News from Hennepin County


December 2014



Marion Greene
Commissioner, 3rd District

Ray Hoover
Principal Aide

Pam Fahlstrom
Administrative Assistant


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

3rd District map

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Volunteer opportunities for 2015 are up!
Apply by December 31, or visit Citizen Advisory Boards for more information about the county board appointment process.

Atrium pool funds
I was allowed to designate a charity to receive the funds collected in the atrium pool for April, May, and June of 2015. I chose Think Small, whose mission is to advance quality care and education of children in their crucial early years.

Hennepin County to host meeting on storm water pollution prevention program

Hennepin County will host an informal public meeting on the county’s storm water pollution prevention program (SWPPP) from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, December 3, at the county’s Public Works Facility, 1600 Prairie Drive, Medina.

The SWPPP is essentially a storm water management program that is comprised of best management practices in support of defined control measures. An advance copy is available by calling 612-596-0299


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







Thanksgiving greetings!

This is a time of year to reflect on the gifts in our lives, and for me one of the biggest gifts is the opportunity to serve you. Thank you for that honor.

I hope you have a happy and safe Thanksgiving weekend.

My best,


Commissioners proclaim Safe Sleep Week

The board proclaimed November 16-22 Safe Sleep Week. The proclamation is part of a state-wide effort dedicated to the well-being of children. One of the leading factors in infant deaths in Minnesota is unsafe sleep practices which can cause infants to suffocate in bed. These deaths are nearly always preventable. Parents, families, child-care providers and hospitals can employ safe sleep practices by putting infants to sleep on their backs in a safety-approved crib that is free of blankets, pillows, bumper pads, stuffed animals and toys and is in a smoke-free environment. 


Board appoints Commissioners to Southwest Light Rail Transit Executive Change Control Board

The board, acting as the Hennepin County Regional Railroad Authority, appointed Commissioner Jan Callison to serve on the Southwest Light Rail Transit Executive Change Control Board and Commissioner Marion Greene as an alternate. Commissioners will be responsible for approving all change orders, project requirements, contracts and contract cost increases of $250,000 or more, as well as changes to the project schedule that will delay the revenue service date. They will also approve the use of contingency funds for all scope deferrals and Locally Requested Capital Investments costing $75,000 or more and review, at regular intervals, all change orders less than $250,000. 


Hennepin County seeks comments on pedestrian accessibility plan

Hennepin County is seeking input on its draft plan to support accessibility for pedestrians on its road network. The document, called the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Transition Plan, presents current practices and policies that relate to accessibility, and identifies an inventory of existing county road network facilities supporting accessibility at intersections. 

The plan details Hennepin County’s evaluation of its road network and identifies the transition plan to bring the county into full compliance with the ADA. It also ties into broader efforts to support healthy communities that include motorists, cyclists, transit users and pedestrians.

The plan can be viewed online, and printed copies are available at all 41 Hennepin County libraries, the Hennepin County Government Center in Minneapolis, and at the county’s public works facility in Medina. Public comment runs through December 31. For more information, click here.


National Adoption Day celebrated at Hennepin County

On National Adoption Day November 22nd, 41 Hennepin County children and 27 families embarked on a new chapter in their lives together. Adoption Day was a time for celebration at the Juvenile Justice Center, as parents and children came together in a finalization hearing before a district court judge.

Adoptive parents are people who want to grow their own families, or who want to be a positive force for children in their communities. Many are foster parents. Others are stepping forward to help members of their own families. Others have only recently met the children who they will be parenting. They are single people, married couples and domestic partners, same-sex, straight, of all races and ethnicities. What they all share is room for a child in their hearts and their homes.

For more information about adoption in Hennepin County, click here.


Human Services Center opens in Hopkins

Hennepin County celebrated the grand opening of its fourth regional human services center in downtown Hopkins. on Thursday, November 13.Officials and community members celebrated and toured the new offices. 

Hennepin County human services staff members have been working at the site since mid-October, acclimating to a new address and a new way of business that allows clients to complete a broader needs assessment, apply for assistance and get referrals to other services, including those of local community agencies and faith groups.

The new site is only one part of a larger plan to expand human services access from a concentration of offices in downtown Minneapolis, to six sites, spread across the county and closer to where residents live, work and attend school. 

Three other human services offices already are in operation, in Brooklyn Center, Bloomington and North Minneapolis. Two more openings, for offices serving central and northeast Minneapolis and south Minneapolis, are planned for 2015 and 2016.

Public hearing on Dec. 16 on the issuance of bonds on behalf of Ebenezer York Assisted Living, LLC

The board will hold a public hearing on Tuesday, December 16 at 1:30 p.m. regarding the issuance of bonds on behalf of Ebenezer York Assisted Living, LLC and Ebenezer Society. The bond request is to refinance original revenue obligations from 2009 for the York Gardens Assisted Living Facility. Reissuing the bonds would allow York Gardens Assisted Living Facility to refinance at a lower interest rate.

