April 2019 E-Newsletter

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Jan Callison - News from District 6


  April 2019


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

March 12, 2019

County revises its food protection ordinance 

The board revised the county's food protection ordinance to align with state regulations. The ordinance establishes standards for the regulation of food establishments to protect the health, safety and general welfare of the people of Hennepin County.

Learn more about this action.

You can find out more about county ordinances here.

Candidates appointed to citizen advisory boards

The board made the following appointments:

Adult Mental Health Local Advisory Council

  • Rick Crispino - reappointment
  • Nancee Magistad
  • Felicia Franklin
  • Elizabeth Childs
  • Savannah Steele
  • Colleen Livermore - reappointment
  • Michelle Willert
  • Cathy Spann
  • Ryne Zuzinec
  • Caroline Kuria
  • Joseph Musco

County Extension Committee

  • Melinda Ludwiczak - reappointment
  • Ann Thureen
  • James Rowan
  • Anthony Ware

Human Resources Board

  • Jason Allerding
  • Gerald Kegler
  • John Briscoe

Library Board

  • Jonathan Gaw - reappointment
  • Samuel Neisen - reappointment
  • LaBelle Nambangi

Three Rivers Park District

  • Gene Kay - reappointment

March 26, 2019

Funding will prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species


The board awarded 10 aquatic invasive species (AIS) prevention grants totaling $176,000.

Organizations will use funding to train volunteers to detect AIS early in lakes, expand inspections and outreach at public lake accesses, install boat cleaning stations, and fund research and education.

Grants will support projects on more than 20 lakes throughout the county, including Bde Maka Ska, Bryant Lake, Christmas Lake, Fish Lake, Lake Minnetonka, Lake Nokomis, Long Lake and Medicine Lake.

2019 grant recipients

  • Bassett Creek Watershed Management Commission: $10,000 to conduct aquatic vegetation surveys in six lakes, host an AIS early detection workshop and sponsor other education and outreach opportunities
  • Boys and Girls Clubs of the Twin Cities: $20,000 to redesign Little Long Lake public access for AIS prevention, which includes a CD3 waterless cleaning system
  • Christmas Lake Homeowners Association: $10,000 to fund inspections at the Christmas Lake public access
  • Fortin Consulting Inc: $23,000 to conduct early detection plant surveys on eight lakes throughout the county
  • Lake Minnetonka Conservation District: $20,000 to provide inspectors at the smaller public accesses on Lake Minnetonka
  • Lake Sarah Improvement Association: $22,000 to research patterns of boating traffic to inform AIS prevention action steps
  • Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board: $8,000 to pilot the use of environmental DNA technology to search for zebra mussels in six Minneapolis lakes
  • Three Rivers Park District: $40,000 to provide inspections on six lakes
  • Wayzata Sailing Foundation: $14,000 to engage 300 youth in discovery, monitoring and exploration of AIS in Lake Minnetonka
  • Wildlife Forever: $9,000 for AIS prevention messaging at gas pumps

Learn more about the accomplishments of the 2018 grant recipients.

Board accepted funding for new medical examiner's facility

ME Facility

The board accepted $2.7 million of state funding to design the new medical examiner’s facility to be located on property owned by the county near the Hennepin County Home School in Minnetonka.

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.

March 14, 2019

County Attorney's Office Dashboard and Other Initiatives

Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman demonstrated a new statistical dashboard.  The dashboard is updated every night, so the information is never more than 24 hours old, reflecting the most recent status of cases.  The years shown on the dashboard are 2014 through 2018 and as each year ends, such as 2019, its data will be added to the dashboard.  The data comes from the Hennepin County Attorney's Office case management system.

Youth Sports Grants/Swim Lessons

In 2009 Hennepin County authorized the development of the Hennepin Youth Sports Program to award grants to local governments to improve youth athletic and recreation facilities, and purchase equipment.  Proceeds from the 0.15% sales tax surcharge for Target Field funds over $2 million each year for the grant program. Since 2009, the program has awarded over $23 million to communities throughout Hennepin County and has spurred over $94 million in matching funds.  In 2015, the county board authorized the use of YSG funding to increase access to swimming lessons for underserved youth and/or communities.  Through a partnership with the USA Swimming Foundation, Hennepin County has provided $70,000 to local partners to provide over 1,700 free or reduced-cost swim lessons to children.

