August 2016 E-Newsletter

Jan Callison banner 2016

Serving Deephaven, northern Eden Prairie, Edina, Excelsior, Greenwood, Hopkins, Long Lake, Minnetonka, Minnetonka Beach, northern Mound, Orono, Shorewood, Spring Park, Tonka Bay, Wayzata and Woodland.

August 2016


Jan Callison
6th District

Allyson Lueneburg
Principal Aide

Christine Hoyles
Administrative Assistant


The Hennepin County Board of Commissioners consists of one commissioner from each of seven districts. I am proud to represent Deephaven, north Eden Prairie, Edina, Excelsior, Greenwood, Hopkins, Long Lake, Minnetonka, Minnetonka Beach, northern Mound, Orono, Shorewood, Spring Park, Tonka Bay, Wayzata and Woodland.

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Callison 2013 district map


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Understanding your property tax

Slash your trash - join the Zero Waste Challenge


If you’ve wondered how you create so much trash at home, join Hennepin County's new Zero Waste Challenge to learn how to reduce waste and get hands-on help. Reducing waste is a great way to lower your impact on the environment and reduce the amount of stuff you have to deal with, but it can be hard to figure out what actions to take and how to fit them into your life. If you’ve ever wanted to reduce the amount of waste you create, Hennepin County’s new Zero Waste Challenge is a great opportunity to learn more and get hands-on help. The county is looking for 50 households to join others in taking a year-long look at the goods we buy and the waste we create to uncover opportunities and challenges to increasing recycling and reducing waste.

Participating households will:

  • Get customized coaching and hands-on help from staff and trained volunteers to make low-waste lifestyle changes.
  • Have access to workshops and classes on a variety of waste reduction topics.
  • Track and report the amount of waste their household generates weekly for a year.
  • Make their best attempt to take action to reduce the amount of waste they create.

The results and lessons learned will be used to develop future waste reduction programs. The program starts September 15, 2016, and ends September 15, 2017. For their efforts, participating households will receive a $350 stipend. Apply to participate by August 26.

For more information or to ask questions about the program, contact Carolyn Collopy at or 612-596-0993.

Hennepin County shows off focus on water quality, testing


Photo credit: David Joles

Below is a story that was in the Star Tribune highlighting the work our Public Health Department does to monitor the county's public waters. 

Hannah Young, a community health worker for Hennepin County, on Wednesday showed how water samples are collected at Wayzata Beach.

Each week during the summer, between Memorial Day and Labor Day, workers with Hennepin County’s Public Health Department take samples of water from 31 public swimming beaches.

The samples are then analyzed for traces of E. coli, a bacterial organism in untreated waste that can cause stomach aches, diarrhea, flu-like symptoms and even some ear and eye infections.

If E. coli levels exceed federal standards, county officials can close a beach until follow-up samples return to safe levels.

For more information on Hennepin County beaches, go to

Article written by Kevin Duchschere

Hennepin County Stories

Every day Hennepin County connects people with services, resources, information, opportunities, communities, and each other. Discover how we make a positive difference in our communities at

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I hope you are enjoying my electronic newsletters, and find them interesting and informative about county activities. In addition to my monthly newsletter, the county sends various newsletters and notifications available by email or text message. To explore the many opportunities to subscribe or to change your preferences, visit the subscription webpage.

Please feel free to send me your comments through my feedback form on issues that concern you or you would like covered. I value your opinions.

Warm regards,

Jan Callison

Board meetings

July 12, 2016

Grant will provide funding to connect underserved youth with swimming lessons

Youth sports

The county board authorized a swimming lesson pilot project to provide swimming lessons for underserved youth and communities in Hennepin County. The pilot project will be a partnership with the USA Swimming Foundation, which is the philanthropic arm of USA Swimming which is the national governing body for competitive swimming, and funded with $35,000 from the Hennepin Youth Sports Program. USA Swimming Foundation’s “Make A Splash” initiative aimed at providing every child with the opportunity to learn how to swim has already provided more than 4 million children with swim lessons by working with their local partner network of more than 750 qualified lesson providers across the nation.  

Nine Environmental Response Fund projects approved for funding

    The county agreed to fund nine Environmental Response Fund projects that will total more than $1 million. The grants will provide for the renovation or construction of as many as 404 affordable and 269 market-rate housing units. The funding will create economic development by increasing the tax base, create permanent jobs, enhance green space, create public recreation space, and create affordable and market-rate housing. 

      Projects include:


      • Bossen Field - $209,740 for contaminated soil cleanup during park improvements.
      • City of Minneapolis - $129,565 to assist with asbestos and lead-based paint abatement at single and multi-family affordable rental homes at multiple locations.

       Fort Snelling

      • Fort Snelling Upper Post - $81,510 for completion of asbestos and lead-based paint surveys and subsurface soil assessment in preparation for the renovation of historic buildings into future affordable housing units.


      • Lyndale Gardens Shoreline Development - $117,436 for contaminated soil cleanup associated with construction of a public recreation space including performance, urban agricultural, and walking features.
      • Lyndale Gardens Residential Development - $115,400 for contaminated soil cleanup associated with the construction of multi-family, moderately priced, market-rate residential units

      Brooklyn Center

      • Brooklyn Center Economic Development Authority - $60,000 for assistance with required contaminated groundwater monitoring at teh former Howe Fertilizer site, associated the redevelopment of a long-vacant brownfield property with light-industrial facility. 

