December 2018 E-Newsletter

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Jan Callison - News from District 6


  December 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

November 6, 2018

Funding will expand behavioral health care at NorthPoint clinics 

The board accepted a $285,000 federal grant to expand prevention and treatment at NorthPoint Health and Wellness Center Clinics for substance use disorder — including opioid use disorder — and mental illness. The county anticipates that it will receive $110,000 of ongoing annual federal funding to continue this work.

Read more about this grant award.

Special levies will fund water quality projects


The board approved special levies for four watershed management commissions that do not have the ability to levy taxes on their own for water quality improvement projects. Levies will fund the following projects that improve water quality, stream habitat, flood control and pollinator habitat.

Bassett Creek Watershed Management Commission, $1.4 million

  • Medicine Lake Road and Winnetka Avenue long-term flood mitigation plan implementation, Golden Valley
  • Westwood Lake water quality improvement project, St. Louis Park

Elm Creek Watershed Management Commission, $462,500

  • Stream stabilization projects at three different sites – one along Rush Creek in Maple Grove and two along the main stem of Elm Creek in Plymouth and Champlin
  • Downs Road Trail rain gardens, Champlin

Shingle Creek Watershed Management Commission, $479,900

  • Becker Park infiltration project, Crystal
  • Soluble reactive phosphorus reduction project, Crystal and Brooklyn Park

West Mississippi Watershed Management Commission, $53,025

  • Cost-share program for city projects that provide infiltration and water quality treatment

Read more about these special levies.

November 27, 2018

County Home School program will prepare youth for careers in cooking

The board accepted a $10,000 anonymous donation to begin a program at the County Home School that will prepare residents for careers in cooking. Young adults will learn about food preparation and cooking skills, menu planning and career paths in this field.

Read the board action.

Board approves 2019 legislative platform

The board approved its 2019 legislative platform and the priorities that the board and county administration will support during pre-session committee meetings and once the legislature convenes in February.

Priorities include:

  • Child protection
  • Mental health
  • Systems modernization
  • Safety-net health services
  • Housing
  • Disparity reduction
  • Transportation

14 organizations receive environmental education grants


The board awarded funding that will engage and empower residents to protect and improve the environment. Hennepin County awarded Green Partners Environmental Education grants to the following organizations:

  • Clean Water Fund (Minneapolis)
  • Cleveland Neighborhood Association (Minneapolis)
  • Climate Generation: A Will Steger Legacy (Hennepin County)
  • Congregations Caring for Creation (Hennepin County)
  • East Side Neighborhood Services (Minneapolis)
  • Girl Scouts of Minnesota and Wisconsin River Valleys, Inc. (Hennepin County)
  • Great Plains Institute (Saint Louis Park)
  • Metro Blooms (Brooklyn Park, Minneapolis)
  • Minneapolis Toy Library (Minneapolis)
  • North Hennepin Community College (Brooklyn Park)
  • Northside Resident Redevelopment Council (Minneapolis)
  • Partnership Academy (Richfield)
  • Spark Youth (Minneapolis)
  • Tree Trust (Hopkins)

View the board action. Learn more about Green Partners Environmental Education 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.

November 29, 2018

System Analysis - jail population drivers and trends

The County contracted with retired judges John Stanoch and Lucy Wieland to complete a system analysis on the county's jail population and identify drivers and trends.  They presented their findings to the board and identified four jail population drivers: bookings, pretrial release, length of stay, and alternatives to detention.  Additionally, they had four recommendations for the board: 1) create a public safety data information system, 2) reduce the ADC population by 50-78 individuals who could be held elsewhere, 3) explore possibilities for earlier release, and 4) establish an operational oversight committee.  This system analysis created a collaboration across all public safety lines of business including the Sheriff's office, County Attorney's office, DOCCR, the Judicial branch, and the Public Defenders office.  These key stakeholders and the county will continue these discussions and will work on the recommendations from the consultants.  Expect another briefing in 2019.

County calendar

December 5, 2018

Public hearing on transportation sales tax

Hennepin County will host a public hearing to receive comments on proposed changes to the county's sales and use transportation tax implementation plan.

When: Wednesday, December 5, 1 p.m.

Where: County Administration Committee of the Hennepin County Board of Commissioners
             Hennepin County Government Center Board Room (A-2400)
             300 South Sixth Street, Minneapolis

More information 

December 31, 2018

Citizen advisory board vacancies

The Hennepin County Board of Commissioners is recruiting volunteers for 28 citizen advisory board positions through its annual open appointment process.

