May 2019 E-Newsletter

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Jan Callison - News from District 6


  May 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

April 23, 2019

Funding for Navigation Center efforts

Hennepin County continues working with partners to support people staying at the Navigation Center in Minneapolis. The board approved two actions that will help people who face the highest barriers to finding housing.

  • Accepting state funding to help people find housing in the community, pay rent and maintain housing.
  • Approving capital funding to create supportive housing for people experiencing homelessness and chemical dependency.

Historical photos of the Twin Cities

Hennepin County Library maintains a collection of 800,000 photographs from the Minneapolis Star, Minneapolis Tribune and Star Tribune dating back to the 1920s. The board accepted a Minnesota Historical Society grant to catalog, preserve and expand access to the photos.

Minnehaha Creek Watershed District Board appointments

The county board made the following appointments:

  • Eugene Maxwell
  • Arun Hejmadi

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.

April 23, 2019

Hennepin County Home School

Department of Community Corrections and Rehabilitation presented programming options for the County owned Home School.  The facility runs three programs: AFSFS, FOCUS, and STAMP.  Looking at the populations served, the program performances, facility needs, costs, and county responsibilities, staff recommended to the county board to restructure correctional out of home placement services.  This means that over the next few years, DOCCR recommend significantly downsizing the use of the Home School for DOCCR programs, beginning with the discontinuation of the FOCUS program.  The residential services model would be restructured, and a portion of the operational savings would be reinvested to build and enhance community based services, residential services, and others.  The department would continue to use secure residential treatment centers for youth convicted of violent person offenses.

April 25, 2019

Ordinance 21

Public health staff presented proposed changes to Ordinance 21: Retailer Tobacco Sales.  The proposed changes include: 1) raise the minimum legal sales age from 18 to 21, 2) raise the age of individuals who sell tobacco products from 16 to 18, 3) restrict the sale of flavored tobacco products, including menthol, mint and wintergreen, to adult-only stores, and 4) prohibit the sale of cigars that cost less than $3.00 each.  This would impact jurisdictions where Hennepin County has tobacco licensing authority: Greenfield, Mound, Rockford (Hennepin portion), Rogers, St. Bonifacius, and the MSP Airport.  Data shows that Minnesota youth tobacco use has risen for the first time in 17 years with over 26% of MN high school students using tobacco.  Any changes to the ordinance will be made by the county board in a public board meeting. 

A public hearing will be held on Tuesday, June 11, 2019 at 1:30 pm, A-24 Government Center, Minneapolis.

Shelter Revisioning

Commissioners received an overview of the current homeless shelter system, capacity and service models.  In Hennepin County there are 73,660 households with extremely low income (income below 30% area median income), but there are only 14,192 subsidized housing units affordable to those households.  We have seen an increase in unsheltered homelessness, as well as an increase in shelter demand.  County staff, along with community partners have worked to remove barriers to shelter use, and change policies in order to place individuals where it best serves them and to change the experience in shelters.  Mobility in the Twin Cities area allows individuals to move around easily.  About 30% of individuals in Hennepin County shelters are from other counties or states.  Tackling the growth in homelessness requires a regional approach and expands beyond just looking at shelters.  A shortage in affordable housing creates a road block in moving individuals from shelters to stable housing. 

County calendar

May 1, 2019 - May 28, 2019

Step to it challenge - add an audiobook

Step to it

The 2019 Step to it challenge begins today!  Join us in getting active and add a story to your walk or run with a downloadable audiobook..

Find out more about the Step to it challenge.

May 7, 2019

Farmers market returns Tuesdays at Government Center

Farmers market

May 14, 2019

Public hearing

The board, acting as the Housing and Redevelopment Authority, will host a public hearing on issuing housing revenue bonds for an affordable housing project located in the 800 and 900 blocks of 14th Avenue Northeast in Minneapolis. 

When: Tuesday, May 14
           1:30 p.m.

Where: A-24 of the Hennepin County Government Center
            300 S. 6th Street, Minneapolis

May 17, 2019

Hennepin County Sheriff's Office open house


When: Friday, May 17, 2019
            10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.

Where: 9401 - 83rd Avenue North, Brooklyn Park

Schedule of events

10:30 Water Patrol demo
11:00 K9 demo - explosives detection
11:30 EDU (SWAT) demo
12:00 K9 demo - patrol/apprehension
12:30 K9 demo - explosives detection
1:00 ESU (SWAT) demo

Ongoing throughout the day

Dive team
Crime lab
North air care
Squad car tours
Mobile command post
Armored vehicle
Virtual training demo

More information
612-348-3744 or


Southdale Library Update

A Board Action Request was brought into the Administration. Libraries, and Budget Committee yesterday.  The request would authorize the County Administrator to negotiate a lease agreement with Simon Property Group for rental space at the Southdale Center for the Hennepin County Library - Southdale. 

The County has been exploring options for the past few years regarding the county owned Southdale Regional Center.  The Regional Center housed a county service center, the Southdale library, and district court.  In 2016, the service center was very successfully moved into the Southdale Center.  Court functions moved to the Government Center, Brookdale, and Ridgedale centers at the beginning of this year. 

Regarding the library, options were explored to build a library on the current property, or move the library into Southdale Center.  Two separate engagement processes have been ongoing to get community and patron feedback on 1) the redevelopment of the current library site and 2) priorities for a new library and site.  Community engagement will continue over the next few months as county staff and the county board seek input on staff's recommendation. 

Board approval is anticipated for sometime this summer, 2019.

To receive future updates via email, contact to add your email to the list.

Questions or comments about this project

Tree plantings in District 6

Tree planting


Trees and forests provide many benefits, including improving our air and water quality, making our communities healthier, reducing the urban heat island effect, providing wildlife habitat, saving energy and increasing property values.

