September 2016 News and Events from Commissioner Linda Higgins

Commissioner Linda Higgins, Hennepin County, MN




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Linda Higgins
Commissioner, District 2

Tina Sanz
Principal Aide

Beverly Hammond
Administrative Assistant

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District 2 serves the cities of Golden Valley, Medicine Lake, north and northeast Minneapolis, southeast Plymouth and St. Anthony.

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I hope your summer has been wonderful. The State Fair is bringing us all together, schools are back in session or will be soon, and tomatoes are tasty and plentiful. They signal that fall is approaching. Get out and enjoy the best of Minnesota and Hennepin County!

Be sure to check out all the great upcoming events this month, and think about subscribing to other interesting topics offered by Hennepin County.

Happy Labor Day!

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Top stories


Future development at Penn and Plymouth Avenues North

NorthPoint Health and Wellness Center expansion moves forward

Voting as the Hennepin County Housing and Redevelopment Authority, the Board voted on July 28 to approve the transfer of $18 million to the Housing and Redevelopment Authority which will be used to purchase and clean the property. In addition, the project will start to develop and build the additional space for NorthPoint Health and Wellness Center and related properties at the corner of Penn and Plymouth Avenues North. The project aims to address the impact of a 67 percent increase in patient load since 2006. The project is expected to start construction in 2017 and be completed in late 2019 or early 2020.

Hennepin County staff met with the Northside Residents Redevelopment Council (NRRC) neighborhood group on June 13 and Hennepin County held an open house about the NorthPoint expansion for the public on July 26 at UROC. As mentioned in the July District 2 newsletter, the property on the southwest corner of Penn Avenue North and Plymouth Avenue North will be transferred to Estes Funeral Chapel to allow Estes to move there and NorthPoint to use their former space. The property on the southeast corner of Penn Avenue North and Plymouth Avenue North will be transferred to Thor Development. These transfers will allow the consolidation of property on the northwest side of Plymouth Avenue North for the expansion of the NorthPoint campus.

In addition, Thor Construction is working with the City of Minneapolis for development approvals. Future community information sessions are planned as the project moves forward. A web page for the NorthPoint project at Penn and Plymouth Avenues North is in the planning stages. We will share future updates as they become available.


Hennepin County Regional Rail Authority approves additional funding for SWLRT

HCRRA approved $20.5 million in additional funding for the Southwest Light Rail (SWLRT) on August 30.

Although the proposed SWLRT has gained community and business support, the Minnesota State Legislature could not come to agreement on funding during the past session.

The Hennepin County portion of the funding, in conjunction with other partners’ funding, would allow the SWLRT to proceed forward in the federal funding process. More information at

GV dog park pilot

Golden Valley to pilot new seasonal off-leash pet exercise areas

Mayor Shep Harris tells us the City of Golden Valley is piloting a program to offer seasonal off-leash pet exercise areas in the outdoor hockey rinks at Gearty and Medley Parks beginning September 6 (from 7 am to 10 pm).

The off-leash exercise areas will feature access gates and waste receptacles. All pets must be leashed before entering and when exiting the areas. All pets must also be up to date on vaccinations, trained for verbal control to prevent inappropriate and/or aggressive behavior, and removed from the area if the outing is causing issues for other pet owners. Owners are legally responsible for any harm, injuries, and/or damage caused by their pet, as well as for proper clean-up and disposal of pet waste. See for more information. 


Welcome Beverly Hammond, our new District 2 team member!

Please help us welcome our new staff member Beverly Tipton Hammond. Born in Washington, D.C., Beverly was raised on Minnesota summers as her family has been based here since 1969. Beverly joins us following several years in administrative work at Johns Hopkins University in Maryland, where she was recognized recently for her contributions to the Office of Academic Affairs at the Bloomberg School of Public Health.  She has also served as Administrative Aide to the Secretary for Economic Development for the State of Maryland. She is moving to Minnesota to be closer to her family and looks forward to working with us in District 2.

