through 3 a.m. on January
1. Celebrate safely and take Metro Transit to and from your New Year's Eve
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2016 Hennepin budget reflects service demands,
initiatives in child protection, elections
The Hennepin County Board voted December 15 to approve the
county’s 2016 budget of $1.9 billion. The budget includes a property tax levy
of $726.8 million, an increase of 4.48 percent over 2015. The budget reflects
increasing service demands across the county.
Some elements of the 2016 budget include:
A plan to
improve the safety of children in the county includes increasing critical staff
and reexamining current work practices.
county is updating existing voting equipment in preparation for national and
local elections in 2016.
and workforce initiatives
boomer-age employees retire, the Career Connections program identifies, trains
and hires qualified candidates for gateway county positions with opportunities
for additional education and advancement. County officials are committed to
sharing best practices with other employers in the region.
county and AFSCME, its largest union, have agreed on a series of contracts,
reflected in the budget, continues to incorporate competitive compensation and
benefits. They include an enhanced tuition reimbursement program, paid parental
leave, progressive health and life insurance and a new salary minimum of at
least $15 per hour. The measures are part of a larger effort to maintain
Hennepin County’s status as an employer of choice in the region, and to
maintain a high level of customer service to taxpayers.
increase in this year’s property tax levy follows several years of nearly flat
increases. With this budget, Hennepin County’s property tax levy has increased
by an average of 1.67 percent per year over the past five years.
budget demonstrates a commitment to solid fiscal priorities and
responsibilities that remain evident in more than three decades of AAA bond ratings,
according to Hennepin County Board Chair Jan Callison.
commissioners, we understand the enormous responsibility to be good stewards of
the taxpayers’ money,” Callison said. “I’m proud of the work we’ve done over
the past several months, culminating in the adoption of a budget that shows our
commitment to serving residents, improving lives and continuing to attract and
retain a talented workforce.”
budget adoption follows more than six months of budget preparation and hearings
focused on the county’s continued commitment to help residents to be healthy,
protected and safe, self-reliant, assured due process and mobile.
For more information
about the Hennepin County budget, visit www.hennepin.us.
Hearing set for Blue
Line Extension (Bottineau) preliminary design plans
On January 19, 2016, the Metropolitan Council, Hennepin
County Board of Commissioners and Hennepin County Regional Railroad Authority
will hold a joint public hearing at 6 p.m. for municipal approval of
preliminary design plans for the Blue Line Extension (Bottineau) Light Rail
Transit. The meeting will be held at Hennepin County’s Minneapolis Central
Library at 300 Nicollet Mall, Pohlad Hall, in Minneapolis. The meeting will
follow a public open house beginning at 5 p.m.
By early March 2016, the five corridor cities and the county
would need to act on plans for their jurisdictions. Each city and the county
will announce the dates, times and locations of their municipal consent
meetings on their websites.
more about the Blue Line Extension municipal consent process.
Services for people
Hennepin’s services help people with disabilities live in
their communities as independently as possible. Starting with disability
screenings and information sessions on community resources and county, state
and federal programs, Hennepin County can then help with short term service
planning and ongoing case management.
The Community Informational Sessions for Seniors and
People with Disabilities booklet has been updated with new dates, times and
locations. These sessions are free
and open to the public.
Community Informational Sessions are offered as a continuing
effort to keep families, clients and providers informed about service options
and application processes. Please visit services
for people with disabilities for more information.
Video link via Hennepin County.
Career Connections – Working for Hennepin
I am proud to say that Hennepin County is changing hiring
practices to better reflect the work that employees do and services our county
residents need. Through the Career Connections program, the county and its
partners guide people onto career paths that include training, work experience
and professional support once people are hired.
Jobs will be available in several areas, including human
services, information technology, health care, public works, customer service
and public safety.
Candidates can train for a good job while setting up for a
great future. With PPL’s human services training program, candidates build computer
and professional skills to prepare for positions such as human services
representative while getting hands-on experience through an internship with
Hennepin County. Candidates also earn credits from MCTC upon completion, giving
a head start on future academic and professional goals.
