County Board actions: Respite for caregivers

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

County board actions

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Grant connects caregivers to respite opportunities

The board voted to accept an 18-month grant for as much as $350,000, to connect people with autism spectrum disorder to organizations that offer culturally competent respite care. The grant from the Minnesota Department of Human Services will be used to help family caregivers find and pay for short-term, planned and emergency respite care services to prevent out-of-home placement, hospitalization, and caregiver stress.  In addition, the funding will provide cultural competence training for 150 respite workers, with a special focus on additional family members and members of underserved communities.  At least 125 people with autism will receive services through the grant. In 2014, Hennepin County served approximately 1,520 persons with autism spectrum diagnoses in our waiver and children’s mental health systems.

Read more. 

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Rail authority approves proposed maximum levy

Acting as the Hennepin County Regional Railroad Authority, the board approved the agency's proposed 2017 maximum property tax levy at $33 million. That property taxpayers' share is only part of the agency's overall $100.6 million budget. 

The proposed 2017 Hennepin County Regional Railroad Authority (HCRRA) budget supports the following priority projects:

  • $33.99 million for Southwest Light Rail Transit, as the project completes engineering and moves to construction
  •  $44 million for the Bottineau Light Rail Transit as the project completes the project development phase and moves toward engineering
  • $7.2 million for the Midtown Greenway Corridor Bridges for project development and construction
  • $6.9 million for debt service 

The 2017 HCRRA budget includes $8.6 million for maintenance of the 55 miles of corridor and staff support for transitways and oversight of HCRRA's infrastructure assets and operational needs. It is recommended that the HCRRA levy for 2017 be set at $33 million.  

The proposed maximum levy will be discussed at the county's Truth-in-Taxation hearing, Tuesday, November 29, at 6 p.m. It comes to a vote on Tuesday, December 13. 

Read more about the Railroad Authority's maximum levy.

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 last week 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 increase from the Counties Transit Improvement Board and a plan 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 full news release.

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