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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May 27, 2020

Ramsey County


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

Sheena Denny
Principal Aide

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 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, May 28.

Apply now to vote by mail

Vote by mail picture

All eligible voters in Ramsey County can vote by mail in both the Aug. 11 state primary and the Nov. 3 general election.

Voting by mail is safe, easy and convenient. You do not need to provide a reason to vote by mail. You can request your ballot now for both the state primary and general election. Additional information on voting by mail can be found here

Census Update

Census 2020 MN

District 1 cities are doing great at completing their census forms - well above the state and national average. Take a look at these response rates:

  1. White Bear Township – 86.1%
  2. Shoreview - 84.3%
  3. Gem Lake - 83.5%
  4. North Oaks - 83.4%
  5. Arden Hills - 82.2%
  6. Vadnais Heights - 81.5%
  7. Blaine - 80.5%
  8. Spring Lake Park - 78%
  9. Mounds View - 76.2%

If you haven't completed your census yet, you can do it online at my2020census.gov to report who is living in your home. The census helps define our representation and funding allocations at the national level so a high response rate is critical. Your information is confidential and cannot be shared for any other purposes.

For more information about the census, check out ramseycounty.us/census.

Flooding Meeting Reschedule and comment on feedback

photo of lake

We will be hosting a VIRTUAL community conversation on the flooding issues on Tuesday, June 9 from 5-7 p.m. This will include the presentation we had planned to provide on March 12, 2020 which was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak. We plan to include a Q&A opportunity, but are still finalizing how that can be done virtually.

Public Works and Parks Updates

I694 and Rice Street Roundabouts rendering

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.

South Shore Blvd

Since cancelling the March 31st in person Open House, Ramsey County has been reworking our public engagement strategy for the project.  We will be posting a Virtual Open House web page on Friday May 15th through May 25th.  The Virtual Open House will include a short video presentation, posted layouts of the developed concepts, a survey, and an interactive map where comments can be left.  We will be advertising this by sending a mailer, posting on social media, and a newspaper ad in the White Bear Press.

Vadnais-Snail Lake Regional Park

The county received excellent participation and feedback regarding the Snail Lake picnic area shelter and its possible future location. County staff has modified the preferred plan based on the feedback, and this revised concept is available to the public for further review. This concept shows the proposed relocation to occur near the existing beach and lower parking area. It is anticipated that the parking lot would be reconfigured when the shelter is relocated to potentially add additional parking and update the stormwater infrastructure. This will allow the new small shelter to be located along the lake, near where it is currently, but at an elevation unlikely to flood. The development site may also feature a new sand volleyball court or other amenity to complement the shelter and beach.

Review the final concept:

Free COVID-19 testing over Labor Day weekend

Commissioner Frethem in face mask and shield at Armory testing site on May 24

The State of Minnesota offered free COVID-19 testing at sites across the state over Memorial Day weekend. Commissioner Frethem volunteered for a shift on Sunday afternoon. Working alongside the National Guard service members was an honor. They were calm, kind, and efficient in helping residents get checked in and through the testing process safely. Huge thanks to all of those service members who spent their weekend in service.

Board of Commissioners on Zoom

Board of Commissioners Virtual Board Meeting


Tuesday's board meeting was held via zoom and can be viewed on the Ramsey County website.

Mental Health proclamation

Commissioner Frethem presented the board's declaration that May 2020 is mental health awareness month in Ramsey County and renewed the board's commitment to increasing community understanding of the importance of mental health. For more information and resources, visit the Ramsey County chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness. You are not alone.

Commissioner Frethem reading mental health awareness proclamation in Ramsey County NAMI shirt

CARES funding

Also at Tuesday's board meeting, the board approved a proposal for spending the federal CARES dollars allocated to Ramsey County. Approximately 1/3 of the dollars will be spent to cover the costs of responding to the emergency including increased costs to house our homeless population, increased costs to safely provide direct services in our care facilities and to transition our service delivery model and staff to follow public health guidance.

Additional funds will be used to expand available supports in financial assistance, workforce development and community development.

Information is available online about:


Stay up-to-date on COVID 19

City COVID-19 case statistics as of 5/12/2020

Ramsey County launches new data dashboards

Data about the COVID-19 outbreak specific to Ramsey County is available in a public health dashboard on the Ramsey County website. This data dashboard includes city-specific case data and is updated daily. 

A separate data dashboard shares data about usage of modified service delivery sites and activity.

stay safe MN logo


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:

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 

Parade at Lake Owasso Residence

Commissioner Frethem, Signe Frethem, and Tsunami Frethem in the Lake Owasso Parade

On Saturday, May 23rd, Commissioner Frethem and fellow board members participated in a Lake Owasso Residence appreciation drive-thru to show support to the staff and residents.