To enhance the county’s tree canopy and make it resilient to threats such as development, insects and disease, country foresters grow more than 1,500 trees in a gravel-bed nursery and then partner with other county departments, cities, schools and nonprofit organizations to transplant the trees to a variety of sites throughout the county. The county also awards grants to cities, affordable housing properties, schools, and nonprofit organizations to conduct tree inventories, plant trees, and engage their audiences in learning about trees.

On Wednesday, May 22, students will plant 12 trees at St. John’s the Baptist in Excelsior. This project is funded through a Hennepin County healthy tree canopy grant.

Drug Take Back Day in Minnetonka

Drug take back

This past Saturday, the Hennepin County Sheriff's Office hosted three medicine collection sites in Hennepin County as a critical part of helping keep unused drugs off the streets.  One location was at the Walgreens in Minnetonka.  I made a trip to dispose of unwanted prescription drugs and enjoyed seeing the Special Deputies who were volunteering their time. 

The Minnetonka location collected 137.45 pounds.  Between the three locations, the Sheriff's Office collected 478.10 pounds of potentially dangerous medications. 

If you could not make the event, there are over 30 year-round medicine drop boxes located throughout Hennepin County. For a full listing, including a map of locations, visit

Highway 62 and France Avenue Bridge

MnDOT began their project on the France Avenue bridge over Highway 62 at the beginning of April. 

This project includes:

  • Repair the France Ave. bridge over Hwy 62 in Edina
  • Improve pavement of France Ave. near north intersection
  • Signal replacement
  • Sidewalk and accessibility improvements
  • Concrete repair from south intersection to 66th St.
  • Lengthen acceleration lane on ramp to EB Hwy 62

Road closures

April 12 through mid-July

  • France Ave. is closed in both directions between 62nd St. and 66th St.
    • Detour to NB France Ave. from Hwy 62: Xerxes Ave. to 60th St.
    • Detour to SB France Ave. from EB Hwy 62: Valley View Rd. to France Ave.
    • Detour to SB France Ave. from WB Hwy 62: Xerxes Ave. to 66th St. to France Ave.

Ramp closures

April 12 through mid-June

  • The ramps to/from EB Hwy 62 and France Ave. are closed

April 12 through mid-July

  • The ramps to/from WB Hwy 62 and France Ave. are closed

April 10 through mid-July

  • Ramp from France Ave. to WB Hwy 62 is closed

More information about the project can be found at

Wayzata Boulevard reconstruction

wayzata blvd

On Monday, April 15, crew resumed reconstruction along the second phase of Wayzata Boulevard (County Road 112) between Wolf Pointe Trail and Highway 12 ramps.

What to expect in 2019

Most work will be on Wayzata Boulevard between Wolf Pointe Trail and Highway 12 ramps. Work should be less disruptive this year, as we were able to complete most of the time-intensive tasks last year, such as replacing underground utility lines and grading for the new road foundation.

During the coming months, crews will complete remaining construction activities:

  • Constructing permanent roadway features including curbs and gutters, as well as paving and striping the new roadway.
  • Grading and paving the new trail connecting downtown Long Lake to the Luce Line Trail.
  • Realigning Old Long Lake Road at the intersection with Wayzata Boulevard and updating drainage structures.
  • Installing streetscape elements including retaining walls and street lights.
  • Grading topsoil and placing sod along boulevards.

Expect minor delays; closure on Old Long Lake Road

During construction, people driving, walking and biking through the area should expect minor delays and traffic impacts. 

There are no full closures of Wayzata Boulevard planned. However, there will be a two-week closure on Old Long Lake Road starting on Monday, April 15 or Tuesday, April 16 to realign the city street. More information will be provided prior to this closure.

Final construction work along first project phase

For many travelling through the first project phase, along Wayzata Boulevard between Willow Drive and Wolf Pointe Trail, it operates like a fully reconstructed road. The road is open; paths are walkable and rideable; and lighting and signals are operating.

However, crews will need to be on site to take care of some final construction items. This work will require minimal crews and have little to no traffic impact. Activities include:

  • Installing lights on the monument sign at Long Lake shoreline.
  • Making minor repairs to the trail.
  • Cleaning up the project site.

Construction hours in Long Lake and Orono

As reconstruction work begins in Long Lake and Orono, area residents and businesses will notice different end times to construction due to noise ordinances in each city.

Orono construction hours

Monday - Friday: 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. 

Saturday: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Long Lake construction hours

Monday - Friday: 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Saturday: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

There could be times during the project when work will end later than construction hours or will continue overnight. Any construction work scheduled for after-hours or overnight will go through the proper approval process with the cities and notifications will also be sent out.

MnDOT's Central Ave Bridge project

On Monday, April 29, Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT), in partnership with Hennepin County, began work to improve the Central Avenue Bridge (County Road 101) over Highway 12 in Wayzata.

The project will improve traffic flow and safety for all users. Crews will be building a new bridge deck that is wider to allow for left turn lanes and updated sidewalks. In addition, curb ramps at the intersections will be replaced to meet ADA accessibility requirements, traffic signals will be updated and improvements will be made to the on- and off-ramps. 

Access to remain open until late June

While crews will be onsite to begin work starting next week, people can continue to use Central Avenue and Highway 12 for the weeks ahead. Access will be maintained on the bridge for people driving, biking and walking until late June, when the bridge is expected to close to all traffic.

Additional information to include timing and detour routes will be provided prior to the closure.

Stay informed

While you may hear from Hennepin County at times, MnDOT will be leading communications for this project.

To learn more about the project and how you can stay informed, visit MnDOT's project website at

For questions, please contact:

David Aeikens, MnDOT Metro communications and engagement 651-234-7511  

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/scheduling

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