News from District 3


February 2015



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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Hennepin County Citizens Academy registration now open

Registration begins today for the Hennepin County Citizens Academy. This seven-session course is free and open to the public and is designed to give residents an overview of the county’s role and how we do our work. Participants must be at least 18. 

Citizens Academy participants learn about county services, interact face-to-face with county leaders and elected officials, and get behind-the-scenes tours of facilities – including a public safety facility, library, and the public works facility. 

For more information or to register for the academy, click hereRegistration ends Feb. 23 or when the session fills.

Volunteers sought for vacancies on Minnehaha Creek Watershed District Board

The Hennepin County Board of Commissioners is accepting applications for two vacancies on the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District Board. This board coordinates the management of water and related land resources in the watershed that drains into Lake Minnetonka and Minnehaha Creek.

The deadline for applications is February 19 with interviews to be held at the following board committee meeting. For more information, click here

Volunteers sought for vacancies on Workforce Investment Board

The Hennepin County Board of Commissioners is seeking applicants for seven vacancies on the Hennepin County Workforce Investment Board.

The board develops and studies programs to provide jobs for unemployed people by increasing the involvement of the business community in employment and training. 

The deadline for applications is February 19 with interviews to be held at the following board committee meeting. For more information, click here


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







I hope the District 3 newsletter serves as a resource for connecting to Hennepin County activities and staying updated on county news and services. Visit our website to find more ways to connect with the county.  

Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns.  I value your opinions. 

My best,




Board elects leadership

At the board's 2015 organizational meeting on January 6th, Commissioner Jan Callison was elected chair of the Hennepin County Board of Commissioners. She is the first new board chair in almost two decades, and the second woman to serve as chair.

The board also elected Commissioner Linda Higgins, 2nd District to serve as vice chair of the board. This is the first time the board chair and vice chair have both been women. 

I was reelected chair of the Health and Human Services committee, and look forward to continuing my work.

The board, acting as the Hennepin County Regional Railroad Authority (HCRRA), re-elected Commissioner Peter McLaughlin as chair and Commissioner Jan Callison as vice chair of the HCRRA.

Other committee chair assignments are as follows:

  • Budget & Capital Investment: Randy Johnson
  • Public Works, Energy & Environment: Mike Opat
  • Public Safety & Judiciary: Jeff Johnson
  • Libraries, Technology & General Government: Peter McLaughlin
  • Intergovernmental: Linda Higgins and Peter McLaughlin (co-chairs)

Community update on SWLRT objectives for 2015

On January 21st, I co-hosted a community update on SWLRT at the Kenwood Rec Center to provide a sketch of what 2015 will look like in terms of project goals and opportunities for community input. The event was co-sponsored by the Cedar Isles Dean Neighborhood Association (CIDNA), the Cedar Lake Park Association (CLPA), and the Kenwood Isles Area Association (KIAA).

The Southwest Project Office, the City of Minneapolis, and Hennepin County Community Works presented timelines of work to be accomplished in the coming year and opportunities for the public to get involved.

Nearly 70 people attended, and my hope is to repeat this meeting as needed to provide more clarity to the community on projects as they unfold.

Hennepin County is hosting its first open data event - and we want your ideas

Hennepin County is hosting its first open data event called Geo:Code. From February 21-22, 2015, the open data event will connect geographers and technology developers with civically minded community members to collaborate on the use of technology and data to effect change.

This is a great opportunity to have your voice heard - so use this site to submit ideas, vote on existing ideas, or add comments to existing ideas to be worked on during Geo: Code.

For more information or to sign up, click here.

be well

Hennepin County Be Well Clinic ribbon cutting

On January 6, 2015, the Be Well Clinic celebrated the grand opening of its new location at the 701 building.

This represents the expansion of an important benefit that Hennepin County offers, full-service health care for our employees in close proximity to where many of them work.

The new, 3,000 square foot space includes six examination rooms, and access to primary care, an onsite pharmacy, and integrative healthcare services including chiropractic and acupuncture.

We are thankful for Hennepin County Medical Center clinic staff, and the collaboration that makes this amenity available to our employees. 

Birth rates decrease by 15 percent for teenagers in Hennepin County

The number of Hennepin County teenagers who gave birth dropped significantly in 2013, continuing a downward trend that started in 2007. Hennepin County's 15 percent decline in 2013 compares to a 9 percent decrease statewide, and a national drop of 10 percent.

"Our young people are making smart decisions, thanks to a lot of support from a range of community partners. But we need to remember that every year, more children become teens, and they need all of these supports as well. Now is not the time to let our guard down,” said Katherine Meerse, manager of Better Together Hennepin, the county's teen pregnancy prevention initiative. 

Among other factors, Hennepin County officials point to successful programs that divert teenagers from risky behaviors or aim to help them stay safe and healthy once they become sexually active. 
For more information about Hennepin County's work to prevent teen pregnancy and a broader look at the impact of teen parenthood in the county, visit the Better Together Hennepin web page.

