March 2016 E-Newsletter

Serving Deephaven, northern Eden Prairie, Edina, Excelsior, Greenwood, Hopkins, Long Lake, Minnetonka, Minnetonka Beach, northern Mound, Orono, Shorewood, Spring Park, Tonka Bay, Wayzata and Woodland.

March 2016


Jan Callison
6th District

Allyson Lueneburg
Principal Aide

Becky Westergren
Administrative Assistant


The Hennepin County Board of Commissioners consists of one commissioner from each of seven districts. I am proud to represent Deephaven, north Eden Prairie, Edina, Excelsior, Greenwood, Hopkins, Long Lake, Minnetonka, Minnetonka Beach, northern Mound, Orono, Shorewood, Spring Park, Tonka Bay, Wayzata and Woodland.

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Callison 2013 district map


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County departments, agencies & other entities

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Hennepin County Medical Center

Hennepin volunteers

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Phone directory

Service Center information

Southwest light rail

Understanding your property tax

County Road 15 crosswalk enhancements in Wayzata

This past year, Hennepin County Transportation formed a Pedestrian Safety Committee to review requests that come in from county residents. 

A request was made to examine the crosswalk that crosses CR 15 (Shoreline Drive) between Tanager Lake and Browns Bay. 

The Committee agreed that additional enhancements were needed and the best solution would be a Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacon (RRFB).

RRFB's are user-activated beacons that supplement warning signs at un-signalized intersections or mid-block crosswalks.  They are activated by pedestrians manually by a push button and use an irregular flash pattern that is similar to emergency flashers on emergency vehicles. 

Installation will take place Spring 2016. 

Project Child

Project Child is a county operated program that helps women who are using harmful substances while they are pregnant.  The goal of the program is to help these women deliver drug free babies and to stabilize their lives so they can keep their babies outside of the child protection system.

The Project Child model of care requires strong partnerships with local medical and treatment providers and has been recognized for its innovation, its strong collaboration and most importantly for its successful client outcomes.

Please take a moment to view a video highlighting the Project Child program.

Southwest Light Rail Station Video

Please take a moment to watch the recently completed Southwest station video for Eden Prairie.  The video really highlights the importance of Southwest Light Rail to the residents and businesses of Eden Prairie.

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I hope you are enjoying my electronic newsletters, and find them interesting and informative about county activities. In addition to my monthly newsletter, the county sends various newsletters and notifications available by email or text message. To explore the many opportunities to subscribe or to change your preferences, visit the subscription webpage.

Please feel free to send me your comments through my feedback form on issues that concern you or you would like covered. I value your opinions.

Warm regards,

Jan Callison

Board meetings

February 9, 2016

Grants awarded to clean up contaminated sites

The board awarded eight Environmental Response Fund grants totaling $1.2 million to fund asbestos and lead paint abatement and contaminated soil assessment and cleanup at contaminated sites where the added environmental costs hinder site improvements or redevelopment. Environmental Response Fund grants support a variety of projects that promote economic development by increasing the tax base, creating permanent jobs, enhancing greenspace and developing affordable housing.

The following projects were awarded:

  • City of Golden Valley: $152,000 for contaminated soil cleanup at the DeCola Ponds Project, to construct new stormwater management structures in a flood-prone area.
  • City of Lakes Community Land Trust: $115,000 for asbestos and lead paint abatement associated with the renovation of four houses that will be owner-occupied, affordable housing.
  • City of Mound Housing and Redevelopment Authority: $390,982 for asbestos and lead paint abatement associated with the renovation of affordable rental housing units at Indian Knoll Manor.
  • City of St. Louis Park: $50,000 for contaminated soil cleanup associated with the expansion of an outdoor recreation center.
  • Hennepin County Resident and Real Estate Services: $250,000 to demolish hazardous and contaminated buildings on the tax-forfeited former Universal Plating facility site in Minneapolis.
  • Minnesota Brownfields, countywide: $200,000 to continue the Brownfields Gap Financing Program, which provides small environmental assessment grants to municipalities and nonprofit organizations.
  • Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board: $50,000 for disposal of contaminated soil that will be excavated during construction of a walking and biking  trail on the east bank of the Mississippi River in northeast Minneapolis.
  • Perspectives, Inc.: $61,000 for contaminated soil cleanup associated with development of a new parking lot that will facilitate the expansion of Perspective’s adjacent family center.

Read more about the Environmental Response Fund process and grantees.

Funding increase to help Public Health Clinic work to prevent HIV spread

The board agreed to an amendment to an agreement with the Minnesota Department of Health, that increases a grant for HIV health education and risk reduction services by $226,928. The total grant to the Hennepin County Public Health Clinic now is $1.1 million over five years. In Minnesota, approximately 7,200 people have been diagnosed with HIV; about 4,000 of them live in Hennepin County. The Hennepin County Public Health Clinic is the largest STD/HIV testing and counseling site in Minnesota, diagnosing more STDs/HIV than any other single site in the state.

