District 1 Updates from Commissioner Frethem

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Serving the communities of Arden Hills, Gem Lake, North Oaks, Shoreview, Vadnais Heights, White Bear Township, and parts of Mounds View, Spring Lake Park and Blaine.

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March 31, 2020

Ramsey County


Nicole Frethem
Commissioner, District 1
651-266-8362 or 651-425-9580 

Sheena Denny
Principal Aide                             651-266-8355                            Email

Nancy Larson
Administrative Assistant

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Follow on Facebook

Commissioner Frethem is sharing information and access to resources in real time on Facebook. Follow us there for more COVID-19 and other county content.

Commissioner Frethem sitting at her desk

Virtually meet with Commissioner Frethem at Office Hours in District 1

We will be holding a virtual chat and check in via Zoom on Thursday, April 2 at 9:00 a.m..

Learn more at the Facebook Event Invite or join in by clicking the link https://zoom.us/j/4574765166 and entering the Meeting ID: 457 476 5166 at 9:00 a.m. on Thursday, April 2.

Ramsey County

Property tax update

Ramsey County mailed annual property tax notices to residents in the last half of March. If you signed up for e-statements, you would get your statement via email instead of through the postal service.

Please know that the board is aware that many are financially struggling in light of the COVID-19 outbreak and we are currently exploring options to alleviate property tax burdens on residents before the first payment deadline of May 15, 2020.

For residents whose property taxes have increased, the legislature provides several different types of relief. Homeowner's and renter's rebates are given to taxpayers whose property taxes are disproportionate to their income. Targeted refunds are also available for homeowners, regardless of income, whose taxes increased by more than 12% from the previous year. You can file for these funds with your state income taxes by completing the M1-PR form.

Final thoughts

This is a hard and scary time for many of us. Some of us are very fortunate and are able to weather this storm safe at home with our families. Others are less fortunate and forced to shelter with people who make them feel unsafe, are lacking in adequate shelter and supplies, or are on the front lines as health care workers, grocery workers, janitors, delivery workers, truck drivers, and other professions deemed essential.

If you have questions or needs that aren't being met and you are not finding what you need through the resources shared in this newsletter, please reach out to my office. We're happy to help in any way we can. You can email me at nicole.frethem@co.ramsey.mn.us or call anytime at 651-425-9580.

Although we don't have all the answers, I am confident that the Board and our Ramsey County leadership and staff are using the best information available to make informed choices about how we move forward in a way that balances the immediate public health threats and long-term stability for residents and families. Please take care of yourselves and #StayHomeMN as much as you can.

Ramsey County Board of Commissioners 2020 group portrait

Board of Commissioners meet for Emergency Board Meeting

Following Governor Walz's Stay-at-Home order, the board held an emergency meeting today to approve the Declaration of Essential and Priority Services and to receive updates on the COVID 19 pandemic.

You can hear our discussion and watch the board meeting on Ramsey County's website.

Stay home

Stay up-to-date on COVID 19

Ramsey County continues to provide information and updates via our website at https://www.ramseycounty.us/coronavirus. The best actions to keep yourself, your family, and your community safe are still:

  • Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes
  • Stay home when you are sick

Additional resources and information can be found at:

Other hotlines and help

Ramsey County’s Customer Contact Center is available from 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Monday – Friday at 651-266-8500 as a one-stop option for directing and resolving questions

If you have specific questions, reach out to one of the statewide hotlines set up to respond:

School and child care questions

7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Seven days a week

Health questions

7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Seven days a week

Housing questions

For single-family residences: 
For multi-family residences: 
Monday - Friday 8:00 am - 5:00 pm 

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NACo Calls - March 30, 2020 update with CDC officials

On Monday, Commissioner Frethem listened in on a national call hosted by the National Association of Counties (NACo) with federal staff from the CDC sharing updates.

Federal staff noted how important it was to continue social distancing to reduce hotspots and outbreaks of COVID-19, but also to allow the health care system time to build up their capacity to respond. They also stressed that there is no firm federal timeline for Stay at Home orders because needs will vary drastically at the local and state level depending on health care capacity and evidence of widespread community transition.

There is still a lot we don't know including whether people can be re-infected after recovering from COVID-19. One piece of our response that makes it hard to gather definitive data is lack of testing. The CDC staff on the phone were very excited about the new rapid test from Abbott Laboratories which could test more people more quickly and help our public health officials manage spread of COVID-19.