February 2017 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.

February 2017


Jan Callison
6th District

Allyson Sellwood
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


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County departments, agencies & other entities

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Hennepin County libraries

Hennepin County Medical Center

Hennepin volunteers

Online services

Phone directory

Service Center information

Southwest light rail

Understanding your property tax

Hennepin County stories


Discover how Hennepin County is making a difference in our communities through Hennepin County stories.

Minnetonka Boulevard repaving and restriping project


You are invited to meet with county and city staff to discuss a repaving and restriping project for Minnetonka Boulevard (County Road 5) in Minnetonka.

During planning for an upcoming repaving, the idea to restripe the road based on current use and to improve safety was discussed by the county and the City of Minnetonka. 

Now, the county and city would like to share more details with those who live and travel in the area.

The open house will be:

Wednesday, February 8, 2017
5:30 to 7 p.m.
Minnetonka Community Center
14600 Minnetonka Boulevard
Minnetonka, MN 55345

There is no formal presentation, so you can come any time. You will have an opportunity to ask questions or share comments – either by speaking directly with staff or submitting them in writing.

If you wish to discuss the project in advance, cannot attend or need a special accommodation, please contact either Bob Byers at 612-596-0354 or robert.byers@hennepin.us or Will Manchester at 952-939-8232 or wmanchester@eminnetonka.com.

Project overview:

This summer, Hennepin County is planning to repave the road between the northbound I-494 ramps and Larchwood Drive as part of its pavement maintenance effort.

From Martha Lane to just west of Williston Road (near The Marsh), Minnetonka Boulevard would be one traffic lane in each direction with a shared center lane for left turns.

At the key locations of Tonkawood Road, Martha Lane and the Minnetonka Fire Department and Police Station entrance, there would be dedicated left-turn lanes.

A map of the proposed striping changes is available at www.hennepin.us/mtkablvd.

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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

January 3, 2017

Hennepin County Board Organization

On January 3, 2017, four Hennepin County Commissioners took office and the board set the organizational structure for 2017.  Mike Opat, District 1; Jeff Johnson, District 7;  and I were re-elected and Debbie Goettel was newly sworn into her role as Commissioner for District 5.

I am honored to have been reappointed by my colleagues to serve as the chair of the county board and to be joined by my colleague Linda Higgins who was reappointed to serve as vice chair.

The county board changed the names of the board committees to better reflect the county's administrative structure.  Below are the committees and their leadership:

  • Public Works: Mike Opat, District 1
  • Health: Marion Greene, District 3
  • Human Services: Debbie Goettel, District 5
  • Public Safety: Jeff Johnson, District 7
  • Operations: Linda Higgins, District 2
  • County Administration: Peter McLaughlin, District 4

Hennepin County Regional Railroad Authority Leadership

Acting as the Hennepin County Regional Railroad Authority (HCRRA), the board re-elected Commissioner Peter McLaughlin, District 4, as chair and myself as vice chair of HCRRA.

County board reinvests $1 million to support additional transit-oriented development projects



Four transit-oriented development (TOD) projects will split $1,050,000 in funding allocated through Hennepin County’s TOD Program. The projects include a mix of infrastructure, housing, retail, office space and commercial space, all located within walking distance of major transit routes.

This new investment will leverage more than $31 million in private and public funding. It will help create 113 new housing units; improve pedestrian and bicycle connections to major transit routes; build 26,000 square feet of commercial and office space; and create or retain nearly 50 jobs. Part of the money will be used to purchase property designated for future TOD uses.

The four projects fall along major existing or planned transit routes, including the busy transit intersection at Franklin and Lyndale avenues in Minneapolis, currently served by several high-frequency bus lines; the Metro Green Line; and Metro Blue Line Extension (planned for 2021).

The 2017 round of Hennepin County’s TOD program opened January 5, with $2.2 million in possible funding available. More information about the program and other development funding opportunities can be found at www.hennepin.us/TOD.

The four current projects approved:

  • Bass Lake Road Streetscape, Crystal, $200,000
  • Harris Building Food Hall and Office, Minneapolis, $300,000
  • Robbinsdale Station Area, Robbinsdale, $400,000
  • Theatre Garage Marquee Apartments, Minneapolis, $150,000

January 10, 2017

HRA leadership elected

Acting as the Hennepin County Housing and Redevelopment Authority (HRA), the board elected District 2 Commissioner Linda Higgins as chair and District 5 Commissioner Debbie Goettel as vice chair of the authority. 

Read more about HRA organization.

January 24, 2017

Funding approved for fiber network along Southwest LRT corridor


The board approved funding for improvements related to the Southwest Light Rail Transit project, including $2.2 million for installation of fiber optic infrastructure along the entire transit corridor. Laying the fiber optic infrastructure will lower county operating costs and support Hennepin County’s growing need for a high-speed, reliable broadband network.

Hennepin County will also provide $1.7 million to construct a trail and $400,000 to reconstruct traffic control systems at two intersections along Flying Cloud Drive (County Road 61) in Eden Prairie.

Read more about the improvements planned for the light rail corridor

Read more about the Southwest Light Rail Transit project.

Grants awarded for natural resources projects



The board approved a total of $284,015 in grant funding for projects to protect natural resources and water quality throughout the county.

Hennepin County awarded $225,000 in Natural Resources Opportunity grants to the following organizations:

  • City of Greenfield: $25,000 to capture and filter stormwater onsite at the city’s Central Park
  • Bassett Creek Watershed Management Commission, Plymouth: $50,000 to stabilize and restore streambanks along both sides of Plymouth Creek
  • Metro Blooms, Minneapolis: $50,000 to work with property owners in the Harrison Neighborhood to install stormwater best management practices
  • Mississippi Watershed Management Organization, Minneapolis: $50,000 to install stormwater best management practices for commercial properties along targeted corridors
  • Riley-Purgatory-Bluff Creek Watershed District, Minnetonka: $50,000 to remove invasive plants and restore seven acres of forest at the Scenic Heights School

The county also awarded $59,015 for six Good Steward grants for smaller projects.

