October E-Newsletter

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Jan Callison - News from District 6

  October 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

September 6, 2018

$1.4 million grant will preserve natural habitat


The board accepted a grant from the State of Minnesota Outdoor Heritage Fund to permanently preserve some of the county’s most unique and important natural areas. The project has been awarded $1.5 million to expand conservation easement acquisition and habitat restoration activities in the county. The Minnesota Land Trust, a nonprofit conservation organization that protects natural and scenic land, is the county’s land protection partner in this project.

A conservation easement is a set of development restrictions that a landowner voluntarily places on their property to permanently protect its natural resources. The landowner retains ownership of the land and continues to pay property taxes.

Fully protected and restored natural areas benefit county residents by facilitating groundwater recharge, aiding in stormwater management and flood control, protecting and improving air and water quality, providing wildlife habitat and recreational opportunities, and increasing the value of neighboring properties.

Learn more about this action.

$2 million in transportation safety projects will respond to community concerns


Hennepin County is dedicating $2 million for transportation safety improvements in urban, suburban and rural communities across the county:

  • $1.5 million for 12 county- and city-led projects in Dayton, Eden Prairie, Golden Valley, Minneapolis, Minnetonka, Minnetonka Beach, Plymouth and St. Louis Park. Improvements include dedicated turn lanes, bicycle lanes and crossings for people biking and walking
  • $500,000 for operational improvements including accessible curb ramps, accessible signals and flashing beacons for crossings

Transportation staff prioritized this year’s projects based on crash data; pedestrian, bicycle and motorist safety factors; resident feedback; and construction timeframe. The county also makes safety improvements as part of larger capital projects and ongoing system maintenance work.

Learn more about these projects.

Submit feedback about transportation safety on roadways, bikeways or sidewalks to safetyoperations@hennepin.us.

Board appoints member to Human Resources Board

The board appointed Kay Schroven to the Human Resources Board.

Read more about this action.

Staff and community donate $50,000 to support people in crisis

The board received an annual report from the Special Gift Fund, which received more than $50,000 in donations from county employees and the community in 2017. Donations provide financial assistance to Human Services and Public Health clients facing an emergency or special need. Last year, more than 110 people received grants to support physical and mental health, housing and other basic needs. The fund also supported transportation needs, contributed to the county's Backpack Challenge school supplies drive and provided reading glasses for people experiencing homelessness.

Read the full report.

September 25, 2018

County to award tree canopy improvement grants


The board designated $500,000 for tree canopy improvement grants available to cities, affordable housing providers and non-profit organizations. Grant funding will support tree inventory, management, preservation and replacement, along with education and outreach. The county will prioritize projects in areas with higher economic, environmental and health disparities.

View this board action.

Learn more about trees and forestry in Hennepin County.

Subscribe to receive tree canopy updates.

Health plan partnerships expand support for people in mental and chemical health crisis

The board accepted $50,000 from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota to expand and improve services to help people safely withdraw from substances and support their work towards recovery. UCare and Hennepin Healthcare have also joined in this effort, and the county is seeking partnerships with other health plans. Providing additional supports at 1800 Chicago Avenue in Minneapolis can reduce demand on emergency departments and other high-cost crisis services, reducing overall costs per patient. 

Read more about this action.

DNR to provide county probationers with on-the-job training


The board approved an agreement with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources to provide employment and training for residents on probation. As part of the county's Productive Day program, participants will work on tasks that support natural resources management at Afton State Park. 

Read more about this action.

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 votes are taken. Board briefings occur in the board room on the 24th floor of the Hennepin County Government Center and are open to the public.

September 6, 2018

Budget Discussion 

County staff presented on the 2019 budget.  They spoke to the challenges and pressure areas for 2019, including child protection and the status of the contingency fund.  Staff broke down the 2019 estimated market value and tax capacity by Suburban, Minneapolis, and County-wide to show an in-depth look at the numbers.  The County Administrator recommended a property tax levy increase of 5.5%, so staff presented home owner impacts for each city in Hennepin County based off of the recommended increase.  The final 2019 budget is approved on December 11, 2018.

