January 2020 E-Newsletter

Jan Callison - News from District 6


  January 2020


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

December 12, 2019

Board approved 2020 budgets

The Hennepin County Board approved a 2020 budget of $2.5 billion. The budget includes an $869 million net property tax levy, a 4.75% increase from 2019.

In addition to investments in public safety and transit, examples of some key budget drivers include:

  • Child well-being – continuing to transform the child welfare system to a child well-being model
  • County workforce – recruitment and retention of diverse county employees
  • Elections – preparing for the 2020 presidential election and addressing election security
  • Census 2020 – establishing the Complete Count Committee 2020 to maximize the number of county residents surveyed in the 2020 census
  • Service centers – meeting increased demand and providing better customer and employee experience
  • Affordable housing – establishing unprecedented funding for affordable housing and continuing investment strategies that spur the creation and preservation of affordable housing
  • Sustainable future – completing a carbon emissions inventory study that will empower the county to act on reducing our carbon footprint

Voting as the Housing and Redevelopment Authority (HRA), the board approved a budget of $22.5 million and levy of $16.5 million.

Voting as the Regional Railroad Authority, the board approved a budget of $40.2 million and levy of $30 million.

Medical Examiners facility

ME Office

The board accepted a $15.1 million state grant for the new regional medical examiner's facility in Minnetonka.

A larger, improved facility will equip staff to handle growing case volumes and help train, recruit and retain the most qualified forensic science professionals.

Construction is slated to begin next spring. Hennepin, Dakota and Scott counties will fund the remaining portion of the facility's estimated $52.9 million cost.

2020 Youth Sports Grants awards


The board awarded 13 grants for athletic facilities and more than 22 grants for small equipment.

Facility grant recipients 

  • Brooklyn Center School District 286: $250,000 for tennis courts at Brooklyn Center Secondary
  • City of Bloomington: $20,000 for playground at Success Academy
  • City of Crystal: $50,000 for rink at North Lions Park 
  • City of Minnetonka: $125,000 for new gym at Eagle Ridge Academy
  • City of Minnetonka: $140,000 for multi-use mountain bike trail at Lone Lake Park  
  • City of Richfield: $300,000 for universally inclusive playground at Augsburg Park
  • City of Robbinsdale: $3,660 for Sanborn North baseball field
  • City of Saint Louis Park: $100,000 for a new entrance at Recreation Center/Aquatic Park 
  • Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board: $23,836 for improvements at Folwell Park and Athletic Field
  • Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board: $200,000 for improvements at Phelps Field Park Athletic Field
  • Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board: $200,000 for skate plaza at Elliot Park 
  • Osseo Area Schools: $80,000 for replacement of hockey rink board at Osseo High School
  • St. Anthony-New Brighton School District: $280,000 for multi-use turf field project at Central Park 

Since it began in 2009, Hennepin Youth Sports has awarded $25.6 million for facility, small equipment and playground projects, along with water safety lessons. Proceeds from the Twins ballpark sales tax support this program.

County calendar

January 24, 2020

Free Valentine's Day weddings registration begins

VD Weddings

Registration for the eighth annual free Valentine’s Day weddings event opens on Friday, January 24.

Up to 12 District Court judges will perform free marriage ceremonies over the noon hour on Friday, February 14, at the Hennepin County Government Center.

Watch for registration details on the District Court website.

October 1, 2020

9 months until Real ID deadline

Real ID

Starting October 1, a REAL ID or passport (or other TSA-approved ID) will be required to board a flight, even within the U.S. Avoid a hassle later; get your REAL ID now.

Learn more on hennepin.us.


Drake Hotel fire

Together with community partners, Hennepin County is responding to the aftermath of the December 25th Drake Hotel fire and the impact it had on the lives of roughly 250 people.

The immediate focus is keeping people safe and sheltered. The next phase will involve helping people get back to their lives and into permanent housing.

Thank you to everyone involved in responding, including those who have donated to the relief effort.

How to support relief efforts

To make a financial contribution, visit minneapolisfoundation.org.

Gray's Bay Dam closure

Gray's Bay

From the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District:

The Gray's Bay Dam has officially been closed and winterized, after Lake Minnetonka reached a level considered optimal for handling spring snowmelt. 

The Gray’s Bay Dam is located at the outlet of Lake Minnetonka into Minnehaha Creek. The dam was built in 1979 to help control flooding on Minnehaha Creek and Lake Minnetonka. MCWD operates the dam according to a detailed operating plan developed over the course of 10 years with local, state, and federal partners.

An important piece of this operation is creating storage space in Lake Minnetonka to store the spring snowmelt. The operating plan calls for lowering Lake Minnetonka until it reaches an elevation below 928.60 feet above sea level. MCWD closed and winterized the dam on December 23, 2019, when Lake Minnetonka fell below that level. 

Hennepin County Sheriff's Office collecting cold weather items

The Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office is collecting donations of cold weather items, such as coats, hats, mittens, boots, scarves, blankets, and hand warmers for distribution to homeless and unsheltered individuals in Hennepin County. Cold weather items may also be distributed to individuals leaving jail or court hearings without adequate clothing, or anyone in else in need that HCSO employees encounter in the course of their business.

HCSO is accepting donations through February 1, 2020.

  • Sheriff's Administration: 350 S 5th Street, Room 6, Minneapolis, MN 55415 (8 a.m. – 4 p.m.)
  • Sheriff's Public Safety Facility: 401 S 4th Ave., Minneapolis, MN 55415 (24 hours)
  • Sheriff's Water Patrol: 4141 Shoreline Dr., Spring Park, MN 55384 (8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.)
  • Sheriff's Emergency Communications Facility: 1245 Shenandoah Lane N, Plymouth, MN 55447 (8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.)
  • Sheriff's Patrol Headquarters: 9401 83rd Ave. N, Brooklyn Park, MN 55445 (8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.)
  • Minneapolis Central Library: 300 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis, MN 55401 9 (a.m. – 9 p.m. Mon-Friday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Saturday, noon – 5 p.m. Sunday)

Government Center parking ramp closed for renovations

Renovations have begun on the B-level of the Hennepin County Government Center parking ramp to repair and reseal floors, repair walls and repaint lines.  

The ramp will be closed to the public during construction.

Alternatives can be found on the city of Minneapolis’ webpage or MPLS parking’s website.

Work is expected to be completed in April 2020.

2020 organizational meetings

January 7, 2020

Hennepin County Board organizational meeting:

1:30 pm - Hennepin County Government Center

Hennepin County Regional Railroad Authority organizational meeting:

1:30 pm - Hennepin County Government Center

January 14, 2020

Hennepin County Housing and Redevelopment Authority organizational meeting:

1:30 pm - Hennepin County Government Center


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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