Eligibility requirements include: a High School diploma or
GED; strong computer skills; excellent customer service skills; multi-tasking
abilities in demanding environments. To apply, start by attending a one-hour
information session held every Monday at 9 a.m. at the PPL Learning Center.
For more information about Career Connections, training programs and
Hennepin County, visit hennepin.us/jobs/career-connections
or call 612-348-7473.
Hennepin named "Bicycle Friendly
Hennepin County is
the first Minnesota county to receive Bicycle Friendly Community silver status
from the League of American Bicyclists.
"This award acknowledges how far Hennepin County has
come in the past 25 years,” said Hennepin County Commissioner Peter McLaughlin.
“We couldn’t have dreamed of this much progress even a few years ago. Our
residents benefit from a robust bicycle network within Hennepin County that
also connects to our neighboring counties. We are fortunate to live in a
bicycling county and a bicycling region.”
Regional trails in
Hennepin County had more than 8.1 million trail visits in 2014 and more
than 8 million visits in 2013. Also, 1.8 percent of commuters primarily biked
to work in 2013. This compares to 0.8 percent across Minnesota and 0.6 percent
nationwide. The bicycle network includes buffered bike lanes, cycle tracks and
trails connecting the entire county.
Residents and visitors enjoy 651 miles of on-and
off-street bikeways in Hennepin County.
Hennepin County will continue to improve bicycling
conditions by making the system safer and more comfortable for all ages and
abilities, while continuing to expand the bikeway network.
for the Hennepin County bike map and riding tips.
26th Annual Dr.
Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Breakfast to feature Governor Deval Patrick
The General Mills Foundation and The United Negro College
Fund (UNCF) are pleased to present the 26th annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Holiday Breakfast. The breakfast is an opportunity to celebrate Dr. King’s
legacy of service and be inspired to live out his dream today in our homes, the
community and throughout the world.
This year’s keynote speaker is Deval Patrick, former Governor of Massachusetts
and Civil Rights Leader. He will provide powerful messages on this year’s
theme: “Civil and Right.”
There will also be entertainment this year with guests Voice
of Culture and Steven Daniels and Shiloh Baptist Church. Tickets and further information
are at mlkbreakfast.com.
New Suburb to Suburb transit service connects Plymouth, Maple
Grove, Hopkins, Eden Prairie, Minnetonka, and Shakopee
Route 494 is aimed at
increasing access to major employment and commercial centers throughout the
Twin Cities western suburbs.
The first ever Suburb to Suburb transit service will be
available to commuters in the cities of Plymouth, Maple Grove, Hopkins, Eden
Prairie and Shakopee beginning Jan. 19.
Route 494 will offer commuters the opportunity to ride the
bus between Shakopee’s Marschall Road Transit Station and Plymouth’s Station
73, with connecting service to and from the Maple Grove Transit Station. The
initiative is funded by the Minnesota Legislature and facilitated by the
Suburban Transit Association. The route is designed to demonstrate the success
of express bus service between suburbs.
The service plan includes 20 trips operating about every 30
minutes, in both northbound and southbound directions during the morning and
afternoon peak periods.
A local peak fare of $2.25 per trip will be charged on this
demonstration route. Transfers to local or other routes may include an
additional fee. All buses will be equipped with regional fare equipment and
will accept Go-To cards, Metropass, tokens, Stored Value cards and cash. Change
is not available. To obtain a schedule, call MVTA at 952-882-7500 or visit s2s494.com.
Be snow savvy on winter roads
Heading to work or school in the morning, it’s likely you
will travel on a county road. Hennepin County has more than 570 miles of them.
Some you might know simply by their number; others you may know as Broadway, Lowry
or Winnetka Avenues.
Keeping these county roads safe during the winter is our
priority. Plow drivers get regular refreshers in training and do dry runs of
their routes in the fall. When winter weather arrives, our primary goal is to
get lanes passable. We have 66 plow routes to cover all 2,200 lane miles of
county roads. During a typical storm, we are out clearing and de-icing starting
around 2 a.m. in order to help with a safe morning commute.