Child Well-Being

County staff and Commissioner Mike Opat presented on the county's Child Well-Being model.  This is the county's new approach to the child protection system that brings in prevention and early interventions with the goal of helping children and families before they enter the child protection system. Hennepin County has tackled this issue with the help of a Child Well-Being Advisory Committee, comprised of 18 members who meet on a bi-monthly basis.  Results of this approach are already being seen.  Staff turnover is down, total shelter placements are down, overall timeliness of initial contacts are up, and kin placements are up.  Through this model, the county aims 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.

September 20, 2018

Road and bridge asset investment strategy

Transportation staff presented on the current state of our roads and bridges, what is to come in the future with system concerns, and future projected costs and revenues.  Hennepin County's overall system health is scored fair to good.  We are very close to hitting our targets, but as we look ahead, 40% of our roadways exceed the 50-year service life and in the next 10 years, 46% of our bridges will likely need to be replaced or significantly improved. As we look to the future, staff will look at how people will get around in the future, how Hennepin County will support transportation choice, and how Hennepin County will invest to support choice.

County calendar

October 2, 2018

Public hearing set for revisions to recycling ordinance


The board set a public hearing to receive testimony from the public on proposed revisions to the county's recycling ordinance. A final draft of the revised ordinance will be posted online no later than September 17 for the public to review prior to the public hearing.

Key provisions being considered include:

  • Requirements for businesses that generate large quantities of food waste to implement food recycling by 2020
  • Requirements for cities to offer curbside organics recycling service to residents by 2022
  • Updates to the multifamily recycling requirements to add service level standards and education and labeling requirements
  • Requirements for businesses to meet state recycling requirements, service level standards, and labeling requirements

When: Tuesday, October 2 at 1:30 p.m.

Where: Hennepin County Board of Commissioners Board Room

     2400 Government Center

     300 South Sixth Street, Minneapolis

Read the board action.

See a summary of the proposed revisions and findings of previous public engagement efforts.

Sign up to receive e-notices at each stage of the revision process.

October 3, 2018

Resource fair will raise awareness on domestic violence in immigrant communities

The board approved an action that will allow the Hennepin County Fourth Judicial District to host a resource fair on domestic violence and immigration October 3 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the Government Center skyway. Several community organizations will provide information about resources for victims of domestic violence, particularly in immigrant communities. 

Read more about the resource fair.

October 16, 2018

Passing Along a Lifetime of Possessions

Edina LIbrary

When: Tuesday, October 16, 6:30 to 8 p.m.

Where: Edina Library, 5280 Grandview Square, Edina

     Fireside Room, Edina Senior Center, below the library

Often non-titled property (for example, an old, cherished children's book, a piece of jewelry from grandma, a portrait of mother, etc.) may be the things that hold the greatest sentimental value and may be disregarded in a written will, causing problems for family members for years to come. What are some creative methods for dispersing possessions and what forethought should go into planning?

Learn more about this discussion.

November 13, 2018

Community training: adult housing options

Residential services are evolving and changing. We will discuss the continuum of housing options for people with disabilities and recent Developmental Disabilities (ICF-DD), Community Residential Setting (CRS) Individualized Housing options, Family foster Care, and others. Determine which services best meet your needs, discuss funding, the process, and how to get started.


Who Should Attend?

Parents, legal representatives and persons with disabilities


When: Tuesday, November 13, 2018

     1:00PM to 3:00 PM

Where: Ridgedale Library – Ridgedale Meeting Room 229

     12601 Ridgedale Drive

     Minnetonka, MN 55305


Call 612-543-8800 for directions

Register by calling 612-596-6631 or email


New license/ID options at county service centers

Real ID

A new driver’s license/ID card option will roll out across the state on October 1 – REAL ID.

Learn more about REAL ID.

Beginning on this date, county service centers will offer three identification options:

  • Standard driver’s license or ID card
  • Enhanced driver’s license or ID card
  • REAL ID-compliant driver’s license or ID card 

View information about the different options.

There is no need to get a REAL ID immediately. A standard driver’s license or ID card will remain a valid form of identification for domestic flights and access to federal facilities until October 1, 2020. Minnesotans have two years to get an upgraded license/ID. A valid passport is another option for domestic flights or access to federal facilities.

Residents who have no plans for air travel can still use the standard option for identification and driving purposes after October 2020.

See service center locations and information.

Make an appointment for a shorter wait time.