Thanks also to Nancy Asan from the Clerk's office, who helped in the interim.


Get Choose to Reuse coupons on the go

Hennepin County’s annual Choose to Reuse coupon books are now available through October 31, 2016. The coupons are free and feature deals from numerous Twin Cities retailers.

Choose to Reuse coupons are available on mobile devices by downloading the free Chinook Book app in the iTunes or Google Play stores. You can also pick up a coupon book at participating retail locations, Hennepin County service centers, Hennepin County libraries and all Three Rivers Park District locations.

Businesses and organizations in the coupon book offer used goods for rent, repair, resale, consign, trade or exchange. Why reuse? You save money, get great stuff, contribute to the local economy and help the environment. For more information, visit or call 612-348-3777.

C line update

Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) updates for Penn Ave. N. and Olson Mem. Hwy.

Design contract awarded to HDR Engineering, Inc.

The Metropolitan Council, in partnership with Hennepin County and Minneapolis, recently awarded a $3.8 million contract to HDR Engineering to complete design, engineering, and construction administration on the C Line rapid bus line and concurrent road reconstruction along Penn Avenue in Minneapolis and Brooklyn Center. Depending on final funding, C Line stations are scheduled to be constructed in 2018, in cooperation with Hennepin County as they complete other road reconstruction along Penn Avenue.

Survey crews to begin work soon

Stonebrooke Engineering will be surveying planned C Line station areas over the next few weeks. The field surveyors are making field observations and measurements to engineer and design the project. Stonebrooke Engineering staff are not authorized to discuss project matters and issues. Any questions should be directed to C. Terrence Anderson by email or by phone at 612-349-7390.

Study of long-term realignment from Olson Highway to Glenwood Avenue underway

The C Line will run on Olson Memorial Highway when it opens in 2019. However, light rail transit is also planned for on Olson Memorial Highway and is scheduled to open in 2021. Metro Transit has heard interest in moving the C Line to Glenwood Avenue when light rail opens.

The Potential Long-Term Glenwood Realignment Study is a process for Metro Transit to engage community around a study of the Olson and Glenwood options throughout the summer and fall of 2016. Metro Transit staff will be participating in community events, presenting at neighborhood association meetings, and engaging stakeholders on buses to gather input on the study. An open house will also be scheduled for this study in fall 2016.

More information (and sign up for future updates) on the Potential Long-Term Glenwood Realignment Study can be found on the project webpage

St. Anthony library

St. Anthony Library to close temporarily for renovation

Hennepin County Library – St. Anthony, 2941 Pentagon Dr. NE, will close for renovation on Saturday, September 10 at 5 pm. The library is scheduled to reopen on Saturday, December 17 at 9 am.

Improvements will include a larger meeting room and new interactive learning space in the children’s area. Ceiling and interior walls will be reconstructed to open up the library. Seating, power outlets, carpeting and computers will be renovated. New automated materials handling equipment and a work room reconfiguration will improve behind-the-scenes efficiencies. The renovation budget is $850,000.

“Hennepin County is committed to providing libraries that are well maintained, easy to access and welcoming,” said District 2 Hennepin County Commissioner Linda Higgins. “We also want our libraries, including St. Anthony, to respond to community needs.”

During the 14-week closure, St. Anthony Library patrons are encouraged to visit other Hennepin County libraries: Northeast Library is located at 2200 Central Ave. NE and Pierre Bottineau Library is at 55 Broadway St. NE in Minneapolis.

St. Anthony Library has been providing service to St. Anthony and northeast Minneapolis residents since 1963, when it opened in a storefront in the east end of the St. Anthony Shopping Center. The library continues to operate out of the shopping center, moving to its present location in 2002. Project information is at

In other library news: Webber Park Library Public Art Committee

In other District 2 library news, the first meeting of the Webber Park Library Public Art Committee will be held on Wednesday, September 14. Commissioner Higgins has selected Connie Beckers and Lori Campagnola to represent area residents. Stay tuned for future information.