Working in shifts, our snow and ice removal team will stay
active until roads are clear. Then comes post-storm clean up, when we work to
clear everything from guardrail to shoulder. All in all, it can be a nearly
continuous effort for several days, and – in some instances – almost daily for
You have a role to play, too.
- Plan ahead for snow days – give yourself extra
- Know the road.
- Be patient – slow down and give plows room to
- Never use cruise control.
- Remember, just because a road is plowed, doesn’t
mean it’s okay to speed up. The de-icing materials crews on the road need time
to work. Learn more at www.hennepin.us/plowing.
Reminder: sign up for snow alerts...
... in Minneapolis, Golden Valley, and Plymouth. St. Anthony mandates that residents are not allowed to park on any street for a period of 48 hours, beginning immediately after two inches or more of continuous snow fall. Don't get towed!
announces retirement of Chief Stacy Carlson and new Chief
The City of Golden Valley has announced that Golden
Valley Police Chief Stacy Carlson will retire December 31, 2015, and
will be succeeded by current Police Commander Jason Sturgis, who will take the
helm January 1, 2016.
Carlson served Golden Valley as police chief for eight years. Chief Carlson expressed gratitude for “the tremendous support the community shows the
Jason Sturgis joined the Golden Valley Police
Department in 2004, and has held positions of progressive leadership as patrol
sergeant, detective sergeant, patrol lieutenant, and police commander.
See the full story at goldenvalleymn.gov.
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Solid Waste Enterprise
Fund grants expand recycling opportunities in public spaces
The board awarded eight grants totaling $97,786 to improve
recycling in public spaces. Grants were awarded to the cities of Bloomington,
Brooklyn Park, Minneapolis, New Hope, St. Bonifacius, St. Louis Park and Tonka
Bay and the University of Minnesota. The projects will add recycling
receptacles to parks and high-traffic pedestrian routes and expand organics
collections programs. The public space recycling program, established in 2014,
provides a financial incentive to municipalities and public entities to explore
new opportunities to reduce, reuse, recycle or compost waste. Up to $100,000
from the Solid Waste Enterprise Fund, which is funded by fees that waste
haulers pay to dispose of garbage generated by residents and businesses in the
county, is available annually for these grants.
more about the county’s public space recycling grants.
Negotiations authorized for Southwest Light
Rail trail crossings
The board authorized negotiations with the Metropolitan Council
to fund three trail grade-separated crossings adjacent to the Southwest LRT
(METRO Green Line Extension) route, in Hopkins and St. Louis Park. Construction
of the three trail grade-separated crossings will be incorporated and move
forward as part of the METRO Green Line Extension project. The county will
contribute up to $2.6 million. Three Rivers Park District will reimburse
Hennepin County $1.1 million for its share of the local construction
more about the proposed trail crossing projects.
Three Rivers Park District 2016 budget
The board reviewed and approved the Three Rivers Park District superintendent’s
proposed $35.9 million operating budget for 2016. The proposed budget reflects
an increase of 3.45 percent from 2015. The total budgeted property tax levy
including debt service is about $41.5 million, an increase of 0.66 percent over
more about the Three Rivers Park District budget.
Sentencing to Service Homes program contracts
The board approved two contracts for the Sentencing to Service
Homes program effective January 1 to December 31, 2016. This construction and
carpenter training program will receive as much as $225,000 from Greater
Metropolitan Housing Corporation (GMHC) and as much as $140,000 from Three
Rivers Park District, for STS Homes work crews to assist with home
rehabilitation, new home construction and other construction related projects
for both organizations. STS Homes has partnered with GMHC since 2007 and with
Three Rivers Park District since 2004. Program participants are men and women,
primarily Hennepin County residents, who are incarcerated in Minnesota
Correctional Facilities such as Lino Lakes and Stillwater, or who are on
probation in Hennepin County and participating in the Summit Academy OIC
Rehabilitation Technician Program. They are expected to be ready for
pre-apprenticeship, apprenticeship, or union-scale jobs once they complete the
more about the STS Homes program.
