May 2020 E-Newsletter

Jan Callison - News from District 6

May 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

April 7, 2020

Additional funding for COVID-19 response

The county board designated $3 million of additional funding for COVID-19 response.

This action will provide equipment and services that are essential to responding to the pandemic, including safe and isolated living spaces for people experiencing homelessness.

Learn more about other key actions commissioners have taken in response to the pandemic.

Aquatic invasive species prevention


The board awarded aquatic invasive species prevention grants to the following organizations: 

  • Christmas Lake Association, $10,000 annually for three years to supplement its watercraft inspection and decontamination program  
  • Fortin Consulting Inc., $15,000 to investigate sales of prohibited/regulated species at pet stores and garden centers within Hennepin County 
  • Minneapolis Park Board, $40,000 annually for three years to supplement its watercraft inspection program 
  • Nine Mile Creek Watershed District, $20,000 to research the presence of goldfish in the Cornelia Lake system 
  • Three Rivers Park District, $50,000 annually for three years to expand its watercraft inspection program 
  • WaterGuards LLC, $30,000 to add inspections and provide education on waterless cleaning stations at public accesses 
  • Wayzata Yacht Club, $10,000 to install a wash station for incoming and outgoing watercraft on Lake Minnetonka 
  • Wildlife Forever, $10,000 to install “Clean Drain Dry” messaging at public marinas and bait shops in Hennepin County 

Learn more about Hennepin County’s efforts to manage the spread of aquatic invasive species. 

April 21, 2020

Hennepin County Small Business Relief Program

The board approved $2 million of emergency loan funding to help local businesses recover from the economic impacts of COVID-19. The county will partner with Metropolitan Consortium of Community Developers to assist approximately 265 businesses.

Learn more about small business relief.

Small business outreach

The board approved an agreement with the Alliance for Metropolitan Stability to provide small business outreach in partnership with culturally specific, community-based organizations. 

Emergency housing assistance 

The board approved $740,000 to fund emergency housing assistance for renters and homeowners. The county will add up to $1.5 million more for rental assistance from federal CARES Act funding in the coming days.

County partners with local shelters to stand up more hotels for people experiencing homelessness

The board approved a plan to work with Catholic Charities and the Salvation Army to move people experiencing homelessness who are at high-risk of COVID-19 out of two shelters and into a new hotel to allow them to safely self-isolate.

Approximately 200 people, including seniors and people with underlying health conditions, will move out of Higher Ground and Harbor Light Center into a hotel leased by Hennepin County. Catholic Charities and the Salvation Army will jointly operate and staff the facility.

The county is also working with People Serving People and partners to explore leasing an additional 50-bed hotel for families staying in shelter that have symptoms of COVID-19 in a similar arrangement.

The county is already operating three additional hotel sites for high-risk people who cannot self-isolate, including one for people with suspected and confirmed cases of COVID-19. There are currently 272 residents staying in these hotels.

Hennepin County first acted to establish alternative accommodations for high-risk residents at area hotels on Tuesday, March 17.

To date, Hennepin County has spent more than $2 million on isolation housing for vulnerable residents.

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 30, 2020

CARES Act funding

Staff provided an update on Federal CARES Act funding.  County staff is working with the federal government to understand the guidelines for usage of funds and how they can be used effectively in Hennepin County. 

Funding allocation priorities proposed by staff include:

1.Funding of health programs necessary to save lives within the County’s assigned intergovernmental role

2.Additional costs incurred due to COVID-19 and legally required functions of County government

3.Support communities, residents, small businesses and non-profits impacted by COVID-19

Additional areas of funding that Commissioners would like to explore include: business relief, increased testing capacities, housing supports, senior homes funding, and connectivity for county involved youth.

County calendar

April 14, 2020

Public Hearing

Hennepin County is seeking public feedback on a five-year plan for housing and community development, in addition to a one-year action plan. The county is required to submit these plans to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to be eligible to receive federal housing and community development funds. 

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

Where: location TBD

May 11, 2020

Youth sports equipment and playground grants now available   


Hennepin County is seeking local governments who are interested in developing facilities for youth sports and recreation. 

State legislation authorizing the construction of Target Field allows Hennepin County to use a portion of the 0.15% sales tax surcharge to grant over $2 million dollars each year to Hennepin County communities to assist with developing these facilities. These grants are made through the Hennepin Youth Sports Program.  

  • The application deadline, originally March 30, has been extended to Monday, May 11 with applications being sought for equipment and playgrounds. 
  • Visit the Hennepin Youth Sports Program webpage for more information. 


Hennepin County Services

County Services

We continue to provide many services by phone, mail, digital and fax.

County resource helpline

If you've been impacted by COVID-19, call our helpline to get help with clothing, financial assistance, groceries, medical care and equipment, and medication:

  • 612-348-3000
  • Open 7 days a week, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Mental health support for youth

If you are or know someone 17 or younger who is experiencing a mental health crisis, you can get help by calling Hennepin County COPE at 612-348-2233. We're here for you around the clock.

Small business relief

If your small business has been affected by COVID19, you may qualify for assistance. Learn about the Hennepin County Small Business Relief program.

County service directory

See how to access county services at

2020 Census


Our census team is working with cities in Hennepin County, school districts and a variety of community organizations to make sure everyone is counted. The information collected will determine the resources available to us for the next 10 years for healthcare, education, housing, transportation, emergency services and other vital programs.

Census response rates

Number of households that have completed the census:

  • The U.S. – More than 74 million households – over 50%  
  • Minnesota – More than 61% response rate, among the highest in the country
  • Hennepin County – 65% countywide, but some cities and communities have much lower rates

Visit to see the map with response rates by zip code.

Take the census now 

Library curbside pickup


Hennepin County Library is offering contactless, curbside pickup at eight locations. Pickup is available at Brooklyn Park, East Lake, Eden Prairie, Maple Grove, Plymouth, Ridgedale, Washburn, and Webber Park libraries.

In addition, the library is offering temporary, digital library cards for county residents who do not have a library card. The digital cards provide full access to the library’s eBooks, digital downloads, and online services.

Find more information about library services.

Abatement of property tax penalty for certain taxpayers

The board approved a measure to automatically waive penalties for property tax payments due on May 15 but made on or before July 15. 

This applies to taxpayers who: 

  • Have an annual property tax payment less than $100,000 for all parcels 
  • Do not escrow their property tax payments through a mortgage or escrow service 

Budgeting for COVID-19 response


On April 21, 2020 Commissioners authorized up to $4 million of additional funding for COVID-19 response.

The board had previously authorized $8.5 million for protective housing, isolation and quarantine sites, personal protective equipment and staffing to respond to COVID-19.

This brings authorized spending related to COVID-19 to $12.5 million.

To date, the county has spent $6.7 million on COVID-related expenses.

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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