Each fall, the board appoints residents to volunteer service positions on advisory boards, commissions, councils and special task forces. Appointees advise commissioners and help set policy on a variety of topics.

Current openings

  • Adult Mental Health Advisory Council – 11 vacancies
  • County Extension Committee (University of Minnesota Extension) – four vacancies
  • Community Action Partnership of Hennepin County – two vacancies (open to local elected officials)
  • Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act Board – three vacancies
  • Human Resources Board – three vacancies
  • Library Board – three vacancies
  • Mental Commitment Attorney Panel Advisory Board – one vacancy
  • Three Rivers Park District Board of Commissioners – one vacancy

Application process

Apply online at

Hennepin County will accept applications through December 31, 2018.

The board will conduct interviews beginning in January 2019.


County advances Southwest LRT project with funding approvals


The Hennepin County Board of Commissioners and Hennepin County Regional Railroad Authority approved up to $435 million for early construction activities and other expenditures for the Southwest Light Rail Transit project (SWLRT).

These actions enable the Metropolitan Council to award the construction contract to begin work on the $2.03 billion transit line, which they are expected to do later today.

The county board also approved a commitment, as requested by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), for up to an additional $200.3 million for Southwest LRT, or 10 percent of the total project budget, in the event of funding shortfalls or cost increases, with a parallel commitment for the Bottineau Light Rail Transit project.

The approvals follow the Metropolitan Council’s receipt of a Letter of No Prejudice (LONP) from the Federal Transit Administration, which cleared the way for construction to begin on the Southwest Light Rail Transit project. The letter allows local funds to be spent with the understanding that these costs may be reimbursed should the federal government approve full funding for the project at a later date.

The Metropolitan Council met, following county board actions, to award the project’s civil construction contract.

Early construction activities this winter could include staffing and equipment mobilization, site clearance, demolition and utility work. Heavy construction would occur in 2019-2022, with testing of the system with new light rail vehicles anticipated in 2022-2023. Southwest LRT is expected to begin passenger service in 2023 as an extension of the METRO Green Line.

The existing Green Line received nine Letters of No Prejudice to allow it to move forward with construction before receiving a federal full funding grant agreement in 2011.

SWLRT is a 14.5-mile line with 16 stations serving Minneapolis, St. Louis Park, nearby Edina, Hopkins, Minnetonka and Eden Prairie. In 2014, there were approximately 64,300 jobs within a half mile of the proposed stations and 126,800 jobs in downtown Minneapolis. By 2035, employment is expected to grow to 80,900 within a half mile of the proposed stations and 145,300 in downtown Minneapolis — an 18 percent increase in employment. The population along the line outside of downtown Minneapolis is expected to grow by 56 percent from 2014 to 2035.

Read the board actions:

County Board Action Request 18-0499

HCRRA Board Action Request 18-HCRRA-0056

County Board Action Request 18-0500

Hennepin County requires organics recycling for cities and certain businesses


New requirements usher in the next big advancement in recycling for our region 

The Hennepin County Board of Commissioners approved revisions to the county’s recycling ordinance.

The changes require businesses that generate large quantities of food waste to implement food waste recycling by 2020 and cities to offer organics recycling service to residents by 2022. Revisions will provide residents with the opportunity to participate in organics recycling. The business food waste requirement applies to businesses that generate large amounts of food waste and can implement organics recycling requirement in a cost-effective way.

Since organic materials make up 30 percent of trash, recycling food and other organic materials is the biggest opportunity to achieve the county’s goals of recycling 75 percent of our waste and sending zero waste to landfills by 2030.

Putting organic waste to a better use can help feed people in need, create compost for healthier soils and create energy through anaerobic digestion. Diverting organics from the trash reduces emissions of greenhouse gases, especially methane that is generated from the decomposition of organic materials in landfills.

In addition to requiring organics recycling, the ordinance was revised to improve conventional recycling at businesses, apartments and other multifamily dwellings.

The county’s recycling ordinance was adopted in 1986 to create residential curbside recycling programs. Since then, recycling has expanded to serve residents everywhere — at work, school and in public spaces. The county completed an extensive public engagement process to revise the ordinance. Input on the ordinance language was solicited from more than 16,000 stakeholders, including city representatives, trade associations, waste haulers, property managers, businesses and the broader community.

