June 2019 E-Newsletter

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Jan Callison - News from District 6


  June 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

May 7, 2019

Forestry grants


Hennepin County formally established the Healthy Tree Canopy Grants program to assist cities, multifamily affordable housing providers, land trusts, schools and non-profits to enhance the county’s tree canopy.

These grants will help to combat threats to trees from invasive insects and diseases, including the devastating Emerald Ash Borer.

The program will also improve livability for residents by planting trees in neighborhoods throughout the county experiencing economic, environmental and health disparities.

Earlier this year, the board awarded the first round of grant funding, totaling more than $250,000.

Housing for young families experiencing homelessness

The county is contributing funding to assist pregnant and parenting youth experiencing homelessness. On Tuesday, the board designated $60,000 to help operate the Bridge for Youth's new housing service, named Marlene's Place.

May 21, 2019

Youth Sports Grants


The board awarded $107,100 of Youth Sports grants to six playground projects:

  • City of Dayton, playground at River Hills Park
  • City of Eden Prairie, playgrounds at Nesbitt Preserve Park, Bluffs West 1 and Bluffs West 2
  • City of Robbinsdale, playground at Norma Kelly Park
  • City of Tonka Bay, playground at Wekota Park & Beach
  • Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, Adventure Ninja Playground at North Mississippi Regional
  • Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, inflatables at multiple parks

In addition, the board awarded $104,999 for 17 projects to purchase equipment. 

Plan to address housing gaps

Hennepin County will pursue a new strategy to help house a target population for whom housing instability leads to the worst health and safety concerns.

Voting as the Housing and Redevelopment Authority, the board approved new housing program guidelines and criteria to proactively aid in the development of supportive housing for households with very low incomes and other barriers.

"The county is excited to lead the way in increasing the supply of quality affordable housing for our target populations," said Commissioner Marion Greene. "No city, region or state has figured this out yet, so we are embarking on a new approach and we invite collaborators from all parts of the community to join us in this urgent work."

These changes will enable the county to play a more active role in the housing market by prioritizing investments that serve the priority population. The goals are to improve lives, while decreasing the strain on public systems.

Funding for the strategy will be considered as part of the 2019 budgeting process later this year.

School and public space recycling grants


The board awarded school recycling grants to help schools reduce, reuse, recycle or compost waste. The following schools will receive grants:

  • Anoka Hennepin Public School District
  • Blake School, Hopkins
  • Breck School, Golden Valley
  • Eagle Ridge Academy, Minnetonka
  • Eden Prairie Public Schools
  • Hope Academy, Minneapolis
  • ISD 728, Rogers
  • Minneapolis Public Schools
  • Osseo Area Schools, Zanewood Elementary, Brooklyn Park
  • Partnership Academy, Richfield
  • St. Anthony-New Brighton School District

The board also awarded three public space recycling grants to the following cities:

  • Brooklyn Park
  • St. Louis Park
  • Edina

Eliminating roadway deaths

Zero deaths

Hennepin County is developing a safety program aimed at zero roadway deaths on our county roads. The program will engage local agencies, law enforcement, emergency responders, policy makers and others. It is aligned with a national Road to Zero effort. The board accepted a state grant to assist with program development.

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.

May 9, 2019

County Housing Strategy 

Staff from community works and human services presented a new program that would build housing capacity to address gaps for priority populations.  Regions across the country are struggling with an affordable housing shortage.  In Hennepin County, there are 73,660 households with extremely low income (earning less than 30% AMI).  The number of subsidized housing units that are affordable to extremely low income households, however only covers 14,192 households.  Stable housing is often the lynchpin in whether or not a person or family can be successful and independent. 

Currently, Hennepin County invests $134 million annually in housing through capital projects, operation dollars, and support services.  We are able to help 23,000 household annually access and maintain stable, affordable housing.  Additionally, Hennepin County has helped create or preserve 975 units of affordable housing annually since 2010.  We also maintain nearly 1,000 single shelter beds and as many as 200 family rooms.

Staff has worked with the county board to determine which populations are a priority population of residents for Hennepin County to serve. The new program that staff proposed would focus on those priority populations and help develop 1,000 new units of long-term supportive housing by 2030.  The county would invest a total of $91.5 million over 10 years that would leverage $282 million in other funding sources.  With each unit created, there would be increasing costs for operating and maintaining those units.

Guidelines and evaluation criteria for the program were approved by the Housing and Redevelopment Authority on May 14.

County calendar

June 8, 2019

Southdale library open house


Hennepin County is hosting two open houses to learn more about the proposed new Southdale Library site location at Southdale Center.  The first open house was held on May 30 and saw about 60 residents attend.

When: Saturday, June 8
           10 a.m. - 12 p.m.

