District 1 Updates from Commissioner Frethem

Español | Hmoob | Soomaali

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.

District 1 Header

April 14, 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

Picture of Facebook image announcing to follow Commissioner online

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 virtual chats and check ins via Zoom on Thursdays at 11:30 a.m.

Learn more at the Facebook Event Invites or join in by clicking the link https://zoom.us/j/4574765166 and entering the Meeting ID: 457 476 5166 at 11:30 a.m. on Thursday, April 16.

Ramsey County Golf Courses

Keller Golf Course

Governor Waltz's Executive Order 20-33 issued on April 8th did not change the status of our Parks & Recreation services and, therefore, golf courses remain closed. Our overarching vision is to make Ramsey County Parks & Recreation facilities and spaces as available as they can be to the community we serve. If the Governor allows services to be open, and we are able to follow social distancing guidelines, Commissioner Frethem will support continuing to open services in accordance with that guidance.

Photo of Congress building in Washington DC

Federal actions on COVID-19

Ramsey County continues to review federal actions and law changes to ensure that we are able to utilize all available funds to address COVID-19 and support residents. Congress is considering additional aid to local governments as part of a fourth Covid-19 response bill. Commissioner Frethem reached out to Ramsey County's congressional delegation today to support:

1) Appropriating an additional $250 billion for local governments because we cannot rely on the property tax levy to fund our response or our recovery.

2) Separating local government funding for cities and counties because each level of government has unique responsibilities in this crisis.

3) Including "lost revenue" as an eligible expense.

Update on Property Taxes

The Board will be presented with a plan to address property tax deferrals at next week's board meeting on April 21. We expect Ramsey County will have a deferral plan in place for property taxes by May 1 for payments due on May 15. If you are having trouble paying, please wait for more guidance. More robust relief is dependent on legislative action. For more, follow or connect with the legislators in your area. Many are hosting virtual town hall events on Facebook or via other online platforms.

SD 38 (North Oaks, White Bear Township)

SD42 (Arden Hills, Mounds View, Shoreview, Vadnais Heights, Spring Lake Park, Gem Lake)

Final Thoughts

Yesterday, I saw one of my neighbors get a birthday surprise. I truck bed full of visitors with balloons. My neighbor watched with joy and jumped up and down to see everyone. They couldn't get out and hug one another or continue a different family tradition. It was beautiful and sad all at once.

I'm sure many of you are also struggling either financially, socially, or emotionally (or all three). This is very hard even in the best of circumstances. Please utilize some of the resources provided if you need them. There is no shame in needing help. If you're not sure where to turn, reach out to my office. We will help you navigate. My email is nicole.frethem@co.ramsey.mn.us and my phone is 651-425-9580.

One of the things getting me through is thinking about our amazing medical professionals who are doing the dangerous and hard work of caring for those who are sick and at risk. Professionals like my mom (pictured below). I am so grateful to all of you on the front lines. You deserve more support than we're able to give you right now. We're staying home for you.

Commissioner Frethem's mom, Barbara Ferguson, in a medical mask
Ramsey County Board of Commissioners 2020 group portrait

Board of Commissioners Virtual Board Meeting

Today's board meeting was a virtual board meeting via Zoom. You can hear our discussion and watch the board meeting on Ramsey County's website.

Public Works Projects Continue

Ramsey County Road Construction and Maintenance Updates

Public Works staff and our contractor partners continue to press ahead with this season’s projects but with new practices and precautions. On the job site, one operator will stay with the same piece of equipment throughout; field inspectors and technicians drive alone instead of in teams; personnel between two shifts of work crews stays consistent; and social distancing is continually practiced. Thank you to our public works staff for maintaining our infrastructure while many of us stay safe at home.

The District 1 office has received many emails and calls regarding roads and pathways. Thank you for your patience while we get answers and additional information. In the meantime, if there is a pothole near your area on a county road that needs patching, please report it on Ramsey County's website.

MN Children's Cabinet logo

On April 13, Governor Waltz's Minnesota Children's Cabinet provided a child care update for Family Child Care and Center-Based Child Care Providers. A panel of representatives from MDH, DHS and MDE answered a few frequently asked questions from providers. Some of the highlights include:

Why is it safe for childcare providers to remain open and considered essential?

  • Providers are already equipped to watch for illness symptoms in children and already trained in sanitizing surface areas in centers and homes

What policies and guidance and safety measures exist for providers?

  • Broad recommendations come from the CDC, then MDH tailors that information to MN
  • Providers should feel free to screen children coming into their care
  • Providers should limit all persons coming into care centers or homes - i.e. allowing only one parent to drop off, or meeting kids outside to bring them inside without parent coming inside

How would providers get tested if they are experiencing symptoms of Covid-19?

  • Providers are considered essential workers and would get priority testing. Although testing is not guaranteed, they should tell their doctor they are a child care provider when reporting their symptoms.

Applications for the Peacetime Emergency Child Care Grants continue to be accepted through April 15. Full details and the application form are available on the Child Care Aware of Minnesota website.

If you are having trouble getting the recommended supplies or getting questions answered, please reach out to our office!

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.

The Ramsey County Sheriff's office has set up a COVID "Help Team"

Contact 651-448-3874 (voice and text) or HelpTeam@co.ramsey.mn.us.

  • Mon-Fri 8 a.m. - 8 p.m.
  • Sat-Sun 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

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