June 2018 E-Newsletter

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Jan Callison - News from District 6

  June 2018


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

In this edition

Board meetings

May 08, 2018

County renews funding to help local small businesses grow

The board approved funding agreements to continue two programs that will support as many as 300 small businesses and entrepreneurs through 2020. 

The county will provide $135,000 in matching funds for suburban communities to sponsor Open to Business. Under an agreement with the Metropolitan Consortium of Community Developers, this program provides technical assistance and support for small businesses.

In addition, Hennepin, Ramsey and Scott counties will all contribute to a $265,000 contract with the Edward R. Lowe Foundation to provide Economic Gardening services, which help businesses grow past the start-up stage.

Since 2012, Open to Business has assisted 1,900 entrepreneurs in suburban Hennepin County and created or retained 932 jobs as a result of financing.

In Hennepin County, 84 businesses have participated in the Economic Gardening program from 2011 to 2017, and these businesses have retained 1,700 jobs and created more than 650 new jobs.

Read more about these agreements.

Read more about the county's economic development programs.

Eden Prairie Library renovations move forward

EP Library

The board approved the initial design for renovations to the Eden Prairie Library, which will close in early winter 2018 for improvements that will take approximately nine months to complete. Features of the renovated space will include additional designated quiet and active areas, new energy efficient lighting and outdoor spaces accessible from within the library. On Tuesday, the board also approved a contract to begin architectural and engineering work for the $12.1 million project.

Learn more about this action

Learn more about the renovation project.

Affordable Housing Incentive Fund (AHIF) awards approved

Meeting as the Housing and Redevelopment Authority, the board approved $3.28 million in AHIF funding agreements. With support from AHIF, 13 new construction and rehabilitation projects will create 671 affordable housing units. Some of those projects include alignment with Human Services programs. Since 2000, the fund has committed approximately $63.2 million and leveraged more than $1.5 billion in additional investments to assist in the creation and maintenance of more than 7,700 affordable units in Hennepin County.

Learn more about the grants and see a list of projects

May 22, 2018

Grant will expand withdrawal management services

The board accepted a $200,000 grant from UCare to expand medical-supervised withdrawal management services at 1800 Chicago Avenue, Minneapolis. The aim of the project is to reduce demand on high-cost crisis care. The county expects to see benefits in serving clients through withdrawal management at the facility, rather than in the emergency department, including reduced costs and improved outcomes.

Learn more about the grant and the program

TV channel delivers government announcements to diverse audiences

TPT logo

The board voted to accept a federal grant of as much as $100,000 to continue development of TPT NOW, a public health and safety broadcast channel designed to help government officials and partners to promote community resiliency, including health, safety, emergency situational awareness and public alerts. The channel will provide programming in English, Spanish, Hmong and Somali. This project was funded by the Department of Homeland Security and is administered by Hennepin County Emergency Management on behalf of emergency management departments metro-wide.

Learn more about TPT NOW

Grant will bolster program to strengthen families

The board accepted a grant of $529,868 from the Minnesota Department of Human Services to increase staffing in the Family Group Decision Making program. Under the program, trusted friends and family members gather to support families and children, to help them resolve issues of safety, permanency and well-being. Specially trained Hennepin County social workers facilitate the meetings for families with open children’s services cases, children in long-term foster care working toward self-sufficiency or emancipation, families with open family assessment cases, and families that are seeking family support and preservation services.

Learn more about the grant and about Family Group Decision Making program.

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.

May 03, 2018

Pathways to Employment Return on Investment

Staff presented an overview of workforce development efforts in Hennepin County and other employers, as well as current and future pathways and initiatives.  The Pathways Return On Investment (ROI) study which followed 66 participants for 12 months after their hire showed many successes, including increased earning capabilities, a decrease in public assistance costs, and a high retention rate.  Hennepin County will continue to work with the Workforce Leadership Council and the public sector to expand private sector involvement, strengthen partnerships, continue developing programs.