Where: Former Hennepin County Service Center (adjacent to current Southdale Library)
             7009 York Ave. S., Edina

At the meetings you will:

  • Learn about the proposed new site location at Southdale Center and adjacent amenities
  • Review a summary of library programming insights and ideas previously supplied by community members
  • Add any library programming ideas not already documented
  • View preliminary bicycle and pedestrian connections for the recommended library site
  • Understand next steps and future opportunities to be part of creating a new regional library.

Find out more about the proposed project here.

June 11, 2019

Public hearing on proposed changes to tobacco sales ordinance

The board will hold a public hearing to hear feedback on proposed changes to the county's tobacco sales ordinance. Proposals aim to protect residents from the health effects associated with tobacco use.

When: Tuesday, June 11
            1:30 p.m.

Where: Hennepin County Board Room
             A-2400 Government Center, Minneapolis

Proposed changes include

  • Raising the minimum legal sales age for tobacco products from 18 to 21
  • Requiring that employees must be 18 years old to sell licensed tobacco products
  • Restricting the sale of flavored tobacco products to adult-only tobacco stores
  • Prohibiting the sale of cigars that cost less than $3 each

Changes would affect Greenfield, Mound, Rockford, Rogers, St. Bonifacius, and the Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport.


June 20, 2019

Apply for Riley-Purgatory-Bluff- Creek Watershed District Board


Help protect and improve water resources.

Watershed districts educate and engage residents, and the work they undertake benefits the quality and quantity of water in local, as well as downstream watersheds and communities.

Apply online at hennepin.us/advisoryboards by June 20.


Outdoor movies at Target Field Station

Outdoor movies

Attend family-friendly activities this summer for no cost as part of the Go Outside with Hennepin County summer event series.

Mondays at 7 p.m. 

  • June 10; Angels in the Outfield
  • June 24: TBD
  • July 8: Mary Poppins Returns
  • July 15: Spaceballs
  • July 29: Moana

Other events include farmers market, trivia nights

Healthy homes, healthy communities

Healthy homes

Inn May, we celebrated healthy homes and neighborhoods by hosting a community build event and celebration in North Minneapolis.

In the last 20 years, the county and city have committed more than $70 million to fix lead and other health hazards in more than 6,600 homes. That work has prevented lead exposure for about 10,000 young children throughout the county.  

Learn more about funding and assistance to keep your home healthy and safe from lead paint.

High water declared on Lake Minnetonka

From the Lake Minnetonka Conservation District:

The Lake Minnetonka Conservation District (LMCD) declared high water effective May 31.  Until further notice, the minimum wake areas on Lake Minnetonka will be extended to 600 feet from shore throughout the lake and certain bays are entirely minimum wake.  Lake Minnetonka remains open to the public

Reduced watercraft speeds of less than 5 mph in extended minimum wake areas will help minimize erosion of shorelines, damage to structures, and protect the public from possible accidents. It can also be very relaxing. The HCSO Water Patrol and other agencies will be helping to educate boaters and monitor speeds and wakes. Thank you for being a safe boater and protecting our lake. View the High Water Declaration Handout for a map and details. For more information about high water requirements and safety tips, visit this webpage.

Wayzata Boulevard reconstruction update

County Road 112 in Long Lake and Orono

Project on schedule for summer completion

Since work re-started in mid-April, crews have been able to keep on schedule with this year’s final activities for phase 2 reconstruction.

Grading and concrete work nearing completion

Earlier last month, work began to build up the new roadway and construct permanent roadway features along the northern half of Wayzata Boulevard between Birch's on the Lake and Luce Line Trail overpass, as well as Old Long Lake Road.

First, crews graded the new roadway, which is made up base layers of gravel. These layers are critical structural elements of the roadway. They provide a stable foundation needed to support the new curbs and pavement.

Concrete work followed with new concrete driveway aprons, curbs and gutters.

Mid May, crews completed some minor grading work prior to paving.

Paving work

Paving occurred between Birch's on the Lake and Luce Line Trail overpass, as well as the southern half of Wayzata Boulevard near Highway 12 ramps. 

Staying safe

As you travel through the construction area, please allow for extra time to travel through the area, as delays can occur. For your safety and the safety of our crews, we ask that you slow down and follow the instructions of our crews and signage. 





Southwest LRT Construction Hotline


For urgent Southwest LRT construction issues, please call the 24-hour hotline at 612-373-3933 for assistance.  Call the hotline for problems such as blocked access to business or residential areas, improper traffic sign placement or parking issues. 

For general questions or comments about Southwest LRT, please contact your Community Outreach Coordinator at https://tinyurl.com/y6b34egj.

For emergencies, always call 911.

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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