Read more about Hennepin County’s natural resources grants and grantees.


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.

County calendar

February 1, 2017

Genealogy Research: Get Started

10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Hennepin County Library - Southdale

7001 York Avenue South, Edina

Learn how to access family history resources, including census and immigration records and the best of what's available at the library and on the Internet. Learn more.

February 4, 2017

Upcycled Book Art

2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Hennepin County Library - Westonka

2079 Commerce Boulevard, Mound

Learn easy and creative ideas for upcycling used books into fun and useful items. See examples of many used book creations and make a folded book project to take home. Materials provided. Learn more.

February 18, 2017

Used Book Sale

10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Hennepin County Library - Ridgedale

12601 Ridgedale Drive, Minnetonka

Hundreds of officially withdrawn and donated adult and children's fiction and nonfiction library books will be for sale for $1-2. Funds raised will benefit the library. Learn more.

February 21, 2017

Volunteer Tax Assistance for Low-income Individuals and Families

3 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Hennepin County Library - Southdale

7001 York Avenue South, Edina

For more information and appointment scheduling, call 952-697-1414. Learn more and find out if you qualify.

February 23, 2017

Volunteers sought for Minnehaha Creek Watershed District Board vacancies


The board is accepting applications for two vacancies on the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District Board, which coordinates the management of water and related land resources in the watershed that drains into Lake Minnetonka and Minnehaha Creek. For more information, visit www.hennepin.us/advisoryboards.

February 25, 2017

Celebrate Asia: Chinese New Year

3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Hennepin County Library - Ridgedale

12601 Ridgedale Drive, Minnetonka

Kick off the Year of the Rooster with Chinese Dance Theater by learning Chinese dance and participating other activities! Funded by Minnesota's Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund. Learn more.

March 16 - May 17

Sign up for Citizens Academy

Learn how county government works to serve its residents by enrolling in Hennepin County Citizens Academy, a free, eight-week series that takes you up close to the people, places and processes that make our county a great place to live.

Participants visit various county facilities, meet county leaders and get a peek behind the scenes. Find out how many miles a snowplow operator plows during an average winter, who answers 911 calls and what a typical day looks like for a county commissioner.

Session schedule

The series will run from March 16 to May 17. Sessions will take place from 6:30 to 9 p.m. in Brooklyn Center, Medina, Minneapolis, Minnetonka and Plymouth.

  • Week 1, March 16: Hennepin County Board, budget, property assessing 
  • Week 2, March 22: Community works, environment and energy 
  • Week 3, March 29: Health and medical services 
  • No session April 5 or April 12
  • Week 4, April 19: Public Defender’s Office, County Attorney's Office, 4th Judicial District Court 
  • Week 5, April 26: Human services 
  • Week 6, May 3: Corrections and Hennepin County Sheriff's Office 
  • Week 7, May 10: Transportation and emergency management 
  • Week 8, May 17: Information technology, facility services, elections, workforce development, volunteering 

Learn more and register

Find registration information, session topics, materials, locations and more by visiting http://www.hennepin.us/your-government/get-involved/citizens-academy


Partnership aims to keep kids from drowning


Hennepin County is partnering with the USA Swimming Foundation on a pilot project to connect underserved youth and communities throughout the county with swimming lessons.

Local organizations that are a part of the Make a Splash Local Partner network can apply for grants – made possible through USA Swimming Foundation’s Make a Splash initiative and the Hennepin Youth Sports Program – to provide youth scholarships for swimming lessons and water safety education. 

According to a USA Swimming Foundation study, 70 percent of African American, 60 percent of Hispanic/Latino and more than 40 percent of Caucasians have little to no swimming ability.

“This partnership aims to save lives by teaching kids in underserved populations in our communities how to swim,” said Hennepin County Board Chair Jan Callison. “In the land of 10,000 lakes, it is important that all children know how to swim.”

Debbie Hesse, executive director of the USA Swimming Foundation, agrees.

“The swim lesson providers who make up our Make a Splash Local Partner networks are doing important work to improve the safety and quality of life for children who otherwise wouldn’t have this lifesaving opportunity,” said Hesse. “We’re excited to be working with Hennepin County in expanding their water safety and learn to swim efforts, and look forward to providing opportunities for children in Minnesota to learn to swim.”

About the Hennepin Youth Sports Program

The Hennepin Youth Sports Program awards grants for youth sports facilities, equipment and other opportunities for youth participation in Hennepin County. In July 2016, the program authorized $35,000 for the swim pilot project.

Learn more about the program.

About the USA Swimming Foundation’s Make a Splash initiative

USA Swimming Foundation’s Make a Splash initiative is a national child-focused water safety campaign, aiming to provide the opportunity for every child in America to learn to swim. Through Make a Splash, the USA Swimming Foundation partners with learn-to-swim providers and water safety advocates across the country to provide swimming lessons and educate children and their families on the importance of learning how to swim.

The USA Swimming Foundation has invested millions of dollars to provide grants to qualified Local Partner learn-to-swim programs, spread national awareness and bring together strategic partners to end drowning. To date, more than 4 million children have received the lifesaving gift of swim lessons through the USA Swimming Foundation Make a Splash Local Partner network, comprised of more than 800 qualified lesson providers across the nation.

Learn more about the initiative. 

Application process

Grants will be available for as much as $5,000. Applications for Hennepin County grants are due by 6 p.m. March 8. A committee will review applications and award funding March 22.   

Apply to become a Make a Splash Local Partner.

Approved partners can submit a grant application.