September 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.

September 2016


Jan Callison
6th District

Allyson Lueneburg
Policy 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


Find past issues of my monthly newsletter.


County departments, agencies & other entities

Elected & appointed officials

Hennepin County libraries

Hennepin County Medical Center

Hennepin volunteers

Online services

Phone directory

Service Center information

Southwest light rail

Understanding your property tax

Bushaway Road (CR 101) construction update


Construction has steadily continued along the Bushway Road (CR 101) corridor.  Many milestones have been met and the project remains on schedule for the reopening dates:

September 16- Reopening CR 101 between Minnetonka Boulevard and Eastman Lane/McGinty Road

November 1- Reopening of the bridge

For more information regarding the project please visit the project page.

South County Road 101 reconstruction project update

On Friday, September 2, County Road 101 in Minnetonka is scheduled to reopen to all traffic between Townline Road (County Road 62) and Covington Road (near Clear Springs Elementary).

The road was closed in July to install a new box culvert at Purgatory Creek, replace sanitary sewer and watermain and reconstruct the roadway. Crews will continue reconstructing the southbound lanes over the next several weeks between Old Excelsior Boulevard and Covington Road. 

The reconstruction project is expected to be substantially complete this November, with primarily “behind the curb” work continuing into early 2017.

Twin Cities transit best in the U.S. for 2016


Photo credit: Tim Nelson

Below is an article that was in MPR news regarding the Twin Cities transit.

The national trade group representing transit services, contractors and suppliers is lauding Twin Cities' Metro Transit for record ridership on the Green Line and improvements in safety and operations.

The American Public Transportation Association named Metro Transit its System of the Year for 2016, Metro Transit said Wednesday. Recent honorees include the Houston-based METRO system and Connect Transit in Normal, Ill., both of which were cited for their increase in ridership.

Metro Transit has been expanding its offerings recently with the Green Line light rail route that opened in 2014, and the new A Line bus rapid transit service running from the Rosedale Center mall in Rosedale to south Minneapolis. Both are showing strong ridership, Metro Transit said.

The agency celebrated its award Wednesday at St. Paul's Union Depot. The system plans a new logo and will a customer appreciation event tied to the award.

Article written by Tim Nelson.

Hennepin County paid college internships

Are you looking for a paid college internship?

Hennepin County has various opportunities for internship programs.  Learn more here.

Choose to Reuse coupons


Hennepin County is encouraging residents to reuse item and reduce the volume of waste produced through our Choose to Reuses program.  Coupons are valid until October 31, 2016.  

Get your Choose to Reuse coupons today.

Business recycling


The commercial sector generates more than half of the total waste in Hennepin County, and nearly two-thirds of the waste created at businesses and non-profits is recyclable.

Owners with commercial buildings in the seven-county metro area -- that also generate four cubic yards or more of trash per week -- must be recycling at least three materials by 2016.

Hennepin County offers grants, signage, technical assistance and case studies to help business and organizations start or improve recycling programs.

Read more about business recycling and grants.


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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

August 9, 2016

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. Students will be made available by MCTC for performance of 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 Blue Line Extension

Blue line

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; 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.

August 23, 2016

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.

Read more about the Nurse-Family Partnership

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

Network for BF

The board approved an agreement with NetWork for Better Futures for services to reuse and recycle construction and demolition waste. The company uses deconstruction techniques to demolish 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 September 1, 2016, through December 31, 2018. 

Learn more about NetWork for Better Futures.

14 environmental education grants awarded


The board approved 14 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.

Read the board action request.

Board approves issuance of new bonds; refunding of existing bonds

The board approved $155,320,000 in new and refunded general obligation bonds. $95,000,000 of new bonds will fund capital improvements included in 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 about the project.

August 30, 2016

Southwest Light Rail funding increase helps project move ahead


Hennepin County will increase its funding commitment to the Southwest Light Rail Transit project, helping to bridge a funding gap left by the Minnesota Legislature. Acting as the Hennepin County Regional Railroad Authority, the Hennepin County Board agreed to increase its share of the project by $20.5 million, for a total funding commitment of $185 million, or 10 percent of the project’s capital costs. Combined with a similar proposed increase by the Counties Transit Improvement Board and a promise by the Metropolitan Council to raise $103.5 million in Certificates of Participation – a financing tool used previously by the Met Council and the state – the county’s additional infusion is helping the project bridge the $144.5 million funding gap left by the state, and fulfilling the federally mandated local share. 

Read the resolution.

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

August 25, 2016

Infant Team

Hennepin County’s rate of children returning to foster care exceeds national goals.  Because of that, last year the County Board approved a three year pilot project to provide services to children, their families and foster families based upon work done at Tulane University.  The pilot, called the Hennepin County Infant Team, brings together the courts, county social workers, clinicians and others in a coordinated way that particularly focuses upon the importance of creating secure attachment in young children.  Based upon the first year of work, staff recommends continuing the pilot, adding a mental health provider, initiating the outcome evaluation and working to solidify funding.

Budget and Property Tax Update

In preparation for adoption of the 2017 budget, staff reviewed changes to the county property tax base, pointing out that 1) the county’s property tax base now exceeds pre-recession levels, 2) this outcome is generally the result of new construction and 3) the growth in apartment values has outpaced the growth in residential values.  Staff also provided information on the estimated tax impact of changes in the tax levy to various properties throughout Hennepin County.

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.

County calendar

September 8, 2016

Nine Mile Creek Watershed District Board Opening

Applications are being accepted for the Nine Mile Creek Watershed District Board until September 8th. Applicants must not be a public officer of the county, state or federal government and must be a resident of the District.

Appointees advise commissioners on issues and programs and help set policy. The open appointments process promotes citizen involvement through volunteer service.

For more information, visit

September 8, 2016

Public Hearing: Regional Railroad Authority 2017 maximum property tax levy

Acting as the Regional Railroad Authority, a public hearing to consider the 2017 maximum levy for the authority will occur on Tuesday, September 8, at the authority meeting after the 1:30 p.m. board meeting, in the Hennepin County boardroom.

Learn more about the hearing

September 13, 2016

Public Hearing: Suburban housing, community development assessment

The county board 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 p.m., 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. 

2017 public hearing schedule for adoption of the 2017 budget and levy

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, 9:30 ­–  11:30 a.m.

Human Services and Public Health

Thursday, October 6, 2016, 9:30 – 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.