March 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.

March 2017


Jan Callison
6th District

Allyson Sellwood
Principal Aide

Christine Hoyles
Administrative Assistant

District 6 photo


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

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

Southwest Green Line LRT Extension Newsletter



Keep up to date on the latest news and events for the Southwest Green Line LRT Extension by checking out their newsletter.  Find out more by visiting

Hennepin County Transportation projects



Curious about current or upcoming road projects?  Hennepin County's transportation webpage provides information on these projects.  You can sign up for email updates for any project that you are interested in.  Take a look at the webpage here.

Hennepin County Jury Assembly Room renovation

jury room


We recently unveiled our new jury assembly room at the Hennepin County Government Center.  The old space was located on the A-level of the building and did not provide the amenities that we wish to provide to those who are serving the public and doing their civic duty.

The new space has incorporated technology by providing a business center with work stations where jurors can bring their own electronic devices.  There is state of the art equipment in the room which includes kiosks for digital check in, assisted listening and hearing loop technology, multiple monitors with jury information and popular TV programming. 

To create a comfortable and relaxing space, tables and seating  for more than 200 has been designed into the room to allow for games and conversations.  And very importantly, a kitchenette and quiet/nursing rooms have been added.

Thin Ice

Thin ice


With the flux in temperatures over the past week, there have been many instances of people and vehicles falling through thin ice.  Take extra caution around bodies of water and remember that ice on lakes and rivers is thin for this time of year and it might not hold you. 

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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

February 7, 2017

County to upgrade emergency management software

The board approved $417,923 of upgrades to weather forecasting software used to improve emergency decision-making. Software upgrades will help emergency management staff continue monitoring data collected from real-time environmental sensor stations on severe weather events, including storms, floods, blizzards, heat waves and extreme cold.

Read more about the software upgrades. 

County to fund 40 percent of Bottineau LRT engineering


Voting as the Regional Railroad Authority, the board approved $50.9 million of funding to advance engineering of the METRO Blue Line Extension Light Rail transit Project, commonly known as Bottineau LRT. Engineering work will position the project to apply for 49 percent of the total $1.5 billion project cost from the Federal Transit Administration later this year. The Bottineau LRT is a proposed 13-mile transit line extending from downtown Minneapolis to Brooklyn Park. 

Read more about Hennepin County's funding commitment. 

Read more about the Bottineau Light Rail Transit Project.

Grant funding will help mental health patients transition to community

The board accepted grant funding for the Transitions to Community Initiative, which helps patients transition from mental health hospitals to community settings. Hennepin County will use $651,000 of Minnesota Department of Human Services funding to support county residents experiencing a delay in discharge at the Anoka Regional Treatment Center and the Minnesota Security Hospital in St. Peter, Minnesota.   

Read more about the grant funding.

February 23, 2017

County to save thousands on affordable housing legal costs

The board approved county participation in MinnDocs, a system that will save money and staff time by consolidating legal documents for affordable housing projects.

By offering one set of loan documents to developers receiving loans from multiple public funding sources, MinnDocs could reduce affordable housing legal costs by approximately $10,000 per lender, per project. Hennepin County will work with local housing finance agencies to develop this system.

Read more about MinnDocs.

Federal legislative platform approved

The board approved the 2017 federal legislative platform asking Minnesota members of Congress to support the county’s safety-net health services, health and human services, transportation, criminal justice and housing and economic development requests. 

Read the summary of Hennepin County's federal legislative platform.

Candidates appointed to citizen advisory boards

The board appointed the following residents to citizen advisory boards.

County Extension Committee Board

  • Jose Gullien

Human Resources Board

  • Alvaro Giraud-Issacson

Library Board

  • Katherine Blauvelt
  • Christopher Damsgard
  • Timothy Dolan

Three Rivers Park District Board

  • Steven Antolak

Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act Board

  • Gwen Janes 
  • Pete Parris
  • Vonnie Phillips
  • Khadija Zeig
  • Jeffry Wosje
  • James Dow
  • Jessica Bachaus
  • Oksana O'Neill
  • Christy Kierstead

Nine Mile Creek Watershed District Board

  • Grace Sheely

Learn about Hennepin County's citizen advisory boards.

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.

February 9, 2017

Hennepin County education update

The County has been improving its focus on educational outcomes for “county involved youth”—i.e., kids in foster care, teen parents receiving state assistance and juveniles in the juvenile justice system.  These kids typically lag behind their peers in educational achievement measures such as 10th grade reading proficiency, 11th grade math proficiency and graduation rates.  In response, the county is developing an education support/advocacy system that relies upon standardized needs assessments, standardized practices for staff and contracted providers, evidence-based practices, and evaluation and measurement.

February 23, 2017

Facilities Services space planning

Facility Services staff presented an overview of county facilities, including its master planning effort.  Data presented included a breakdown of county buildings (owned and leased) by utilization as well as projections of staff growth and comparisons of staff to both gross and usable space.  Master planning will include a projection of future space needs and comparison with the county’s current real estate portfolio, completion of an in depth public parking needs study and the development of options to accommodate the county’s projected space requirements.  The study should be completed in the fall of 2017.

County calendar

March 4 & 5, 2017

Geo:Code 2017, a free open data forum



Geo:Code is a community generated conference connecting residents with Hennepin County and open data.  People with all backgrounds, skills and ideas are encouraged to register.


March 4, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.

March 5, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Hennepin County Library, Minneapolis Central

300 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis

Breakfast and lunch will be served

This year’s event will feature two tracks:

  • County Camp: Unconference, including presentations about open data, geography and civic engagement
  • Code Space: Code-a-thon to build an app or website that uses open data

Participants are welcome to partake in either or both tracks and to switch between tracks during the weekend. Space is limited, so organizers ask all attendees to register in advance.

Project examples

Over the past two years, discussions, sessions and projects covered topics as diverse as:

  • Service design
  • Accessibility
  • Recreation
  • Lo-fi prototyping
  • Usability
  • Transit and bicycle mapping
  • Ways to reach representatives
  • Ways to find public meeting spaces
  • Food access
  • Arts integration
  • Why data matters to non-technology community

Learn more and register for Geo:Code 2017.

This year’s event is hosted by Hennepin County with partners Open Twin Cities and Hennepin County Library.  

March 7, 2017

Club Books



Richard Zacks will be at the Southdale Library:

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

7 p.m.

7001 York Ave S, Edina

To talk about "Chasing the Last Laugh, " the tale of American humorist Mark Twain's round-the-world comedy tour.  Learn more here.

Hennepin County Job Opportunities

Hennepin County is always looking for dedicated and talented individuals to join our workforce. Take a minute to check out all of the opportunities across various lines of business here.  There are internship positions available as well, so if you know a student looking for quality experience we have multiple opportunities.