Entrepreneur expo

Hennepin County Career Connections

Entrepreneur Expo: Essentials for Small Business Growth Thursday, September 22 at Minneapolis Central Library

Small business owners at all stages of development are invited to learn from experts in the field about what it really takes to start and grow a thriving business.

WHEN: Thursday, September 22, 12:30-5 pm

WHERE: Hennepin County Library – Minneapolis Central, 300 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis, MN 55401

Workshops on marketing, finance, business operations, and entrepreneurship for artists will be presented by Twin Cities Media Alliance, WomenVenture, University of St. Thomas Small Business Development Center, and Springboard for the Arts. 

Nonprofit and government business development exhibitors will be on hand to share resources and answer questions about planning, licensing, and funding. 

Register for this free event at or call 612-543-8000.

Hennepin County libraries offer business and employment programs throughout the year to help residents build skills and explore possibilities. Additional resources are available at

Open Streets West Broadway

West Broadway Open Streets Saturday, September 10

West Broadway between Lyndale Ave. N. and Penn will be open to all for one, sweet September Saturday afternoon. Sign up to volunteer, present, perform, or sell your art/items. Attendance is free and you’ll have the opportunity to play games and find great food to buy and eat.

Open Streets creates a safe, car-free street so that residents of all ages can walk, bike, shop, participate in activities and get to know one another.  Bring your friends, your kids, and/or your dog and see what it’s like to walk Broadway without any cars. 11 am to 5 pm. Event info here.

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Board news

August 9

Hennepin County will be work-study employer for community college students

The board approved a plan to work with Minneapolis Community and Technical College to employ students on a work-study basis at Hennepin County. MCTC students will receive specific work assignments which will be determined based on the needs of Hennepin County departments. The partnership is a strategy to address current and future workforce needs. Students will receive pay through the work-study program and Hennepin County will be responsible for 25 percent of the students’ salary. Learn more about the work-study program.

County commits to funding up to 10 percent of Bottineau Blue Line Extension

Voting as the Regional Railroad Authority, the board agreed to fund up to a 10 percent share of total capital costs of the Blue Line Extension, an amount not to exceed $149.6 million. The light rail route is planned to head northwest out of downtown, serving North Minneapolis, Golden Valley, Robbinsdale, Crystal and Brooklyn Park. 

The final environmental impact statement was submitted to the federal government in July, and the Blue Line project development phase was completed on time and on budget. The Regional Railroad Authority also voted to fund the next phase, continuing engineering work on the project, with a $10.3 million allocation. The rest of the next phase will be covered by an anticipated $15.51 million from the Counties Transit Improvement Board.
Learn more about the funding commitment. Learn more about the next phase.

Public hearing: Suburban housing, community development assessment

The board voted to set a public hearing to get comments on its 2015 Consolidated Annual Performance and Evaluation Report. The report is an annual evaluation of the county’s administration of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Community Development Block Grant, HOME Investment Partnership and Emergency Solutions Grant programs in suburban Hennepin County. The hearing is part of a process to assess the county’s five-year Consortium Consolidated Plan. The hearing will be held on Tuesday, September 13, at 1:30 pm, before the Public Works, Energy and Environment Committee. 

Written comments will be accepted September 6-20. During this period, a draft copy of the report will be available at and at Hennepin County regional libraries.

Public hearing: Regional Railroad Authority 2017 maximum property tax levy

The Regional Rail Authority will hold a public hearing on its 2017 maximum levy. The hearing will occur on Tuesday, September 13, at the authority meeting after the 1:30 p.m. board meeting, in the Hennepin County boardroom [Note: at the August 30 Regional Railroad Authority, this hearing was rescheduled to Thursday, September 8 at 1:30 p.m. in the Hennepin County Boardroom].

