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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November 20, 2020

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

Sheena Denny
Principal Aide

Nancy Larson
Administrative Assistant

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Commissioner Frethem sitting at her desk

Virtually meet with Commissioner Frethem on Zoom

We will be holding a virtual chat via Zoom on Friday, December 11 at 10:00 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

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Public Hearing on 2021 Supplemental Budget

During the 2021 supplemental budget process, questions were raised by commissioners and members of the public. Visit Ramsey County's website to see questions and answers.

A second public hearing on the 2021 supplemental budget will be held on November 30, 2020.

If you wish to speak at the public hearing, please complete this online form or contact the Chief Clerk’s Office at 651-266-8001 to register in advance or sign-up in person at the hearing.

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Ramsey County has launched the new Job Connect online job board to connect residents and employers during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. This employment platform is the latest tool integrated within the county’s economic development website, RamseyCountyMeansBusiness.com, which provides business development resources and incentives.

Preparing for colder weather

As we head into colder months, Ramsey County reminds residents to follow winter weather safety tips and check the National Weather Service website during winter storm warnings. For more safety tips, visit Ramsey County's Emergency Preparedness and Management site.

Water Gremlin Update

Map of area impacted by Water Gremlin TCE emissions

The company has applied for a minor amendment to their air emissions permit. They want to convert one solvent-based coater to a non-solvent curing process using ultraviolet light.

The minor air permit amendment is now open for public comment. Comments can be sent to Sarah Sevcik via mail (Sarah Sevcik, MPCA, 520 Lafayette Rd. N., St. Paul, MN 55155 ) or email (sarah.sevcik@state.mn.us). Comments are due by 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, December 17, 2020, and must include your interest, the action you wish the MPCA to take, including specific references, and specific reasons supporting your position.

The MPCA will be hosting an online public meeting to discuss this draft amendment on Thursday, December 10, 2020 from 6:30 to 8:00 pm. Due to the pandemic, the meeting will be in a virtual (online) format.

You can find the draft permit and other documents as well as more information about the meeting and a link to participate here: https://www.pca.state.mn.us/air/water-gremlin

Commissioner Nicole Frethem and Judge Sophia Vuelo at Nicole's swearing in ceremony in 2019.

A thank you to the residents of district 1

A year ago today I was sworn in as your county commissioner to complete the remaining term left vacant when Commissioner Huffman resigned. I am honored to have been re-elected to serve a full term earlier this month. Thank you for your trust and faith. I will endeavor to continue to provide excellent service and representation for all of us in the northern Ramsey County suburbs.

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New COVID-19 Guidance

On November 9th, Commissioner of Health, Jan Malcolm, notified Ramsey County that 5% of people tested in our county for covid-19 are positive for the virus. A rate of 5% or more means that we have reached concerning levels of virus contraction, and we must take aggressive action to slow the spread.

To help slow the spread of the virus in our community, we encourage you to:

  • Comply with masking requirements and gathering restrictions
  • Wash your hands before putting on your mask and after taking it off.
  • Keep the mask on your face the whole time you are out. Don’t put the mask around your neck or on your forehead.
  • Children younger than 2 years or anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unable to remove the mask without assistance should not wear a mask.
  • Wash your mask after each time you wear it.
  • Stay home as much as possible, and use prevention measures carefully when caring for our most vulnerable population 

This week, Governor Walz issued a dial-back order. This is a temporary pause of most social activities, in-person dining, sports, and indoor fitness activity in group settings, for four weeks beginning at 11:59 today, November 20 through December 18, 2020. We hope these temporary changes will reduce the number of infections while safely supporting our schools, hospitals, and economy. For more information, visit Minnesota's response plan here.

COVID-19 Saliva Testing has begun

Covid-19 saliva tests are available every day at Roy Wilkins Auditorium located at 175 Kellogg Blvd in St. Paul.

What to expect at saliva testing events:

  • Appointments are strongly encouraged. Walk-in’s are available.
  • Open to everyone.
  • Free, no insurance needed.
  • Symptoms or no symptoms.
  • No ID required.
  • Saliva testing may not be right for those with low saliva production, such as children under age four or someone who has suffered a stroke.

For more information on saliva testing, and for nasal swab testing sites, visit Ramsey County's website.

Ramsey County Received Highest Possible Bond Rating

Highway sign reading "AAA Rating"

Moody's and S&P Global Ratings assigned its 'AAA' long-term rating to Ramsey County. The ratings reflect the County's:

 - strong economy

 - strong management

 - adequate budgetary performance

 - strong budgetary flexibility

 - strong debt and contingent liability profile

Congratulations to Ramsey County's finance team for the work they have done to maintain this rating during these challenging times. Learn more at Moody's press release here

Ramsey County

Landlord Assistance

Are you a landlord in Ramsey County and have tenants who have been unable to make rent payments as a result of COVID-19?

The Ramsey County Landlord Assistance program provides one-time grants to landlords for up to $20,000 per rental unit for tenants' missed rent payments and/or unpaid fees from March 1, 2020 through December 30, 2020 due to COVID-19. Visit Ramsey County's website for more information and to apply. The application deadline is Thursday, December 10, 2020.