County board actions: additional public hearing set for new transportation and transit sales tax, funding will support small businesses, grant application approved for $5 million to conserve and restore natural areas

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

County board actions

Votes Tuesday will set an additional public hearing for new transportation and transit sales tax, provide funding to support small businesses, approve an application for $5 million to conserve and restore natural areas, approve an agreement to reduce violent crime in Minneapolis and award a contract for criminal justice adult diversion services.

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Additional public hearing set for new transportation and transit sales tax

The board approved an additional public hearing to obtain public comment on the imposition of a new sales tax of up to one-half cent and the potential uses of that revenue for transportation and transit projects.
This tax would replace the current sales tax of one-quarter cent imposed by Hennepin County for the Counties Transit Improvement Board (CTIB).
The public hearing will be held before the Public Works Committee on Tuesday, June 6, at 1:30 p.m. in the Board Room (A-2400) of the Hennepin County Government Center, 300 South Sixth Street, Minneapolis.
All are welcome.
The board held a previous public hearing on the sales tax on Tuesday, March 21, continued that hearing on Tuesday, March 28, and laid the matter over to the call of the chair.
Read more about the action.
See the sales and use transportation tax implementation plan.
Learn more about how Hennepin County is connecting people to places.

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Grants will support livelihood of small business districts

The board awarded two grants totaling $80,000 to support economic vitality of small business districts in suburban Hennepin County. Business District Initiative grants will leverage about $84,000 in matching investments and benefit as many as 80 small businesses.

Funding awards

  • City of Hopkins: $30,000 for placemaking projects to drive traffic to small businesses in downtown Hopkins
  • City of Richfield: $50,000 for storefront improvements and marketing for the Penn Avenue business district  

Read more about the funding awards.

Read more about the Business District Initiative program.

County to apply for $5 million to conserve and restore natural resources

The board approved a grant application to the Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Council for $5 million to acquire conservation easements and restore natural areas. A conservation easement is a set of restrictions a landowner voluntarily places on property to preserve its conservation value. The grant would facilitate protection of unique and important remaining natural areas in the county, including the remaining portions of the historic Big Woods forests, tamarack bogs and native tallgrass prairies. The Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Council will make funding recommendations in December 2017, and, if successful, the grant would take effect after approval by the legislature in the summer of 2018.

Read more about this action.

Team aims to reduce crime in Minneapolis

The board approved an agreement aiming to reduce violent crime in Minneapolis. The Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office is working with the Minneapolis Police Department and other law enforcement agencies to increase law enforcement presence in the city. The agreement will provide Joint Enforcement Team patrol between May and September in neighborhoods most impacted by gun violence.     

Read more about the Joint Enforcement Team.

County awards contract for criminal justice diversion program

The board approved a $325,686 contract to divert first-time nonviolent adult offenders from the criminal justice system. The Hennepin County Attorney’s Office awarded the contract to Diversion Solutions, which beat out two other companies that responded to the November bidding process. Diversion Solutions received the highest rank while coming in with the lowest bid of the three companies. The new contract will save the county thousands of dollars annually and make better use of existing county services.  

Read more about the contract.

Public hearing on sale of land in Brooklyn Center

The board is hosting a public hearing on the proposed sale of a .06 acre parcel of tax-forfeited land to Mound Cemetery in Brooklyn Center.

Public hearing details

  • Tuesday, June 6, 1:30 p.m.
  • Hennepin County Government Center Board Room (A-2400)
  • 300 South Sixth Street, Minneapolis

Read more about the public hearing.

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