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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June 14, 2022

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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 Nicole Frethem

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The Board of Commissioners have returned to in-person meetings. Board meetings and workshops continue to be available online on the Ramsey County webpage.

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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.

Get involved!

Ramsey County is recruiting residents to serve on several advisory boards and committees. 

Advisory board applications are now open for the following advisory boards:

  • Capital Improvement Program Advisory Committee (CIPAC) - Nine Vacancies 
  • Capitol Region Watershed District - Two Vacancies 
  • Community Health Services Advisory Committee (Joint) -Three Vacancies 
  • Corrections Advisory Board - One Vacancy 
  • Disabled Veteran Rest Camp Board - One Vacancy

To learn more and apply online, visit the Ramsey County Advisory Boards and Committees landing page.

Paper applications available upon request.

Applications are due July 17, 2022.

In an effort to bolster civic education and educate communities on the role of county government, the National Association of Counties (NACo) is launching the 2022 “I Love My County Because” art contest in conjunction with National County Government Month.

  • Only students living in the United States, who are 18 years of age and younger in grades 1 through 12 are eligible during 2021 and 2022.
  • Each submission must be original artwork created in the current school year by one student.
  • The competition submission period closes October 7, 2022, at 11:59 p.m. ET.

For more information, visit the National Association of County's website.

With the snow melted, and warm weather in the forecast we anticipate people will soon begin gardening and landscaping projects. Xcel Energy reminds customers that to be safe this spring, they should call 8-1-1 to have underground utility lines marked, free of charge, before beginning any digging projects. 8-1-1 is the national call before you dig phone number.

Damaging or striking a single utility line can create a dangerous situation, cause serious injury, and result in property damage, fines and outages. Homeowners and contractors should call 8-1-1 or submit an online request to Gopher State One Call  at least two business days before beginning a planned project. Every digging project, large or small, requires a call. Installing a post for a mailbox, building a deck or planting a tree are all examples of projects that need a call to 8-1-1.

For more information about 8-1-1 and safe digging practices visit Call 8-1-1 Before you Dig or Gopher State One Call.

Lexington Avenue Construction

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As many of you are aware, Lexington Avenue is being reconstructed from County Road E to I-694 in the cities of Arden Hills and Shoreview in 2022 to improve traffic flow and safety for all users. 

Unfortunately, the original plan to reduce to a single lane in either direction had to be changed for the first part of construction limiting traffic to a single, southbound lane.

Why did the plan change?

  • Private Utilities were located in the roadway that were not originally identified in the plans – these utilities need to be relocated.
  • Utilities are located within the west side of the Right-of—way, where the road is being widened to accommodate new turn lanes.
  • Utilizing the west side one-lane in each direction plan is no longer possible due to the need for these utilities to relocate.

What can be done to address the traffic issues?

Ramsey County is working with the Twin Cities North Chamber of Commerce along with the cities of Arden Hills and Shoreview to support traffic flow and business along the corridor.

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The Chamber recommended a variety of tactical solutions when businesses confront unplanned and planned closing of access to their business.  Below are some select ideas they shared with Ramsey County, the Cities of Arden Hills and Shoreview, that the county will be exploring:

  1. Calibrating signal timing.
  2. Updating signage for detours and access.  
  3. Working up to six days a week, weather permitting, to open the route as quickly as possible.
  4. Using newsletters, social media, email, video to encourage residents and guests to continue patronizing businesses.
  5. Urging the purchase of gift cards to local businesses impacted by the construction
  6. Suggesting customers visit during off-peak hours of traffic 

You can help by continuing to #ShopLex!

Why is Lexington under construction?

The project will include:

  • Replacing aging and deteriorating pavement.
  • Replacing traffic signals. A new traffic signal will be installed at the Target access road intersection.
  • Improving pedestrian and bicycle facilities.
  • Adding a center median to increase safety for road users.
  • Improving utilities in the area including water main, sanitary sewer, storm sewer and water treatment. 

For more information on the project or to read up on other alternatives, please visit the Ramsey County webpage.

District 1 Office Summer Staffing

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D1 secretary Nancy Larson, D1 commissioner Nicole Frethem, Principal aide Sheena Denny, and summer intern Mayumi Morgan

Principal Aide Sheena Denny is taking a temporary leave over the summer and will be returning in August. In her absence, student intern Mayumi Morgan will be joining the district 1 team to provide constituent and commissioner support.

Mayumi is a rising sophomore at Macalester College where she studies political science, economics, and international studies. She is a Mounds View High School graduate and Shoreview resident. She looks forward to working with the community over the next two months.

Claiming the Property Tax Refund

Homeowners have until 8/15/2023 to  claim a 2021 tax refund.

You may qualify if:

  • You are a renter and your total household income is less than $64,920, or
  • You are a homeowner and your total household income is less
    than $119,790.

For more information, visit the Minnesota Department of Revenue website.