August 23

Nurse-Family Partnership expanding into suburban Hennepin County

The board approved the implementation of the Nurse-Family Partnership program in suburban Hennepin County by accepting $3.5 million in grant funding until the end of 2020. The partnership works with teens and young adults who are pregnant for the first time so they receive regular nurse visits until the child is two years old. This evidence-based program has been shown to improve prenatal health, reduce childhood injuries, increase school readiness and more.

NetWork for Better Futures to reuse and recycle more Hennepin County construction material

The board approved an agreement with NetWork for Better Futures for services to reuse and recycle construction and demolition waste. The company deconstructs buildings and will divert 162 tons of material for reuse and recycle 4,000 tons from 25 projects. It will also partially deconstruct 30 commercial and residential buildings, saving 90 reusable tons of material. Better Futures hires men with a history of incarceration, poverty, and other challenges and uses deconstruction projects to provide job training.  The $405,000 contract will be in effect through December 31, 2018. More information here.

Board approves issuance of new bonds; simplifies existing bonds

The board approved $155,320,000 in new and refunded general obligation bonds. $95,000,000 of new bonds will fund the county’s capital improvement plan, including library, general facilities, and road projects. The remainder is a refunding of existing bonds that are being consolidated to realize interest savings of $2,200,000 and simplify bond accounting and management. Read more about the project.

Environmental education grants awarded

The board approved Green Partners environmental education grants for projects that empower residents to take actions to improve the environment. The grant agreements are for projects with the following organizations:

  • Alliance for Sustainability, Minneapolis, St. Louis Park, and Edina - $15,000
  • Bdote Learning Center, Minneapolis - $8,000
  • Center for Earth, Energy and Democracy, Minneapolis - $15,000
  • Climate Generation: A Will Steger Legacy, various cities - $15,000
  • Congregations Caring for Creation, various cities - $15,000
  • Eden Prairie Independent School District 272, Eden Prairie - $7,800
  • Lao Assistance Center, Minneapolis - $7,500
  • Minneapolis Area Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, various cities - $8,000
  • Robbinsdale Independent School District 281, Robbinsdale - $8,500
  • Spark Youth, Minneapolis - $15,000
  • The Edina Community Foundation, Edina - $11,800
  • The Highpoint Center for Printmaking, Minneapolis - $9,900
  • University of Minnesota Extension, Minneapolis - $15,000
  • Voyageurs National Park Association, Minneapolis - $2,500

Learn more about the Green Partners environmental education program here.

Public Works budget hearing rescheduled

The Public Works budget was rescheduled to September 30, 2016, from 9:30 to 11:30 am. The full schedule of public hearings for adoption of the 2017 budget and levy was in the July District 2 newsletter at

Look for more news on the Hennepin County website at

Upper Harbor Terminal

Upper Harbor Terminal  

Upper Harbor Terminal Phase 1 Redevelopment Request for Qualifications
Riverfront development opportunity

The City of Minneapolis and Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) invite qualified and creative real estate developers to submit statements of qualifications and initial development programs for at least the northern Phase 1 half of the 48-acre City-owned Upper Harbor Terminal (UHT) site in North Minneapolis, Minnesota. The deadline for submission is Wednesday, October 14, at 4:00 pm (Central Daylight Time). The request for qualifications as well as information about the UHT site may be found at the Upper Harbor Terminal web site: To subscribe to updates visit

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Northeast Minneapolis

  • Friday, Sept. 9, 6-6:45 pm
    Celebrate Thomas Edison High School’s transformation into a first-of-its-kind Green Campus. See Edison’s green infrastructure and its ability to capture and treat polluted stormwater runoff, harness solar energy and provide unique, hands-on learning experiences for students. Ribbon-cutting at 6 pm. After the event, feel free to stick around and support the football team as they play their first home game of the year at 7 pm on the new athletic field. Edison Plaza (next to the gymnasium), 2030 Monroe St. NE.
  • Monday, Sept. 12, 1:30-3pm
    Celebrating Minnesota in Music. Catholic Eldercare will host a free presentation at the Main Street Lodge, 909 Main St. NE. Call 612-362-2450 to register.
  • Tuesday, Sept. 13, 10am-noon
    The 39th annual Your Community for a Lifetime: a Health and Wellness Expo. East Side Neighborhood Services, 1700 2nd St. NE.
  • Tuesday, Sept. 13, 6:30pm
    Community forum with Council Member Kevin Reich. Introducing MPD Inspector Todd Loining. Firefighters Hall and Museum, 664 22nd Ave. NE.
  • Wednesday, Sept. 28, 6-8pm
    Every Child Deserves Music: A benefit for the Early Childhood Special Education music program at Webster Elementary School, 2422 Central Ave NE. Free, suggested donation $5.