Read more about the Public Health Clinic’s work to stop the spread of HIV.

Federal legislative platform approved

The board approved the 2016 federal legislative platform asking the Minnesota members of Congress to support the county’s transportation, health and human services, HCMC, criminal justice and housing and community development requests. 

Read the summary of Hennepin County's federal legislative platform.

Agendas and minutes of action taken by the Hennepin County Board are posted under Hennepin County meetings and agendas. For greater detail on the above agenda items and additional board actions, visit county news releases.

Board briefings

In addition to our regularly scheduled board meetings, the board often meets on Thursday mornings to receive board briefings. These are informal opportunities to discuss emerging issues. No decisions are made. Board briefings occur in the board room on the 24th floor of the Hennepin County Government Center and are open to the public.

February 3, 2016

Detox/Crisis Stabilization

County staff proposes changes to the detox program in order to improve services and reduce reliance upon property taxes.  Demand for beds exceeds supply and overflow populations are handled in more expensive settings such as hospitals, jails and shelters.    The model proposed by staff is two levels of care that would reduce the average length of stay for clients and that should qualify for funding from Medical Assistance and Prepaid Medical Assistance Programs, displacing current property tax support.  Staff is also proposing to expand capacity by increasing the number of beds at the County’s detox facility at 1800 Chicago Ave.

In addition, county staff proposes to develop more capacity in the area of mental health crisis stabilization.  This is an area that provides “short term residential supervision, observation and support for people who do not require intensive inpatient psychiatric care.”  Staff proposes adding 16 beds at 1800 Chicago to service chronic, untreated, homeless clients who are diverted from hospitals and jails.  Services would be funded through state and local dollars and, in the future, through Medical Assistance.

As proposed by staff, occupancy of these new facilities would occur in the fall of 2017.

February 11, 2016

Asset Management (Transportation)

The purpose of this briefing was three-fold:  share national trends in the area of asset management, provide an overview of transportation’s physical assets, and illustrate how data discovery and integration are being used to manage county assets.  Staff has developed and reviewed asset management approaches in the areas of pavement, wheelage tax, bridges, drainage, traffic, and roadside assets such as guardrails, retaining walls.  As next steps, it anticipates prioritizing assets focusing on pavement, bridges and drainage; performing pavement program analysis and advancing pavement management; and performing bridge maintenance and preservation analysis, as well as other measures.

February 25, 2016

Roles and responsibilities of the County Board and communication in an emergency

This briefing covered three topics:  the statutory responsibility of the Board in emergency situations; lessons learned from emergency situations and responses; and an update of policy changes and technology enhancements. 

County calendar

March 5 and 6, 2016

Register now for free open data code-a-thon event, Geo:Code 2.0

Geo:Code 2.0 will connect civic-minded community members with geographers and technologists to create solutions that improve public services, give residents better access to government data and make a difference in Twin Cities communities. The event is free and open to people with all backgrounds, skills and ideas.

    The event is scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, March 5 and 6 from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the University of Minnesota Robert H. Bruininks Hall, Room 412 (222 Pleasant Street SE, Minneapolis)

    Event organizers want to generate a cross section of coders, cartographers, data visualizers, designers, developers, dreamers, makers, mappers, students and technologists. 

    Participants may stop in for a single workshop or stay for the entire two-day event. Space is limited, so organizers ask all attendees to register in advance.

    March 8, 2016

    Issuance of capital improvement debt

    The Budget and Capital Investment Committee set a hearing to gather public comment on the proposed issuance of up to $200 million in aggregate principal amount of general obligation bonds of the county for the purpose of financing new capital improvements.

    The hearing will be held during the committee’s meeting on Tuesday, March 8, at 1:30 p.m., in room A-2400 of the Hennepin County Government Center, 300 South 6th Street, Minneapolis.

    March 12, 2016

    Fix-It Clinics

    Get free, guided assistance from handy volunteers on disassembling, troubleshooting and repairing small household appliances, clothing, electronics, mobile devices and more at an upcoming Fix-It Clinic.

    Saturday, March 12 from noon to 4 p.m. at Interfaith Outreach and Community Partners in Plymouth

    More events are scheduled in upcoming months:

    Saturday, April 23 from noon to 4 p.m. at Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Rec Center in south Minneapolis

    Saturday, May 14 from noon to 4 p.m. at the Gramercy Park Cooperative in Richfield

    Volunteer fixers who have skills in electrical, mechanical or electronics repair, wood working, sewing or general tinkering are essential to making the clinics successful. For more information or to volunteer, contact Nancy Lo at or 612-348-9195.