Hennepin Report




Please do not reply to this newsletter email. Use my contact information to tell me about your concerns or issues:

Peter McLauglin
Commissioner, 4th District

Brian Shekleton
Principal Aide

Dorothy Rucker



This district serves parts of east and downtown Minneapolis, and Fort Snelling.


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Dear friends, 

We celebrate July 4th because some of our forefathers did not like the way their tax dollars were used.  As we approach this holiday I need you to express your thoughts and opinions on some policy debates that will have long-term consequences for our infrastructure.  

The Hennepin County Board, representing 22% of Minnesota's population, will will take public testimony on Tuesday, July 9th at or near 1:30 about a proposed $10 wheelage tax on vehicles in Hennepin County. This wheelage tax would raise $9 million, jump-start needed road and bridge projects, and provide property tax relief.  If you have an opinion about this, please join us on Tuesday, July 9th or email me at commissioner.mclaughlin@co.hennepin.mn.us

Speaking of celebrating a value espoused by our forefathers, equality in this case, Hennepin County is now processing marriage applications for same-sex couples who want to marry on or after August 1st.  I am proud to help implement this crucial step towards equality for everyone. 

Please have a safe July 4th!

Peter McLaughlin signature

How to get married on Aug 1st

1) Schedule an appointment online before July 27 to get a license.

2) Pay $115 license fee, $40 with 12 hours of premarital counseling.

3) Wait 5 days before license is valid.


Hennepin County service centers began accepting marriage license applications from same-sex couples on June 6, pursuant to state law and Hennepin County Board resolution.

For those same-sex couples interested in getting married on Aug. 1, the county recommends completing an application by July 27, because of the mandatory five-day waiting period between the time people apply for a marriage license and the date the license is valid. Marriage licenses are valid for six months from the issuing date, e.g. Aug. 1 to Jan. 31, 2014.

Same-sex couples may begin the application process online or show up to any of the county’s service centers and fill out an application form. Couples who schedule an appointment in advance will also be served as quickly as possible upon arriving at their designated service center.

For those same-sex couples who already married in another state, the law does not allow someone to enter into a new marriage or “remarry” in Minnesota, but the state will recognize same sex marriages that occurred in other states starting Aug. 1.

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Minnehaha Ave Redesign Ideas

Open Houses - July 11th and July 17th

Meetings will be held at the Minnehaha Communion Lutheran Church., 4101 37th Avenue South, from 5 -7 p.m. on Thursday, July 11, and Wednesday, July 17.

Hiawatha Options

Hennepin County is coordinating with the City of Minneapolis to rebuild Minnehaha Avenue from Lake St. south to 46th St. There are two design concepts currently considered for this project and the county would like input from the public on the two options.  Both design options narrow the driving and parking lanes to slow down traffic to create a safe street while maintaining it as a thoroughfare. 

One design option would install a buffered bike lane and will eliminate approximately 50 trees and 50 parking spots.  The other option would create a cycle track bike lane separated from the road and would eliminate approximately 100 trees and 100 parking spots.

There will be two public meetings in July, followed by additional meetings in September. County staff will respond to public comments and make changes to the layouts as appropriate before presenting them to the Minneapolis City Council for approval.

Construction of the project is expected to begin in 2015 and extend through two construction seasons, finishing up in 2016. For more information, visit www.hennepin.us/minnehaha.

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Wheelage Tax

Proposal to Jump Start Hennepin County Transportation System

Minnesota state statute now allows for counties to implement a wheelage tax of up to ten dollars per vehicle. To date, Hennepin County has not implemented the wheelage tax to fund road and bridge projects.

A wheelage tax of $10 per vehicle in Hennepin County could raise approximately $9 million a year for the county road systems. The wheelage tax serves as a fee-based way to improve and repair county roads and bridges without raising property taxes.

“This money could jump start our road system and help get it back into high-quality shape, improve safety, save energy, and provide better movement on county roads,” said Hennepin County Commissioner Peter McLaughlin. “This could also be used to reduce property taxes currently going into the road system.”

Property taxes would be reduced as capital improvements, maintenance and operational needs are aggressively fixed.  This proposal would preserve our system by integrating high benefit / low cost safety improvements.  It would also yield better pavement within 5 years, instead of the current 10 year time frame.  LED bulbs would be installed in intersections to reduce electric costs and extend the life of the bulbs.  Signalized intersections on the county network would be synchronized:  every $1 Hennepin County spends on this will benefit the County $28 in fuel consumption, delay time, and air quality.

The county has more than 2,200 lane miles of paved roads. It costs $8.6 million per year to repair 140 road lane miles. The county also maintains 450 signals in suburban communities and 329 signals in Minneapolis as well as five flashing signals. There are 147 county bridges and 72 of those are more than 35 years old. Bridge replacement averages about $3 million and $300 thousand for maintenance.

Public testimony will be taken on Tuesday, July 9th at or near 1:30 PM in the Public Works, Energy & Environment Committee chaired by Commissioner McLaughlin.