August Newsletter: Hennepin Commissioner Debbie Goettel

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debbie goettel

Hennepin Happening

Welcome to the District 5 June newsletter! Scroll down to read more about

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Bring Debbie to your community

Realife Cooperative

Last week, I met with seniors at the Realife Cooperative on 94th and Lyndale. It was a great opportunity for me to learn more about the issues impacting them the most. Doing good work for you means staying in touch with our community, so I hope you'll reach out to our office and schedule a time for me to visit your community, organization, or just to grab coffee with a few of your neighbors. Call our office at 612-348-7885 or send me an email at to get something on the calendar.

News from the Board

Bloomington HRA

TIF District for Bloomington senior living development

The Bloomington HRA is currently seeking to implement a Tax Increment Finance (TIF) district for a senior living development at Portland Avenue and 88th Street. The developers are following an 80/20 ration of market-rate housing to affordable housing model. Providing this level of affordable housing options ensures that there will be a place in our city for all of our community members. My staff and I will follow this closely to help it pass through the county’s approval process.

Justice Assistance Grant for Richfield Public Safety

The City of Richfield was awarded a Justice Assistance Grant of $9,657 from the U.S. Department of Justice. These dollars help support local law enforcement, making Hennepin County's entire criminal justice system stronger. Thank you to the City's staff who coordinated a joint bid with the other eligible municipalities to bring these grant dollars to Hennepin.


Southwest Light Rail clears roadblock with TC&W agreement

The Hennepin County Regional Railroad Authority (HCRRA) held a special meeting to approve a settlement with the Twin Cities & Western Railroad Company, which was challenging property transfers proposed for the Southwest LRT project.

These agreements clear a major roadblock for SWLRT, allowing the Federal Transit Administration to complete its evaluation of the project and proceed to construction.

Debbie around the district

Since my last newsletter at the beginning of the month, here are a few highlights from my work...

Chamberlain Groundbreaking

Attended the ground breaking for The Chamberlain development in Richfield. The new buildings will feature 284 new units, of which 20% will be priced as affordable units. Projects like these help to ensure that there is a place for everyone in our community to call home.


Richfield Farmers Market

Spent a lovely morning at the farmers market sampling momos, popcorn, and handing out the latest Hennepin County bike map. We will be adding in a few extra miles of designated bike paths with the completion of 66th Street in Richfield and Flying Cloud Drive in Eden Prairie.


NACO conference

Attended the NACO conference in Nashville. We viewed a documentary by the Healthy Counties Initiative and Smart Justice on the opioid crisis, and we had a panel discussion with many of the people featured in the film. I also attended a round table discussion on integrating healthcare and housing and another on jails and treating mental health issues. ‘Equity’ is a pillar of my decision making process. Connecting with experts on these issues helps me make decisions that take everyone’s livelihoods into account.

Hennepin County Library

Oxboro Renovation Rendering

Oxboro Library closes August 19 for major renovation

When the library reopens, patrons will find a more open and flexible library, including spaces for collaborative and quiet study and more library computers. Increased space for youth will include a larger area for teens, as well as an expanded early literacy area for young children and caregivers. A new second entrance will welcome pedestrian traffic from the Portland Avenue side, across from Valley View Middle School.

Learn more about the Oxboro Library project plans.


More MnSpin music!

Discover even more Minnesota artists with MnSpin, an online streaming and downloading tool on The most recent selection period is nearing completion, and more than 70 new albums will be available for your listening pleasure. Watch for a launch announcement on and on social media.

Check out MnSpin.

Volunteer for Homework Help
Photo Credit: David Chanen (Star Tribune)

Homework Help needs volunteers

Help a student and make a difference in your community. Hennepin County Library’s free tutoring service, Homework Help, has openings for new volunteers at all locations.

Learn more about volunteering as a Homework Help tutor.

Hennepin History Museum

Owning up: racism and housing in Minneapolis

Thursday, August 16 – Exhibit Opening:  Owning Up: Racism and Housing in Minneapolis

Hennepin History Museum is pleased to host an exhibition created by graduate students Denise Pike and Kacie Lucchini in the University of Minnesota’s new Heritage Studies and Public History program. The exhibit focuses on the history of racial discrimination and housing in Minneapolis and is part of a series of events marking the 50th anniversary of the Fair Housing Act. $5, $3 for seniors or students; free for members.


History on two wheels

Saturday/Sunday, August 18 & 19 – History on Two Wheels

Enjoy an overnight bike ride through Minneapolis to tour landmarks of historical significance in the African American Communities. Ride marshals are from the Major Taylor Bicycling Club of Minnesota and are steeped in local history; Major Taylor was the first African American world champion cyclist in 1899. The ride will set out from Hennepin History Museum on Saturday evening and is designed for riders with the stamina to ride all through the night. Adults 18 and older are eligible. For more details about the tour and information about how to register, go to; tickets are $65/person.

Road construction

66th Street in Richfield and Bloomington's Normandale Boulevard are in the midst of major construction projects. Skip the traffic jams and sign up for updates on the projects impacting your commute.

You can also visit the Hennepin County website for updates on road maintenance projects and all other road construction.

Constituent services

Housing crises, energy assistance, child protection, emergency situations; we are here to advocate for you when it comes to navigating local and county services, and we want to help. Please call our office at 612-348-7885 with any questions or for assistance.


Commissioner Debbie Goettel
Hennepin County District 5
Bloomington | Eden Prairie | Richfield
612-348-7885 |

Casey Krolczyk
Principal Aide
612-596-7078 |

Michael Ohama
Policy Director
612-348-7885 |

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