March 28, 2019


Transportation staff hosted the board briefing at the Public Works Facility in Medina.  An update on asset management and resilience was provided, along with the draft 2018 Transportation Asset Management Report.  Hennepin County puts forward and receives a large number of capital improvement projects annually.  In order to have a clear and transparent program, staff has implemented a prioritization process.  Staff walked Commissioners through this year's program, as well as projects that received funding through the Regional Solicitation process and the Highway Safety Improvement Program. Hennepin County is responsible for 2,200 lane miles.  County roads intersect with local and state roads.  In order to make funding go as far as possible, coordinating county projects with projects from other layers of governments is important.  The county has a cost participation policy to ensure we have a uniform funding expectation. Finally, staff discussed the county's Advanced Transportation Management System (ATMS).  The project includes fiber optic communication, traffic cameras, software, and current signal technology.

Emergency Management

Emergency management is a jurisdiction-wide system that provides for management and coordination of prevention, mitigation, preparation, response, and recovery activities for all hazards.  Natural hazards account for over 95% of activity.  There are also industrial/technological hazards (ex: train derailment) and adversarial threats. Emergency powers and relief come from Federal and State declarations.  Staff discussed factors that go into their planning for the future.  A causal factor is climate change and how that is producing situations such as more frequent and extreme rainfall that produce urban flash floods, increasing frequency and duration of heat waves, and increasingly erratic weather that can occur outside of normal seasons.  A contributing factor is rising disaster costs across the United States that are exhausting federal resources and programs.  State and local governments are expected to help meet the cost of addressing these challenges.  As staff looks ahead for disaster reduction we must look at how hazard and disaster information is provided, understand the processes that produce hazards, develop hazard mitigation strategies and technologies, and promote risk-wise behavior.

County calendar

April 8-12, 2019

National Work Zone Awareness Week

It’s spring and road construction and maintenance will be in full swing soon. Ahead of this year’s National Work Zone Awareness Week, we remind you to please slow down and drive safely through work zones and near county crews. On Wednesday, April 10, Hennepin County’s Lowry Bridge will be lit in orange to show support for keeping our county crews and others safe in work zones.

April 16, 2019

Public hearing on housing revenue bond financing for project

What: A public hearing on housing revenue bond financing for the rehabilitation of a 223 unit affordable housing property at Fremont Avenue North and 12th Avenue North in Minneapolis. 

When: Tuesday, April 16, 2019
            1:30 p.m.

Where: Hennepin County Government Center Board room
             A-2400, 300 South 6th Street, Minneapolis

More information.

April 22, 2019

Celebrate Earth Day by joining the Earth Action Challenge


This year, to celebrate Earth Day (coming up on Monday, April 22), Hennepin County invites you to participate in the Earth Action Challenge. Every day in the week leading up to Earth Day, we’ll focus on an action that you can take to protect the environment and we'll connect you with resources to help you take that action.


Step to it with your community this May

Step to it

Build healthy habits this spring and compete to win prizes, including Minnesota Twins tickets. Join the Step to it challenge on behalf of your community, school, workplace or group home. The challenge is of no cost to participants. Track a variety of activities, such as cycling, dancing, yardwork and yoga.  The challenge runs May 1 through May 28.

Find out more at steptoit.org.

Master Gardener

Master Gardener

Get ready for the primary gardening season by learning about edible gardening, herbs, Kokedama and more at seven libraries this spring, including Ridgedale and Edina libraries.

Pothole reporting and claims process


Hennepin County has 2,200 lane miles of county roads.  We need the community's help in making us aware of potholes that you encounter.  Crews are currently out every day fixing potholes with a cold mix asphalt.

When you come across a pothole, you can find all of the information that you will need at www.hennepin.us/reportaproblem. There is a form that you can use to submit the issue.  The form can also be used for other issues such as notable flooding, debris on the road, overhanging tree limbs, etc.  You can also call dispatch at 612.596.0299 or email at dispatch@hennepin.us.

If you think you have damage to your vehicle because of a pothole and would like to start the process of making a claim you should know that 1) the pothole has to have been reported to us and 2) we have 72 hours to fix the pothole. To report a pothole or to inquire about a claim, contact Transportation Dispatch at 612-596-0299 or dispatch@hennepin.us.

Hennepin County will activate sirens

Hennepin County will activate sirens during Severe Weather Awareness Week


As part of a statewide tornado drill, the county will activate outdoor warning sirens on Thursday, April 11, at 1:45 p.m. and 6:45 p.m. The drills are part of Minnesota Severe Weather Awareness Week, April 8-12. This week serves as a reminder to create, update and practice emergency plans.

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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