Plans move forward
for joint youth residential treatment facility with Ramsey County
The County Board agreed to proceed with plans for a joint
Hennepin-Ramsey County residential youth treatment center. Two existing residential
treatment centers, at the Hennepin County Home School and Ramsey County’s Boys
Totem Town, are in need of significant ongoing preservation and maintenance
efforts. For the past 18 months, the counties have worked toward creating a
joint facility replacement. The next phase will:
- Complete facility pre-design with an architectural consultant
- Finalize site requirements, develop site option descriptions and finalize site selection
- Finalize capacity, scope and staffing needs
- Complete project construction, project cost estimates and update project schedule
- Draft cooperative agreement and develop projected operating budget
- Arrange capital funding
The cost for a facility pre-design is expected to exceed
$50,000, to be shared equally between Hennepin and Ramsey Counties. Once a
consultant has been identified, further approval will be sought from the
respective county boards. This phase is expected to be accomplished in 12 to 14
months, at which time staff will be ready to seek final Board approval to begin
the construction process of the joint facility.
more about the joint treatment facility.
Authority budget approved
The county approved a $63 million budget for the Regional
Railroad Authority. The budget supports the following priority projects:
- The Southwest Light Rail Transit requires $33.1 million – as the project completes engineering and moves to construction
- The Bottineau Light Rail Transit requires $12.33 million as the project completes the project development phase and moves toward engineering
- The Orange Line Bus Rapid Transit requires $2.67 million for project development and property acquisition purposes
- The Hiawatha Light Rail requires $2.89 million for debt service
- The 2016 HCRRA budget includes $11.96 million for
maintenance of the 55 miles of corridor and staff support for transitways
and oversight of HCRRA's infrastructure assets and operational needs.
more about the Regional Railroad Authority's 2016 budget.
Labor agreements set
three-year contracts, minimum AFSCME wage at $15 an hour
The board approved six labor agreements with AFSCME Council
5, various locals. The three-year agreements cover approximately 4,000
employees from the clerical, social services, probation/parole, legal, adult
corrections and professional units. Prominent provisions of this agreement
include modifications to wages and differential pay, merit steps, market
adjustments, health insurance and the union dental plan. The agreements also
ensure that members of the county’s largest union are paid a minimum of $15 an
The agreements reflect that everything
we do each day is dependent on our greatest asset - the dedicated, skilled and
hardworking Hennepin County staff that deliver a multitude of critical
about the labor agreements with AFSCME.
Youth Sports Program
grants will fund playgrounds, sports facilities
The County Board awarded 39 Youth Sports Grants for projects
throughout Hennepin County, including a $200,000 facilities project for a new
adaptive softball field and universal access playground in Plymouth and $150,000
to remodel and install new equipment at the North High School fitness center. The
board approved 14 large facilities projects in the amount of $1,815,000, and
25 small equipment grants totaling $125,000, including four glass
basketball blackboards for indoor courts at Sandburg Learning Center, portable
soccer goals at Edison High School, and baseball, badminton and track and field
equipment at North High School. The Hennepin Youth Sports Grant program
provides substantial support to local communities throughout the county.
Search the list
of 2016 Youth Sports Grant projects.
Grant offers program
oversight for people in long-term homelessness
The board agreed to accept a $5.7 million two-year grant
from the Minnesota Department of Human Services to oversee supportive housing
programs for people who have experienced long-term homelessness, and families
who are at risk of long-term homelessness. Hennepin County has been designated
as lead agency and fiscal agency for a multi-county collaboration. As part of
the ongoing plan to end long-term homelessness, the county will work with St.
Paul-based Hearth Connection to provide supports across county boundaries,
training to service providers, client monitoring and tracking, data collection
and reporting and connections for clients to permanent supportive housing.
about the supportive housing proposal.
Study to assess
contracted food support programs
The board agreed to support a study of current contracted
food support programs, to look for opportunities for increased efficiency,
effectiveness and maximum accessibility. Currently, the county works with six
providers that provide emergency food support; in all, 80 programs provide food
support in the county. The Human Services Department will report back to the
board with recommendations by July 1, 2016.
more about the food support study.