May 17, 2018

Southwest Light Rail Transit

This briefing reviewed the status of the Southwest Light Rail Transit project in anticipation of the special board meeting that was held on May 31.  Staff summarized changes to the project budget including the impact of delays due to freight rail negotiations, additional environmental review and the rebidding of the civil package.  They highlighted steps that have been taken to reduce cost increases such as changes to civil contract specifications, modifications to the Operations and Maintenance Facility and staff reductions. They described the Executive Change Control Board and the proposal to use it to control the project contingency in order to manage future cost escalation.  Finally, they identified outstanding legal, construction and financial issues such as Surface Transportation Board authorization, FTA approvals and federal funding participation.

The purpose of the special board meeting was to consider the proposed budget increase of Southwest Light Rail Transit by $204M to $2.003B. 

County calendar

June 5, 2018

Public hearing - solid waste management fee

Hennepin County will host a public hearing on Tuesday, June 5, to gather public comment on proposed revisions to Hennepin County's solid waste management fee. The fee was established in 1994 to fund environmental programs. A key change to the ordinance is aimed at supporting reuse retailers by reducing the fees they pay to dispose of non-reusable household goods that are donated to them. Some administrative changes are also being proposed. 

    When: Tuesday, June 5, 1:30 p.m.

      Where: Board room (A-2400), Hennepin County Government Center

      • 300 South Sixth Street, Minneapolis

      Read more about the public hearing.

      June 5, 2018

      Master Gardener: sustainable lawn care

      Master gardener

      When: Tuesday, June 5, 6:30 to 8 p.m.

      Where: Excelsior Library, 337 Water Street, Excelsior

      Create a healthy lawn using fewer inputs such as water, fertilizer, and time, while still having a positive impact on the environment.

      Register and learn more about this Master Gardener event.

      June 6, 2018

      Health and Safety Fair

      health and safety fair

      When: Wednesday, June 6, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

      Where: Hennepin County Government Center, 300 South 6th Street, Minneapolis

      County experts and more than 25 exhibitors will share resources on health and safety topics along with demonstrations and activities. Attendees can learn tips for staying safe at work and at home. Special topics for 2018 include the opioid epidemic, hoarding, and emergency preparedness. Hennepin County holds a Health and Safety Fair each year in conjunction with National Safety Month.


      Exposing the complexity of child welfare work

      Hennepin County has undertaken an unprecedented child welfare reform – in the context of similar state and national efforts. We’re working to reduce the number of families requiring a Child Protection response, increase the quality of families’ experiences with child protection, and reduce racial disproportionality in child protection, especially among Native American and African American families.

      Watch the FOX9 segment about how Hennepin County is “flipping the system.”

      Farmer's Market at Government Center

      Farmer's market


      Get in a healthy habit with fresh produce and bedding plants from the Farmer’s Market, each week this summer and into the fall.

      When: Tuesdays through October, 9 a.m. to 3 pm.

      Where: Hennepin County Government Center, South Plaza, 300 South 6th Street, Minneapolis

      Stay current on road projects


      Up-to-date operations and maintenance projects

      Looking for the most current information about major operations and maintenance activities --- visit www.hennepin.us/roadmaintenance.

      County led project

      Wayzata Boulevard (County Road 112) reconstruction project in Long Lake and Orono

      o Work will wrap up on phase 1 this year

      o Work begins on phase 2 (between Wolf Pointe Trail and Highway 12)

      o More information about the project can be found at www.hennepin.us/countyroad112

      Coordinated projects

      Blake Road (County Road 20) reconstruction project in Hopkins

      o This is a city-led project in Hopkins

      o More information about the project can be found at www.hopkinsmn.com/180/Blake-Road-Corridor-Study and www.blakerdhopkins.com/

      Get rid of medicine the right way

      medicine disposal

      Have unused or expired medicine in your house? Use one of the many medicine disposal boxes located throughout Hennepin County Government to dispose of medications safely. Proper medicine disposal protects human and environmental health. Learn more here: http://www.hennepin.us/…/recycling-hazard…/medicine-disposal

      About District 6

      District 6 map

      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.

      County information

      District 6 staff

      Jan Callison
      6th District

      Allyson Sellwood
      Policy Aide

      Christine Hoyles
      Administrative Assistant


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