      St. Louis Park

      • Morrie’s Dealership - $45,045 for contaminated soil cleanup associated with replacement of vacant commercial buildings with a new automobile dealership.
      • Parkway 25 - $60,000 for contaminated soil cleanup associated with development of new multifamily, market-rate housing units and ground-level commercial space. 


      • Hennepin County Lead Hazard Reduction Program - $200,000 for lead-based paint assessment  and removal at affordable housing units throughout Hennepin County.

      66th Street reconstruction moving forward in Richfield


      The board approved a budget agreement with the cities of Richfield and Edina for $59.5 million in improvements to 66th Street -- County Road 53 -- from Xerxes Avenue South in Edina to 16th Avenue South in Richfield. The project will include reconstruction of the roadway, sidewalks, curb and gutter , and replacement of Richfield’s water main and sanitary sewer. In addition, the project includes the construction of boulevards and protected bicycle facilities for the length of the project, and construction of roundabouts at the intersections of 66th Street at Lyndale Avenue South and 66th Street at Nicollet Avenue. It will also require the replacement of the existing railroad crossing surface on 66th Street east of Pleasant Avenue and the installation of a new railroad crossing warning system. The majority of the construction will take place during the 2017-18 construction seasons.

      July 28, 2016

      Watershed district appointment


      The county board reappointed Leslie Yetka as an at-large member of the Riley-Purgatory-Bluff Creek Watershed District Board. The Riley-Purgatory-Bluff Creek Watershed District Board’s function is to protect and manage the water resources within the district, which includes portions of the cities of Bloomington, Chanhassen, Deephaven, Eden Prairie, Minnetonka, and Shorewood.

      Read more about the appointment process.

      Funding approved for bicycle and pedestrian projects


      Projects were selected to receive funding from the county’s annual solicitation to improve bicycle and pedestrian systems. These projects will improve safety, reduce crashes and increase non-motorized transportation use.

      Bikeway Program discretionary fund: $200,000 for two projects in the City of Eden Prairie and Three Rivers Park District trail system within Hopkins to fill gaps between existing bike trails. Since 2002, the county has participated in 32 bicycle gap projects at a total cost of $2.6 million.

      Bikeway Development Participation: $340,000 for five projects in cities of Rogers, Hopkins, and Minneapolis and for Three Rivers Park District trails in Edina and Orono to build new bikeways. Since 1998, the county has participated in 48 bikeway development projects at a county cost of $3.08 million.

      Sidewalk Participation Program fund: $203,128 for sidewalks in cities of St. Anthony and Edina, and crosswalk improvements in the City of Minneapolis. Since 2012, the county has participated in 20 sidewalk participation projects at a total cost of $902,389.

      Read more about the Bikeway Program discretionary fund

      Read more about the Sidewalk Participation Program

      Read more about the Bikeway Development Participation Program

      County to participate with state, other agencies in contract disparities study

      The board approved a joint contract with the State of Minnesota to complete a contract compliance disparity study. The study will examine utilization and availability of minority- and women-owned firms among a consortium of Minnesota public agencies to assess current measures to address potential discrimination. The state and other agencies are sharing in the cost. The county will receive a draft study in September 2017.

      Read more about the contract disparity study.

      Agendas and minutes of action taken by the Hennepin County Board are posted under Hennepin County meetings and agendas. For greater detail on the above agenda items and additional board actions, visit county news releases.

      Board briefings

      In addition to our regularly scheduled board meetings, the board often meets on Thursday mornings to receive board briefings. These are informal opportunities to discuss emerging issues. No decisions are made. Board briefings occur in the board room on the 24th floor of the Hennepin County Government Center and are open to the public.

      July 14, 2016

      Mental Health Needs Discussion

      County staff was joined by HCMC staff for a discussion of mental health care.  Information was presented on the prevalence of mental illness in Hennepin County, the declining capacity of the mental health system since 1963 when the federal Community Mental Health Act was adopted and some of the steps that have been taken to deal with the demand for care.  The fragmented and crisis-focused nature of the mental health system was described.  The following recommendations, relating to both Hennepin County and HCMC, were presented:

      • Integrate relevant infrastructure;
      • Expand specialized services; and
      • Align and co-locate the continuum of health and human services.

      Staff will follow up with a more comprehensive plan.

      County calendar

      August 7, 2016


      Win a gold medal for family fun

      Mark your calendars for Sunday, August 7 for the Most Epic Olympic Family Day Join us for a day of family-friendly activities with an Olympics theme, at Target Field Station, on the north side of the stadium, from noon to 4 p.m..

      Activities will include:

      • giveaways of Gold Medals,
      • photos on an Olympic podium
      • Olympic-themed games
      • a showing of the movie "Cars"

      The Most Epic Olympic Event is free and open to people of all ages and abilities. The event is a part of this summer’s Go Outside with Hennepin County programming.

      August 9, 2016

      I voted

      2016 Elections

      The 2016 Primary Election will be held on Tuesday, August 9.  Learn how to register and vote in the upcoming election

      For more information on elections, visit the Hennepin County Elections webpage or the MN Secretary of State's webpage.

      Don't forget to visit the Downtown Farmers Market

      Farmers market


      Hennepin County is hosting the Downtown Minneapolis Farmers Market at the Government Center this year.  Dozens of vendors line the South Plaza bringing fresh and local produce, beautiful plants, goods and delicious foods.

      The market is hosted every Thursday on the Government Center's South Plaza (300 South 6th Street, Minneapolis) from 6:00am to 6:00pm. 

      Come enjoy the great atmosphere and wonderful products.