Details of the new recycling requirements

  • Businesses that generate large quantities of food waste, such as restaurants, hotels, grocers, residential care facilities and office buildings with dining services, must implement food waste recycling by January 1, 2020. This requirement applies to businesses in the covered sectors that generate one ton of trash or more per week or contract for weekly collection of eight or more cubic yards of trash. This threshold was selected because large generators of organics are likely to break even or even save money when implementing food waste recycling.
  • Cities must make organics recycling service available to all households with curbside recycling service (single-family and dwellings up to four units) by January 1, 2022. Cities of the fourth class (those with a population of 10,000 or less) can choose not to make curbside organics recycling service available to residents but must provide at least one organics recycling drop-off site by January 1, 2022.
  • Multifamily properties must provide recycling education to residents, offer adequate service for the collection of recyclables (and organics if offered), increase service levels if insufficient, provide recycling containers in common areas where trash is being collected, and label waste containers.
  • In addition to meeting state recycling requirements, businesses must offer adequate service for the collection of recyclables, increase service levels if insufficient and label containers.
  • The county will have the authority to enforce these requirements, including the ability to issue warnings or citations for noncompliance. Businesses and multifamily properties would be given the opportunity to comply before the county would take enforcement action.

Learn more

Read the board action.

Read the final ordinance language with the adopted revisions.

See a summary of revision process and findings of public engagement efforts.

Welcome Bill Fellman


I am pleased to welcome Bill Fellman to my office as my administrative assistant.  Bill comes to my office with years of experience in the public sector having worked in multiple county departments and for two County Commissioners. 

Wayzata Boulevard reconstruction

wayzata blvd

Wayzata Boulevard reconstruction is wrapping up for the year

First phase is complete

After a lot of work and a couple of challenges, like some unexpected winter weather this spring, phase 1 reconstruction of Wayzata Boulevard (County Road 112) is ready to come to a close.

Construction on the 1.5-mile corridor that runs from Willow Drive to Wolf Pointe Trail began in April 2017. During the past two construction seasons, crews updated several aging infrastructure components in the area. With work done in this area, people are able to enjoy improvements in connectivity, function, safety and aesthetics.

The new Wayzata Boulevard features include:

  • New road surface offering a smoother ride.
  • Better traffic flow, with a new three-lane design (one lane in each direction with a shared center lane for left turns) and dedicated right turn lanes.
  • New features for people walking, biking and rolling, including sidewalks and trails throughout the corridor and better crossings.
  • Updated traffic signals.
  • An improved shoreline and added streetscape elements that reflect the communities of Long Lake and Orono.
  • Updated infrastructure, including new utility lines, and features to manage stormwater better.

What to expect for the next two weeks

There will be crews on site over the next week as we take care of some final construction items that should only require minimal crews and have little to no traffic impact. These activities include:

  • Constructing the monument sign near Brown Road.
  • Installing permanent road signs.
  • Cleaning up the project.

Second phase work holds for winter

Phase 2 reconstruction of Wayzata Boulevard, which includes work from Wolf Pointe Trail extending east to the ramps at U.S. Highway 12 will continue next year. Crews are readying the site to suspend work for the winter.

Activities this year included a significant amount of underground utility work. It also required replacing wet or muck soils unsuitable for a road foundation with higher-quality dirt and grading materials like sand and gravel to provide a stronger road and trail foundation. These are big tasks, which sometimes meant that we had to close roads, driveway and side street entrances, as well as bring in large equipment. We thank you for your patience during this work.  

What to expect in 2019

Because we were able to complete a significant amount of the underground utility and grading work, we anticipate that next year's work in the area will be less disruptive. As a result, we are not planning any full closures of Wayzata Boulevard.

Crews will be back in early spring to complete the remainder of construction activities. Construction activities in 2019 will include:

  • Replacing underground utilities and grading at Old Long Lake Road. 
  • Constructing permanent roadway features including curbs and gutters, as well as paving and striping the new roadway.
  • Paving the new trail connecting downtown Long Lake to the Luce Line Trail. 
  • Placing and grading topsoil in boulevards.
  • Installing streetscape elements and street lights.

Winter travel through work area

With major construction activities ending for the winter, our cleanup work can happen next week. Crews will make sure the road is ready for winter travel, as well as for snow and ice removal by county crews.

To learn more about our snow and ice removal on county roads, visit



Budget hearing calendar

Below is the schedule of upcoming public hearings for adoption of the county's 2019 budget and levy.

Administrator and commissioner amendments

Wednesday, December 5, 1 – 4 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


Jan Callison
6th District

Allyson Sellwood
Policy Aide

Bill Fellman
Administrative Assistant

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