Ridgedale Library reopening


The Ridgedale Library officially reopened on September 24th.  A celebration that included remarks by Library Director Lois Langer Thompson and me opened the event and was followed by a ribbon cutting.  The library has been closed for more than a year while it underwent a $7 million renovation.  The library upgrades were completed at the same time as a $14 million Ridgedale Regional Center preservation project. 

The library, which opened in 1982, was last renovated in 1999. The renovated library will maintain 220,000 items in its collection of books, CDs and DVDs. Though improved sight lights make the space look larger, the library still has the same 55,000 square feet of usable space.

New to the library 

  • 15 meeting rooms (up from six) 
  • About 100 more electrical outlets, convenient for people to use and charge their own devices
  • Refreshed furniture
  • Improved sight lines and more natural light 
  • Flexible and enhanced spaces for children and teens
  • Longer hours for holds access 

             Monday-Thursday 7:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. 
             Friday 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. 
             Saturday 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
             Sunday 11:30 to 5 p.m.

Important upgrades that make your visit more enjoyable 

  • Updated WiFi systems and connectivity throughout the library
  • New mechanical and electrical systems
  • Lighting upgrades 
  • Improved parking lot drainage

Visit your library

When the library reopens, patrons can take advantage of the same hours of operation:

              Monday-Thursday 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. 
              Friday-Saturday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. 
              Sunday noon to 5 p.m.

Board approves maximum tax levies for 2019

The board voted to approve an $830 million maximum property tax levy. 

State law requires the board to adopt a maximum property tax levy in September. The 2019 maximum property tax levy represents a 5.25 percent increase from 2018.

On September 18, Hennepin County Administrator David Hough presented a $2.4 billion proposed budget. The operating portion of this budget totals $1.9 billion dollars, a decrease of $61.8 million from the adjusted 2018 budget. The capital portion totals $475 million, an increase of $38 million or 8.7 percent over the adjusted 2018 amount.

Next steps

The property tax levy that commissioners ultimately approve in December may be lower than the approved maximum, but it cannot exceed the maximum levy adopted at Tuesday’s meeting. In November, property owners will receive a notice that shows the impact of the county’s maximum levy on their properties, as well as the impact of those taxes proposed by other local units of government, such as cities and school districts.

Board approves maximum rail authority levy

Acting as the Hennepin County Regional Railroad Authority, the board approved the authority's proposed maximum property tax levy of $36 million and a proposed budget of $44.6 million for 2019. 

The proposed budget supports advancement of the following priority projects:

  • Southwest Light Rail Transit
  • Bottineau Light Rail Transit
  • Orange Line Bus Rapid Transit

The budget also supports debt service, maintenance of the 55 miles of corridor, staff support for transitways and oversight of infrastructure assets and operational needs.   

The proposed maximum levy will be discussed at the county's Truth-in-Taxation hearing, Tuesday, November 27, at 6 p.m. The board will adopt the levy Tuesday, December 11. 

Read the related board action.

Board approves maximum housing and redevelopment levy

The board, acting as the Housing and Redevelopment Authority, approved an $10.5 million maximum 2019 property tax levy and a $12.4 million proposed budget for the authority.

Along with operations and administration, the budget supports affordable housing, including the Affordable Housing Incentive Fund, and community and economic development, including the Transit Oriented Development program.

The proposed maximum levy will be discussed at the county's Truth-in-Taxation hearing, Tuesday, November 27, at 6 p.m. The board will adopt the levy Tuesday, December 11. 

Budget hearing calendar


Thursday, October 4, 1 – 4:00 p.m.

Human Services

Thursday, October 18, 1 – 4:00 p.m.

Capital Budgeting Task Force and fees 

If needed, public hearing for transportation sales tax projects 

Thursday, November 1, 9 a.m. – noon


Thursday, November 8, 9:00 a.m. – noon

Public Safety

Tuesday, November 20,  9:00 a.m. – noon

Public Works

Tuesday, November 20, 1 – 4:00 p.m.

Truth-in-Taxation public meeting

 Tuesday, November 27, 6:00 p.m.

 Administrator and commissioner amendments

 Thursday, November 29, 1 – 4:00 p.m.

 Wednesday, December 5, 1 – 4:00 p.m.

 Board vote on 2019 budget and levy

 Tuesday, December 11, 1:30 p.m.

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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