County board actions: vote to change name of Lake Calhoun to Bde Maka Ska

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

County board actions

The board approved a name change of Lake Calhoun to Bde Maka Ska, accepted a plan focusing on partnerships with corrections clients and the community, adopted a plan to reach the state's goal of zero waste to landfills, continued a partnership that connects kids to water safety lessons and more.

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Board votes to change name of Lake Calhoun to
Bde Maka Ska

The board voted 4 - 3 to change the name of Lake Calhoun to Bde Maka Ska, a Dakota name, which means White Earth Lake.

This action follows a public engagement process and unanimous vote by the Minneapolis Park Board in May to rename the landmark. In order to become official, the name change needs approval from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and then the U.S. Board on Geographic Names.

Registered voters in Hennepin County brought forth to the county board three different petitions to rename the lake to Bde Maka Ska, Lake Maka Ska and Lake Wellstone.

The board received extensive public comment on this topic and hosted a public hearing Tuesday, October 17, to discuss and receive testimony on the petitions.

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Plan focuses on new partnerships with corrections clients and community

The board approved the Department of Community Corrections and Rehabilitation's two-year comprehensive plan, which outlines the department’s core services, as well as the way those services are delivered, balancing accountability and treatment. The department’s upcoming work will rely on evidence-based practices and partnerships with the community and elevate a focus on racial disparity. These strategies align with Hennepin County's focus on reducing disparities among all residents. 

Learn more about this action.

Board adopts plan to reach goal of zero waste to landfills

The board adopted the Hennepin County Solid Waste Management Master Plan for 2018 - 2023. State statute requires metro counties to prepare master plans every six years that identify strategies to meet the state’s goal of zero waste landfilled by 2030. The county has made steady progress toward these goals and diverted 82 percent of waste from landfills in 2016, a rate on par with national leaders. A primary focus of the plan is diverting organics from the trash by proposing requirements for cities and certain businesses, increasing local capacity to manage organics and working to prevent food waste.

Read more about this action.

Read more about solid waste planning in Hennepin County.

Funding will continue providing youth water safety lessons

The board voted to continue a partnership with the USA Swimming Foundation to connect underserved youth with water safety lessons. During its first grant cycle in April, the partnership awarded $35,000 to eight swimming lesson providers. These organizations will serve about 1,000 youth through the end of 2017. Tuesday's action will fund an additional $35,000 grant cycle in 2018. Hennepin County's Youth Sports Program, funded with proceeds from the Twins ballpark sales tax, provides financial support for this project. 

Read more about this action.  

Learn more about this partnership.

Learn more about the Youth Sports Program.

Hennepin County Library - Oxboro renovations move forward

The board approved the initial design for major renovations to the Hennepin County Library - Oxboro. Improvements will include more open areas and a modern floor plan offering a variety of reading and meeting spaces. The library will undergo improvements beginning summer 2018 and reopen in winter 2019. 

Read more about this action

Read more about the renovation project.

Federal grant will enhance Sheriff's Office forensic science services

The board accepted a $428,456 U.S. Department of Justice grant to improve workflow at the Hennepin County Sheriff's Office Crime Lab. Funding will allow forensic scientists to begin a new method of pre-screening multiple types of evidence at the same time, including DNA, fingerprints and firearms.

Read more about this action.

Board authorizes use of real estate brokers to sell tax-forfeited homes

The board approved an action that will advance a program working to revitalize neighborhoods and support small businesses. While Hennepin County traditionally sells tax-forfeited properties through public auctions, the board authorized the county to sell these properties through a real estate broker or other means. Hennepin County is currently working with local small businesses to renovate nine tax-forfeited homes. This action will allow the county to return the properties to the tax roll by selling them directly to homeowners.

Learn more about this action.

Additional board actions

The board also took the following actions:

Hennepin County accepting applications for citizen advisory boards

The board is recruiting volunteers for 24 citizen advisory board positions through its annual open appointment process. The county will accept applications through December 29.

Interested citizens can apply online.

Current and archival board meetings, agendas and minutes are available online. View at

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