Hennepin County recognizes businesses for leadership in recycling

Hennepin County is pleased to recognize its 2014 Environmental Partners for their leading efforts to recycle and divert organic waste from the trash through composting, sending food scraps to local farmers to feed animals, or by donating edible food. By creating and sustaining strong recycling programs, these 40 businesses help conserve natural resources, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and support the local economy.

Nearly 40 percent of all recognized environmental partners are in District 3. Thank you and congratulations to all of Hennepin County's 2014 Environmental Partners. To find out more, check out the Environmental Partners Directory on Hennepin County's Website.

Hennepin County Youth Sports equipment grants available

The 2015 Hennepin County Youth Sports Spring Equipment grant cycle is now open. Consider applying for the spring round of the Hennepin County Youth Sports equipment grants if your organization needs things like field maintenance equipment, nets or backboards. Applications are due by 4 p.m. on Monday, February 23.

A youth sports organization must have a local government unit, such as a city, school district or park district, apply for the grant. The local government unit pledges to act as a fiscal agent for the grant and agrees to ensure the grant is used for its intended purpose. For more information, visit the Minnesota Amateur Sports Commission’s grant program page.

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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.

Last month, the link was omitted from the newsletter, so we're giving it another shot.

Mikkel Beckmen

Mikkel Beckmen is a resident of the Lynnhurst neighborhood, and the Director of the Office to End Homelessness, which leads Heading Home Hennepin, the joint City of Minneapolis and Hennepin County community's effort to end homelessness. Click here to find out more about how Mikkel helps make Hennepin County tick.

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Board meeting highlights

January 27

Chair and Vice Chair for Hennepin County Housing and Redevelopment Authority

The board, acting as the Hennepin County Housing and Redevelopment Authority (HRA), elected Commissioner Linda Higgins as HRA chair; and Commissioner Randy Johnson as HRA vice chair.

The mission of HRA is to serve the housing and economic development and redevelopment needs of the citizens of Hennepin County and its municipalities by undertaking or assisting housing projects which will provide decent, affordable housing, and undertaking or assisting economic development or redevelopment projects which will create jobs, expand the tax base, eliminate blight, and provide or facilitate the provision or operation of public conveniences and improvements.

For more information, click here.


County to fund design and studies for three SWLRT crossings

Hennepin County and Three Rivers Park District are funding the design and environmental review of three crossings for the Southwest light rail transit project. The crossings are located near Blake Station in Hopkins, and Beltline and Wooddale stations in St. Louis Park. Each of these crossings would benefit from key safety enhancements to protect bicyclists and pedestrians from roadway traffic, and to advance the county’s bike and pedestrian plans’ goals and objectives.

The county and park district are taking this action because the Metropolitan Council is requiring local governments to identify any local projects now and to commit payment for design and environmental services and administrative fees in order for these improvements to be included in bidding for the project as a whole. At this point, no commitment is being made by the county for the construction of these crossings. The county and park district will be seeking other funding sources for the construction. A decision will be made later on construction at each of the crossings.

Environmental grants to assist with clean-up of contaminated land

The board awarded nine Environmental Response Fund grants to assess and cleanup contaminated sites. More than $1 million in funding is awarded to the following projects:

  • Hawthorne EcoVillage Apartments, Minneapolis - to the City of Minneapolis for contaminated soil cleanup and soil vapor mitigation related to the development of 75 affordable rental housing units.
  • City of Lakes Community Land Trust (CLCLT) - for asbestos and lead paint abatement during rehabilitation of seven affordable housing properties.
  • Centennial Lake Promenade, Edina - for cleanup, excavation and disposal of contaminated soil relating to the installation of storm water management features and the improvement of the existing park.
  • Clare Terrace, Robbinsdale - to Clare Housing to install a vapor mitigation system at a new affordable and supportive housing building for residents with HIV/AIDS.
  • Brownfields Gap Financing Program, various municipalities within Hennepin County - to assist with abatement, investigation and/or cleanup at sites across the county.

For more details, please visit the Environmental Response Fund webpage.

Public space recycling grants awarded

The board awarded grants for public space recycling to the cities of Brooklyn Center, Champlin, Edina, Excelsior and Minneapolis and to the Three Rivers Park District. The cities and park district will promote, develop or enhance recycling or organics collection programs at public spaces or events.

These projects will add 106 recycling containers to public spaces, provide education and outreach, and evaluate best practices for recycling service. Six of the eight recommended grant projects will begin collecting recyclable materials for the first time. For more details, visit the public spaces recycling grants webpage.

Green Partners Environmental Education grants awarded

The board approved 11 Green Partners Environmental Education grants to engage residents in environmental education projects. The Green Partners Environmental Education Program provides support and funding to organizations that engage and empower residents to take actions that protect and improve the environment. 

These grants will engage more than 3,800 residents in taking action to protect the environment. Eight projects will engage underserved and hard-to-reach communities, and eight projects will engage youth. For more details, visit the environmental education programs webpage.

Natural resources grants awarded

The board awarded natural resources grants to four organizations for projects that will preserve, protect or improve natural resources and water quality in Hennepin County. 

For more details, visit the natural resources funding webpage

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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.

February 12

Better Together Hennepin
HHS Quarterly Board Briefing

February 26

Medical Examiner's Feasibility Study

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