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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April 21, 2020

Ramsey County


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

Sheena Denny
Principal Aide

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 on Zoom

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 23.

Eliminating and reducing fees and fines

Ramsey County has eliminated nearly a dozen fees levied against people in jail and on probation that officials said disproportionately affected low-income families and communities of color.

Commissioner Frethem said "the move to reduce some of the financial pressures on those entangled in the criminal justice system will help struggling families and children."

Celebrate Earth Day 2020

Commissioner Frethem with her countertop food scrap bin.

April 2020 marks the 50th anniversary of Earth Day! Everything is a little different right now, and the way we celebrate Earth Day is no exception! You can reduce, reuse, and recycle from home, and explore nature right in your own neighborhood! 

Ramsey County is encouraging residents to complete environmental challenges with your family to leave the Earth a better place for future generations, pick up some thrifty habits, and enjoy the spring weather. As you complete the challenges, share photos on Facebook or Instagram with the hashtag #ActionQuest2020. Stay safe, follow social distancing guidelines, and happy trails!

#ChalkTheTrails is an opportunity to do your part to help keep trails clean and chalk your walk with uplifting messages and drawings. You might even win a prize. This program is hosted in partnership with Shoreview Parks & Recreation.

Public Works and Parks Updates

I694 and Rice Street Roundabouts rendering

Road updates

694/Rice Street

Overnight work at the I-694/Rice Street interchange in City of Shoreview, MN (Local Government), Little Canada, Minnesota and City of Vadnais Heights Government will impact I-694 traffic April 20-23.

April 21-22 overnight
Lane reductions and temporary closures will be in place on both east and westbound I-694 beginning at 9 p.m. tonight and again at 9 p.m. tomorrow. Work will be complete by 5 a.m. each night.

April 22-23 overnight
Westbound I-694 will be closed and traffic will be detoured via the I-694 exit and entrance ramps at Rice Street from 9 p.m. Wednesday – 5 a.m. Thursday. Lane reductions will be in place on eastbound I-694.

Project info: ramseycounty.us/694Rice

Hodgson Road

Hodgson Road (County Road 49) will be reconstructed between Gramsie Road/Rice Street and Highway 96 in City of Shoreview, MN (Local Government) in 2022.

Preliminary design is underway and will include:

• A proposed roundabout at the Gramsie Road/Rice Street intersection.
• New sidewalk and trail.
• A three-lane road design.

Visit ramseycounty.us/HodgsonRoad to learn more, share your feedback on an interactive map and survey, and sign up for project updates.

Park updates

Vadnais-Snail Lake Regional Park

Despite having to cancel the last Vadnais-Snail master plan community meeting, Ramsey County Parks and Recreation wants to assure residents that this project is still moving forward. Because your feedback as a community member is important to them, they invite you to review the final concept online in lieu of the public meeting. Feedback can be submitted to Ramsey County Parks & Recreation by emailing parks@ramseycounty.us.

Review the final concept:


Ramsey County golf courses began  reopening on Saturday, April 18 with modified service. Opening dates will range between Saturday, April 18 to Wednesday, April 22.

Learn more:

Keller Father's Day
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.

Property Tax

Today, the board authorized the deferral of the first half of 2020 property tax payments, without penalty, up to July 15, 2020, for:

  • Non-escrowed homesteads,
  • small businesses with taxes less than or equal to $50,000, and
  • residential non-homesteads (1 to 3 units) with taxes less than or equal to $20,000.

Relief is intended for those who are impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The county encourages anyone who is able to pay their taxes on time to do so to support local government COVID-19 response. 

The Ramsey County Property Tax webpage will be updated soon with new protocols for those seeking relief.

Governor Walz Launches Homemade Mask Drive

Commissioner Frethem with a homemade mask and materials

Governor Walz launched a campaign to provide homemade masks to essential workers in congregate care settings. On Saturday, April 25 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Minnesotans can deliver homemade masks to their local fire department. Fire departments will then deliver the masks to local congregate living facilities for their employees and residents to wear.

Fire Departments in District 1:

Ramsey county fabric maks wearing guidance based on CDC

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies).

Wearing a simple cloth face covering protects you from transmitting COVID-19 to others if you aren’t showing symptoms and don’t know you have it.

For more information, visit ramseycounty.us/coronavirus

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