North Minneapolis

  • Thursday, Sept. 15, 6-9pm
    Healthy Homes Resource Fair. Free activities including lead testing, massage therapy chairs, health testing (blood pressure, glucose, etc.) and demos including zumba, farmers' market, 311, and NorthPoint. 3210 Oliver Ave. N. or 612-522-0942 for more info.
  • Thursdays Sept. 15 to Dec. 8, 5:30pm - 6:30pm
    Junior Chefs Cooking for ages 8-14. Learn how to try new recipes with hands-on experiences making healthy snacks and meals. Creekview Recreation Center, 5001 Humboldt Ave. N. $10 Resident/$15 Non-Resident. Registration and info
  • Saturday, Sept. 17, 8:30am-2pm
    Annual Fit4Fun event hosted by NorthPoint Health and Wellness Center. Free. 1313 Penn Ave. N.

  • Sunday, Sept. 18, 8am
    Annual Minneapolis Bike Tour. Three fully supported routes, 16 miles, 25 miles, and 32 miles that take riders through the spectacular park and byway system. Boom Island Park, 724 Sibley St. NE. $35 pre-registration (to Sept. 4), $45 day of ride.

North Loop, Minneapolis

  • Sunday, Sept. 18, 8am
    Annual Minneapolis Bike Tour (see details above or at
  • Thursday, Sept. 29, 5-8pm
    Night Out North Loop. Enjoy shopping and dining destinations along with special events at participating stores and restaurants.

Medicine Lake

  • Thursday, Sept, 8,  6:30pm
    Plymouth Lions Dinner Meeting and Social. Medicine Lake City Hall.

Golden Valley

  • Saturday, Sept. 10, 10-11am
    Sandburg Athletic Fields Grand Opening. Sandburg Fields Sun Shelter, 2400 Sandburg Ln.
  • Saturday, Sept. 17, 9:30am-9:30pm
    Golden Valley Arts and Music Festival, Golden Valley City Hall, 7800 Golden Valley Rd.


  • Saturday, Sept. 17, 10:30am-1:30pm
    Lupus Walk for Hope and 5K Run. This is an opportunity to raise public awareness of the disease as well as show support for those with lupus. 12605 Old Rockford Rd. (612) 688-9143.
  • Saturday, Sept. 24, 9am
    Firefighter 5K Run/Walk, 12000 Old Rockford
  • Saturday, Sept. 24, 11:30am-3pm
    Plymouth on Parade, Plymouth City Center. Free. Parade 11:30 am. Post-parade family activities 1-3pm at the Hilde Performance Center and the Plymouth Ice Center/Life Time Fitness area.

St. Anthony

  • Saturday, September 17
    St. Anthony Village High School Class of 1966 50th class reunion. Contact class president Pete Beberg at 763-421-0361 or
  • Last Wednesday of the month, 10am
    Meet other moms and kids in St. Anthony/NE Minneapolis at the MOMS Club International. Visitors welcome. All-member meeting at Faith United Methodist Church, 2708 33rd Ave. NE. Information:
  • Saturday, October 1, 9am
    St. Anthony West Annual Fundraiser 5K. Registration prior to September 27, 2016, $30. This is the 13th Annual Historic Riverfront Run. T-Shirt included in registration. Prizes awarded. 700 Sibley St. NE. Register

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