County board actions: Joint treatment facility, 2016 county budget, labor contracts

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Contact: Carolyn Marinan, Communications, 612-348-5969


County board actions

Votes Tuesday move forward joint treatment facility, approve the 2016 county budget, establish supportive housing programs and food support study

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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.

Learn more about the joint treatment facility.

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2016 county budget gets approval

The County Board voted Tuesday 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 the significant level of service demands across the county. 

Learn more about the 2016 county budget and property tax levy.


Regional Railroad 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. 

Learn more about the Regional Railroad Authority's 2016 budget.


Labor agreement sets 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 hour.

Learn 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 ranging from a $225,000 baseball field complex in Minneapolis  to a $1,000 disc golf course in Champlin. The board approved 14 large facilities projects in the amount of $1,815,000, and 25 small equipment grants totaling $125,000. 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.

Learn 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.

Learn 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.

Learn more about the Blue Line Extension hearing.


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