Corrected County Board actions: Human services staffing increase, repairs to Washington Avenue Bridge and Bush Lake Road




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Contact: Carolyn Marinan, Communications, 612-348-5969

County board actions

Hennepin County board approves human services staffing increase, to work with other sheriff's offices on national conference, to move ahead with repairs to the Washington Avenue Bridge and Bush Lake Road, to set 2017 budget calendar.


This version corrects the number of human services hires.

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Increased funding will support 54 additional staff to meet new state requirements for Medical Assistance

The Hennepin County Board approved a Human Services staff increase to manage new state-imposed Medical Assistance eligibility review requirements and the transfer of 41,000 clients’ records to a new management system. The county does not control and cannot modify the state imposed system and processes. Human Services estimates that the additional workload eventually could require 110 to 120 additional full-time positions. The positions will increase the department’s labor costs by $2.7 million annually; the federal government is expected to reimburse $1.5 million through Medicaid, and state Department of Human Services has allocated $352,000 toward the county’s additional staff costs. Human Services leadership will assess operations in the second half of 2016 to determine if more staffing is needed in 2017. 

Learn more about the additional staffing need

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Gap funding approved for Southwest Light Rail project

Voting as the Regional Railroad Authority, the board voted to continue funding project development on the Southwest Light Rail from downtown to Eden Prairie, also known as the Green Line Extension. Initially, funding was set to end July 1; the funding now is extended through September. The measure was necessary because expected state funding for the project was not approved during the State Legislature's 2016 session. The measure was approved in the hope that Southwest Light Rail funding is approved in a special session. No new funds were allocated. 

Learn more about the extension

Fund will help preserve existing affordable housing

The Hennepin County Board of Commissioners, under the authority of the Housing and Redevelopment Authority, agreed last week to invest $3 million in a fund that will be used to finance the purchase of about 530 units of existing affordable housing in the county. 

Read the news release.


Learn more about the fund

Sheriff's office to collaborate with other agencies on national conference

The board approved a plan to work with several regional sheriff’s offices to provide resources during the National Sheriff’s Association Annual Conference and Major County Sheriff’s Association summer meeting, to be held in Minneapolis June 22-29. The Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office is the lead agency for all operational and security planning. The Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office and the Minnesota Sheriff’s Association have been in contact with all 87 Minnesota sheriffs’ offices to solicit assistance. Several agencies have offered to help.

Learn more about the annual conference

Washington Avenue Bridge will be repaired after fire

The board approved a $98,000 plan to repair damage on the Washington Avenue Bridge over the Mississippi River, from a fire last January. The fire occurred under the Minneapolis bridge in an area for maintaining utility facilities. The fire and subsequent abatement operation resulted in distortion of bridge structural steel beams. Transportation department staff has inspected the structure and verified that the bridge may remain open to traffic; however, it is necessary to repair the damage.

Learn more about the the repair plan

Funding OK'd to add East Bush Lake Road on-ramp to westbound 494

The board approved the county’s $8.5 million share of a five-year plan to make improvements to East Bush Lake Road at Interstate 494 in Bloomington. The project will result in a new entrance ramp to westbound I-494, to relieve traffic on Normandale Boulevard/84th Street at Bush Lake Road. Bloomington is responsible for delivery of the project and anticipates construction may begin as early as 2017.

Read more about the Bush Lake Road plan

Public hearing: Proposed property transfer at Penn and Plymouth avenues

The board voted to establish a hearing on the proposed transfer of property at the southeast and southwest corners of Penn and Plymouth avenues north in Minneapolis. A proposed plan is to use the parcels for a mixed use development that will include an expansion of the NorthPoint Health & Wellness Center, and related parking facilities on the southeast corner, and a relocated Estes Funeral Chapel on the southwest corner. The hearing will be held Tuesday, July 19, 2016 at 1:30 p.m.

Learn more about the NorthPoint Helath & Wellness expansion plan

Carl Michaud appointed to lead Public Works

The board appointed Carl Michaud as assistant county administrator for Public Works. Michaud has been serving in an interim role for the past several months. Before his interim appointment, he was director of the Environment and Energy Department since 2007. In 29 years at Hennepin County, including 9 years as directorof the Environmental Services Department, he worked on municipal solid waste management, hazardous waste management, energy issues and natural resources protection.

Read more about the appointment

Budget hearings and other dates set

The board scheduled public hearings for adoption of the 2017 budget and levy, and set a schedule for the Budget and Capital Investment Committee to consider the proposed 2017 budget. The meetings will proceed as follows:

County administrator presents proposed 2017 budget to County Board

Tuesday, September 13, 2016 1:30 p.m.

County Board vote on 2017 maximum tax levy and budget

Tuesday, September 20, 2016, 1:30 p.m.

Public safety

Thursday, September 22, 2016, 1 – 4 p.m.


Monday, September 26, 2016, 1 – 4 p.m.


Tuesday, September 27, 2016, 9 a.m. – noon

Human Services and Public Health

Thursday, September 29, 2016, 1 – 4 p.m.

Public Works

Friday, September 30, 2016, 1 – 4 p.m..

Human Services and Public Health

Thursday, October 6, 2016, 9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. (follow-up, if needed)

Capital Budgeting Task Force and fees

Thursday, October 20, 2016 – 9 a.m. – noon

Truth-in-Taxation public meeting

Tuesday, November 29, 2016, 6 p.m. Participants can park for free after 5 p.m. in the Government Center ramp. Enter on 3rd Avenue.

Administrator amendments

Wednesday, December 7, 2016, during Budget and Capital Investment Committee meeting

Commissioner amendments

Monday, December 12, 2016, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.

County Board vote on 2017 budget and levy


Tuesday, December 13, 2016, 1:30 p.m.

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