June 4, 2021 Newsletter

chris latondresse


  June 4, 2021

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

Please join me tomorrow for my monthly 'Coffee with Chris' series where we sit down over a cup of coffee for an informal conversation. This Saturday, June 5, you can join me by clicking here.


Updates you’ll find in this week’s newsletter:

Coffee with Chris: Tomorrow from 10:00 am- 10:45 am. Join by clicking here.

🏛 Hennepin County Board actions this week: The Board approved funding for Emergency Rental Assistance, Opioid Response Services, and the Vocational Services Program.

📅 Juneteenth Programs at Hennepin County Library

📅 In the District: Minnetonka Farmers MarketFree Fitness in the Parks, and Shady Oak Beach.

🚧 Southwest LRT construction to impact traffic: On Monday, May 10, southbound Blake Road (County Road 20) closed between 2nd Street and Excelsior Boulevard (County Road 3). The closure could last up to six months and is needed for Southwest LRT crews to complete freight signal and underpass work.

I encourage you to reach out to my office with any questions or concerns using the contact information at the bottom of this newsletter.

In service,


☕ Coffee with Chris

Coffee with Chris graphic

District 6 residents are invited to join me tomorrow, Saturday, June 5th for an informal virtual conversation over coffee. Starting at 10:00 am residents can click here to join the virtual meeting. 

🏛 Hennepin County Board actions this week

County Board Actions graphic


This week, the Hennepin County Board of Commissioners approved:

  • $481,739 in funding from the Minnesota Department of Human Services for the expansion of the Opioid Response Services offered by Hennepin County. This funding will increase the Health Care for the Homeless Program staff complement to include a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker (LICSW), Registered Nurse, and Case Management Assistant. The additional staff will perform within the mobile outreach program’s on-demand treatment system meaning patients can receive services at multiple walk-in clinics without an appointment or be seen at a shelter, street, and other locations as best for each individual.


  • Allocating $31,717,562 Emergency Rental Assistance funds stemming from the American Rescue Plan Act which included more than $21.6 billion for additional emergency rental assistance. Hennepin County will ensure distribution of assistance commensurate to concentrations of renters with incomes below 50 percent of the area median income. In addition, the county will utilize culturally specific housing outreach providers and a multi-lingual application to reduce access barriers for highly impacted groups. The following three funding approaches for programming will help reach the maximum number of eligible tenants and spend all funds as quickly and efficiently as possible:
    • $14,872,000 county-directed emergency rental housing assistance program for tenant applicants utilizing county staff (HSPHD)
    • $4,956,000 contracted emergency rental housing assistance program for tenant applicants utilizing contracted providers (HED)
    • $11,589,562 emergency rental housing assistance program for property owners applying on behalf of tenants (HED), administered jointly with other metro-area entitlement jurisdictions


  • $111,411 in grant funding from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development Rehabilitation Services for the Extended Employment Program. The Human Services Department Vocational Services Program (VSP) provides vocational rehabilitation services for Hennepin County residents who have a diagnosis of a serious mental illness and/or substance use disorder. This Wage Incentive funding from DEED supports the job retention services provided to individuals with serious and persistent mental illness.

📅 Juneteenth Programs at Hennepin County Library

HC Library Juneteenth Events

📅 In the District

Farmer's Market MTKA Graphic

The Minnetonka Farmers Market opens this coming Tuesday, June 8 until September 28 from 3:00-7:00 pm at the Minnetonka Civic Center Campus, Ice Arena B Parking Lot,14600 Minnetonka Blvd. You can now shop in-person and preorder for pick-up. Learn more here.

Free Fitness in the Parks sessions have begun at Staring Lake Amphitheatre (SL) and Purgatory Creek Park (PC) in Eden Prairie. Click here to find the different classes offered at both locations Mondays-Saturdays.

Fitness in the park graphic EP
Shady Oak Beach children playing on inflatables

Shady Oak Beach, located at 5200 Shady Oak Road in Minnetonka, opens next Friday, June 11. For information on hours of operation, entrance admission, season passes, weather guidelines, and more click here.

📰 News

Hennepin County urges planning ahead for in-person license appointments

ECM Publishers

Officials at Hennepin County Service Centers are asking the public to plan ahead when scheduling an in-person appointment. Slots are filling up quickly and booking three months in advance as COVID-19 waivers have expired.

Requests for marriage and driver’s licenses, as well as state ID services now require in-person appointments. Due to high demand, service centers are temporarily offering extended hours at some locations for greater flexibility to process driver’s license and state ID requests.

Access the full story, here.

🚧 Southwest LRT construction to impact traffic

Traffic Impact Alert Graphic


Southbound Blake Road closed

On Monday, May 10, southbound Blake Road (County Road 20) closed between 2nd Street and Excelsior Boulevard (County Road 3).

The southbound closure could last up to six months and is needed for Southwest LRT crews to complete freight signal and underpass work.


Detour and access

During the closure, the detour for people driving southbound will use:

  • 2nd Street
  • St. Louis Street/Tyler Avenue
  • Jackson Avenue
  • Excelsior Boulevard

Northbound Blake Road will remain open to traffic.

The trail/sidewalk alongside northbound Blake Road will remain open. People walking, biking, and rolling southbound can use 2nd Street and the Cedar Lake Trail.

Access to local businesses could change in the area during the closure. Please go to Metropolitan Council's Southwest LRT construction detour maps page for more information.

For more information

To learn more about the Southwest LRT project, visit swlrt.org.

If you have urgent Southwest LRT construction issues such as blocked access to business or residential areas, improper traffic sign placement, or parking issues call the 24-hour hotline at 612-373-3933.

If you have general, non-urgent questions, contact Nkongo Cigolo, Southwest LRT community outreach coordinator for Hopkins, at nkongo.cigolo@metrotransit.org or 612-373-3825.

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 ParkTonka Bay, Wayzata and Woodland.

County information

Chris LaTondresse
6th District

Jessica Oaxaca
District Director

Kyle Olson
Policy Director


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