March 2020 E-Newsletter

Jan Callison - News from District 6


  March 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

February 4, 2020

Funding to clean up contaminated sites

The board awarded $1.6 million of Environmental Response Fund grants for 10 projects to assess and clean up contaminated sites where added environmental costs hinder site improvements or redevelopment.

District 6 grant recipients 

  • Amundson Flats — affordable housing, Edina
  • Hennepin Lead-Safe Housing — assessment and abatement of lead-based paint hazards in homes, countywide
  • Minnesota Brownfield Gap Financing Program — a program that provides environmental assessment grants to government entities and non-profits, countywide

Healthy tree canopy grants

Tree canopy

Hennepin County is awarding more than $100,000 of grants to promote a more diverse, resilient, and equitable tree canopy. Organizations will receive grants to engage communities in planting trees, remove and replace ash trees, conduct tree-related education, complete tree inventories, and hold Arbor Day celebrations.

Grant recipients

Affordable housing

  • Aeon, Seasons Park Apartments in Richfield
  • City of Edina, 7075 Amundson Avenue in Edina
  • Metro Blooms, Autumn Ridge Apartments in Brooklyn Park

Non-profit organizations

  • Bethel Evangelical Lutheran Church, Golden Valley
  • Friends of the Mississippi River, Nicollet Island in Minneapolis
  • Green Minneapolis, Downtown Minneapolis
  • Lakewood Cemetery Association, Minneapolis
  • St. Anthony East Neighborhood Association, Community Commons Park in Minneapolis
  • Tree Trust, Glen Lake Elementary in Minnetonka
  • Touchstone Mental Health, residential treatment service facility in Bloomington
  • YMCA, Camp Christmas Tree and Camp Ihduhapi in Independence

Federal legislative platform

The board approved the county's federal 2020 legislative platform.

Legislative priorities 

  • Transportation
  • Health and human services
  • Safety-net health services

Other items on the platform

  • Climate change
  • Criminal justice
  • Housing and community development
  • Immigration
  • Taxes
  • Workforce development

February 18, 2020

$2 million to preserve naturally occurring affordable housing

Hennepin County has committed an additional $2 million to a fund aimed at preserving the affordability of rental housing.

Commissioners approved this investment in the second phase of the NOAH Impact Fund at their Housing and Redevelopment Authority meeting February 11. This fund, managed by the Greater Minnesota Housing Fund, invests in rental properties at risk of conversion to higher rents in order to preserve affordability.

In 2016, Hennepin County was an early and critical participant in the first phase of this metro-wide fund, investing $3 million. The first phase preserved more than 700 units metro-wide, including roughly 460 (65%) in Hennepin County.

Learn more about the Greater Minnesota Housing Fund.

Peer support to help pregnant moms recover from substance use disorders

UCare has awarded the county $100,000 to expand peer recovery support services for pregnant mothers who have substance use disorders.

The county's Project Child program will use the grant to hire a full-time peer recovery support specialist. The specialist will use their lived experience with substance use disorder to build trusting relationships with participants and promote healthy behavior change.

About 100 parents are served annually through Project Child. Over 90% of these participants have given birth to healthy babies and have been able to keep their babies.

Learn more and watch a video about Project Child.

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.

February 20, 2020

Ordinance #9 changes - EMS planning and regulation

In the 1970s, Hennepin County formed the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) system and established the EMS council in order to address a lack of structure relating to pre-hospital care by ambulance providers.  In 1984, the county adopted ordinance 9 which provided regulatory oversight.  In the mid-1990s, the state legislature enacted Minnesota Statute Chapter 144E and stabled the Emergency Medical Services Review Board (EMSRB).  The county then updated Ordinance 9 in 1999 to reflect relevant factors in establishing ambulance response time standards.

County staff has found that the primary drivers for the ordinance change are:

  • Establish priority areas and provide clarity about what will be mandatory and subject to enforcement
  • Remove redundancy between Ordinance 9 and state statute/rules adopted by the EMS

  • Allow EMS providers to use their expertise to make decisions regarding triage, treatment, and transport

County calendar

March 3, 2020

Vote in the Presidential Primary


For the first time in nearly thirty years, Minnesota voters are heading to the polls instead of precinct caucuses to select their party’s presidential nominee. Here’s what you need to know ahead of March 3, Super Tuesday.

View a video on the primary here.

March 18, 2020

Hennepin County conservation open house


Hennepin County provides assistance to landowners to implement a variety of conservation practices that protect water, improve soil, address erosion issues, manage livestock, protect habitat and more.

Learn about the conservation services that Hennepin County offers for owners of agricultural or large rural properties and connect with staff at our upcoming open house. There will be a short program at 6:15 p.m., then staff will be available to talk about projects or answer individual questions.

Featured topics include the county ditches survey results, Rush Creek Clean Water Fund grant, agricultural practices, and habitat restoration.

When: Wednesday, March 18, 2020
           6:00 pm to 8:00 pm
Where: Hamel Community Building, 3200 Mill Street, Medina

For more information, Kirsten Barta at or 612-543-3373.

April 5, 2020

Master gardener event at Southdale Library

Master gardener

Get ready for the spring gardening season. Learn about flowers for pollinators, composting, getting more out of your perennial garden and more at eight libraries this spring.  Southdale Library is hosting The Evolving Garden on Sunday, April 5, 2020.  The event will be held from 1:00 pm - 2:15 pm.


Eden Prairie Library reopening


A ribbon cutting was held on February 25 for the reopening of the Eden Prairie Library. At the start of the project, patrons identified what was most important to them for their library.  Some of the top survey responses included: a place that supports our community, comfortable seating for all, and places for reading, study and meetings.  This renovation includes all of this and more.

The main area in the center of the library has been redesigned to accommodate a variety of programs and displays, with features like height-adjustable computer stations and flexible furniture that can be moved around.  There are plenty of other new places to gather, whether you’re here to learn, study, work, have fun, or create – including:

  • A new meeting room designed for hands-on learning, crafting and making.
  • Comfortable seating around the refaced fireplace, and an outdoor lounge space.
  • And for families, a new play and learn area with a magnetic wall, lounge furniture, tables for games and puzzles, imagination station, and a reading nook.

The building also has a focus on sustainability, with electric vehicle charging stations, LED fixtures and improved entry points to reduce air infiltration. The building is also solar power ready. 

The Eden Prairie Library has the highest circulation in the Hennepin County Library system.  The newly renovated library will continue to provide a space where all patrons can gather, read, learn, and thrive in their community.

Free Valentine's Day weddings


On Valentine’s Day this year, more than 30 couples tied the knot in free ceremonies at the Government Center. Over the years, a total of 233 couples have been married at this event, hosted by Fourth District Court and Hennepin County.

Hennepin County service centers

Southdale Service Center

The deadline for Real ID is getting close.  If you plan on flying after September 30, 2020 you will need either a Real ID or a valid passport.  The processing times are longer than with traditional drivers licenses so demand on service centers has increased.  If you are visiting a Hennepin County service center for any reason, you can do a few things to help your visit. 

1. Pre-apply for a Real ID online:
2. Schedule your service center visit:
3. Check current wait times:

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update

covid 19

Health officials with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) are monitoring an outbreak of respiratory illness, called coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Cases of COVID-19 are now being reported in a growing number of countries, including the United States.

No cases have been confirmed in Minnesota at this time. Follow Minnesota Department of Health for the most up-to-date information.

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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