Hearing set for Blue
Line Extension preliminary design plans
The board established a joint public hearing with the
Metropolitan Council and the Hennepin County Regional Railroad Authority, for
municipal approval of preliminary design plans for the Blue Line Extension
(Bottineau) Light Rail Transit. The hearing will be held Tuesday, January 19, 6
p.m., at Hennepin County Library—Minneapolis Central, 300 Nicollet Mall. The
hearing will be preceded by a public open house beginning at 5 p.m. (see story
more about the Blue Line Extension hearing.
Information about County board meetings - including agendas,
minutes, and viewing information - is online at hennepin.us/your-government/leadership/county-board-meetings.
Look for more news on the Hennepin County
website at hennepin.us/news.
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Thursday, January 14 through Saturday, January 16, 7pm and Sunday, January 17, 4pm
"Terra Nova." Staged outside in a performance tent. Winter theatre experience, about discovery and courage in Antarctica, tells the story of Robert Falcon Scott’s journey to the South Pole in 1911-1912. $25. For tickets, visit heronowtheatre.org or call 612-789-2087.
St. Anthony Village Central Park
3400 Silver Lake Road, St. Anthony
Thursday, December 31, 9pm
New Years Eve 80's Disco Ball. Dj dance party, drink specials, complimentary champagne and more. Free disco danger sleigh rides from 9pm-10pm. For tickets, visit dangernye.brownpapertickets.com.
Betty Danger's Country Club
2501 Marshall Street NE, Minneapolis
Tuesday, January 12, 7pm
Winter Choir Concert. Free.
Edison High School Auditorium
700 22nd Avenue NE, Minneapolis
Wednesday, January 13, 7pm
Band Concert. Free.
Edison High School Auditorium
700 22nd Avenue NE, Minneapolis
Saturday, January 16, 10am-2pm
Northeast Winter Market. Local food vendor and artisans, music and children's activities. For more information, visit northeastmarket.org.
Solar Arts Building
711 15th Avenue NE, Minneapolis
Tuesday, January 12 through March 1, 6-9pm
Citizens' Police Academy. This is a community education multi-night event featuring presentations from various local government. For more information and to register, visit goldenvalleymn.gov or call 763-593-8079.
Golden Valley Public Safety Building
7800 Golden Valley Road, Golden Valley
Saturday, January 16, 10am
Fat Bike Snow Race. Winter trail riding and racing. For more information and to register, visit brookviewgolf.com.
Brookview Golf Course
200 Brookview Pkwy, Golden Valley
Friday, January 22, 6-8pm
Winter Family Festival. Sledding, ice skating, hayrides, hot chocolate, bonfire and marshmallow roasting. Free.
8305 Wesley Drive, Golden Valley
Saturday, January 9 and Sunday January 10
Plymouth Lions Midwinter Convention. For more information, visit plymouthlions.org.
Hilton Doubletree Hotel
7800 Normandale Blvd, Bloomington
Thursday, January 14, 6:30pm
Plymouth Lions Dinner Meeting
Medicine Lake City Hall
10609 S Shore Drive, Medicine Lake
Wednesday, January 27, 7pm
Plymouth Lions Business Meeting
Plymouth Library Conference room
15700 36th Avenue N, Plymouth
Thursday, December 31, 6-9pm
New Year's Eve Event. Ring in the new year with ice skating, crafts, face painting, entertainment, swimming, inflatables, food, games and open gym time. $10 per person, if pre-registered by 4:30 p.m. December 31. $13 at the door. No cost for children younger than age 2. To register, call 763-509-5200 or visit plymouthmn.gov.
Plymouth Ice Center
3650 Plymouth Blvd, Plymouth
Tuesday, January 5, 11am to noon
Walk with a Doc. Each month a different doctor will lead a 45 minute walk that is open to all Plymouth community members.
Plymouth Creek Center Fieldhouse
14800 34th Avenue N, Plymouth
Friday, January 22, 5-8pm
Skate with the Mayor. Free family fun and tasty treats.
Parkers Lake Warming House
County Road 6 and Niagara Lane, Plymouth
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