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Hennepin County profile


To learn more about the work of Hennepin County, we've started a profile series with county employees who live in District 3. Each month will spotlight a person from varying departments and occupations.

Thatcher Imboden

Thatcher Imboden is a Transit-oriented Development Program Manager in the Housing, Community Works, and Transit department at Hennepin County. Click here to find out more about how Thatcher helps make Hennepin County tick.

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Board meeting highlights


November 18

County recycles more than 554,000 gallons of household hazardous wastes

Through the county’s household hazardous waste collection program residents can drop off household hazardous wastes (HHW) such as chemicals and paint, as well as problem materials such as appliances, electronics and tires. Residents can bring these materials to two facilities, located in Bloomington and Brooklyn Park or at special collection events held in various municipalities. BFI Waste Systems provides staffing and supplies and materials to prepare and package waste for shipment to recycling or disposal facilities. The board renewed the agreement with BFI Waste Systems of North America to provide these services through 2019. The board also amended a contract with Materials Processing Corporation to recycle electronics. In 2013, BFI served 113,000 residents at the facilities and event collections. The HHW and problem materials programs have been very successful, collecting 554,000 gallons of HHW and over 4,700 tons of problem materials in 2013. 

Board calls on congress to fund the Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting program

The board called on congress to fully fund the Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) program for federal fiscal year 2015. The program facilitates collaboration and partnership at the federal, state and community levels to improve the health of at-risk children through evidence-based home visiting programs. MIECHV also supports pregnant women and families and helps parents of children from birth to age 5 access resources and develop skills they need to raise children who are physically, socially and emotionally healthy and ready to learn. 

A 2005 RAND Corporation study found that for every dollar local governments invest in evidence-based home visiting programs, they save as much as $5.70 in reduced educational and supportive services costs. The county’s targeted home visiting program has provided screenings to more than 72 high-risk children and made referrals for additional services for more than 40 families in the program's first five months of operation. Federal funding will help supplement Hennepin County's program investment in expanding the number of screening sites and community partnerships to better serve at-risk children. 

South Minneapolis Regional Service Center and other development planned at Hiawatha Avenue and Lake Street East in Minneapolis

The board approved the transfer of $54.5 million to the Hennepin County Housing and Redevelopment Authority (HCHRA) for the acquisition, development and construction of the South Minneapolis Regional Human Services Center at Hiawatha Avenue and Lake Street East. The majority of the property is currently owned by Minneapolis Public Schools. The construction of the building and parking facility is part of a plan to strategically place human services centers thereby improving access to services for county residents. An additional request for land acquisition, land sales and leasing of property was approved by the Hennepin County Housing and Redevelopment Authority. 

County receives state aid to fight aquatic invasive species 

The county will receive an estimated $471,500 from the state to slow the spread of aquatic invasive species (AIS). The county will use the funds to provide grants to cities, watersheds, park districts and lake associations, improve education at lake access points, train volunteers to be early detectors, deploy rapid response protocols and enhance enforcement of AIS laws.

County to receive funding for housing improvements 

The county will receive $120,000 over the next three years to administer Minnesota Department of Health Healthy Homes grants. This will provide $40,000 a year to continue providing home assessments for health and safety hazards and provide supplies to address hazards like asthma triggers or trips and falls. Homes with additional needs may be eligible for additional funding from the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency. The county will also receive a $101,250 grant from Minnesota Housing Finance Agency to assist in constructing up to 25 modular ramps and/or low-rise steps for low- and moderate-income homeowners. 

Board approved 2015 special levies for watershed management commissions 

Bassett Creek, Shingle Creek, West Mississippi and Elm Creek watershed management commissions requested special levies for water quality improvement projects in their districts. The special levies will fund projects that improve the water quality and stream habitat of Bassett Creek; improve the water quality of Bass Lake, Elm Creek, and the Mississippi River; and support cost-share projects to improve the quality of water resources in the Shingle Creek and West Mississippi watersheds.

The Bassett Creek Watershed Management Commission requested a special levy to restore 1.8 miles of the main stem of the creek to improve water quality and stream habitat. The Shingle Creek Watershed Management Commission requested a special levy for a water quality project in Plymouth and to support small cost-share projects throughout the watershed. The West Mississippi Watershed Management Commission requested support for a cost-share program, which will implement small water quality projects throughout the watershed. The Elm Creek Watershed Management Commission has requested a special levy for two water quality improvement projects: one in Medina, to reduce sediment in Elm Creek and another in Champlin to restore the stream edge below Mill Pond Dam.

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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.

December 4
Mentally Ill and Dangerous
HCMC Ambulatory Outpatient Specialty Care Clinic

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