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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December 24, 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

Virtual coffee chat and check-ins with Commissioner Frethem will resume in the New Year!

The first chat will be held on Friday, January 22, 2021 at 10:00 a.m.

Learn more at the Facebook Event Invites. 

Join the meeting via Microsoft Teams on your computer or mobile app, or call in (audio only) by dialing +1 651-728-6653 and entering
Phone Conference ID: 446 518 644#

Board of Commissioners on Zoom

The December 22, 2020 virtual board of commissioners meeting can be viewed on the Ramsey County webpage.

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Sign up for the County's coronavirus email newsletter.

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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.


Vadnais-Snail Lakes Regional Park

Let us know what you think! A draft master plan for Vadnais-Snail Lakes Regional Park is available for review, and the commenting period is open through January 7. Learn more about the project and find the draft document at ramseycounty.us/VadnaisSnailMasterPlan.

Advisory Boards & Committees

Serving on a Ramsey County advisory board is a great way to get involved with your local government and make a positive impact on your community. The board of commissioners appoint residents to serve in these important roles that help shape policy, review programs and plans, and represent families and residents in Ramsey County.

To sign up for board opening notices, visit the Ramsey County webpage

In the community

taxidermized squirrel in snow with a bow

Part of the taxidermy scavenger hunt at Tamarack Nature Center volunteer appreciation event.

Although most community activities have gone virtual, others are innovating and finding safe ways to celebrate and serve in person. Over the last two weeks, Commissioner Frethem was honored to join the staff at Tamarack Nature Center for their annual volunteer appreciation event. This year's event was a drive thru celebration featuring a photo booth, car concerts, and a taxidermy scavenger hunt. Thank you volunteers! Visit the Tamarack page on the Ramsey County website to learn how you can volunteer and join us for next year's appreciation event.

Shoreview neighbors the Sprinkler Fitters Local 417 hosted a community food drive and drive thru Santa event on Saturday, December 19. Thanks to all who worked to gather resources for the community and bring joy this season.

Millie Frethem with Santa and Buddy the Elf at the Sprinkler Fitters drive thru food drive event in Shoreview.

Happy Holidays from the Frethems

Millie Frethem with a picture of Santa and a Christmas tree

Many of us are looking forward to the end of 2020 and hopeful that 2021 allows us all to spend time with family and friends and return to many of the activities we enjoyed before COVID-19 dominated our lives and communities.

In these last few days of the year, I wish you all peace, hope, and joy. Our celebrations may be different, but that doesn't mean they cannot bring light and love.

Ramsey County

County Board approves 2021 Supplemental Budget

The Ramsey County Board of Commissioners approved the 2021 Supplemental Budget of $748,919,298.

The 2021 budget includes a 0% increase to the property tax levy - this was reduced from a 4.5% increase that Commissioners initially approved for the two-year budget on December 17, 2019. The levy was reduced from a 4.5% increase to 0% following the impacts of COVID-19.

Even though the overall tax levy was not increased, some property owners may see increases in taxes due to changes in property valuation and/or other local tax increases. For more resources on property taxes or if you have questions about your property valuation and want to appeal, visit the Ramsey County website.

The 2021 supplemental budget includes $1.45 million in additions to the budget proposed to commissioners by the Ramsey County Manager on August 25, 2020. These additions were made through board actions and are primarily attributable to a contract shared between Community Corrections and the County Attorney's Office which will be paid for through existing fund balance.

Detailed revenue and expense information can be found here.

Small Business COVID-19 Resources and Recovery Guide

The Minnesota Legislature has approved a $217 million relief package  for businesses impacted by C​​​​​​​OVID-19 executive orders. About half of the package will be given to ​​​​​​​counties to distribute through grant programs to local businesses by March 15, 2021.

Through the package, Ramsey County will receive $10.7 million to distribute to businesses. At this time, we anticipate that most of the funding will be used to supplement the Small Business Relief Fund.

Information on future application periods for the Small Business Relief Fund or other grant programs will be available once we’ve further reviewed existing applications to determine the amount of remaining funds available.

To receive an alert as to when Ramsey County might begin accepting applications for funding, please provide an email address and description of your business here.

Ski and snowshoe rental

snow tracks

Tamarack Nature Center offers on-site cross-country ski and snowshoe rental. The Winter Recreation Rental Shack will outfit you with everything you need for a scenic winter trek. The rental shack is anticipated to reopen once weather and trail conditions permit, with COVID-19 modifications in place. Details about the rental season can be found on their website and Facebook page.

Picture of virtual chalk

Drawing Winter Landscapes and Animals

This winter join us for a special follow along Read. Make. Do, kit special with Karen Tan from Creative Pastels. This event is funded with money from Minnesota’s Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.

Date: December 29, 2020 7-7:30 p.m.

Location: Facebook Live

Register for your kit today!

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Explore Your Career Personality - Online

On December 31, 2020 from 9-11:00 a.m., participants will take a personality assessment, receive a customized toolkit, and engage in small group discussions to identity personality characteristics. Participants will use outcomes to generate career ideas.

These workshops are presented online by Educational Opportunity Center (EOC), funded by the U.S. Department of Education, for unemployed job seekers who are interested in education or training. Important: Attendees will participate via internet access, and the ability to interact using video and audio on your device is required.

For more information visit the Ramsey County Calendar