Hennepin County Update from Commissioner Jan Callison


6th District Town Hall Meetings

What: Please join me at two upcoming community meetings with your questions or comments about county services and programs.

When: Thursday, May 19, 2011 at 7 p.m. until 8 p.m.
Where: SouthShore Community Center – 5735 Country Club Road, Shorewood, MN 952-474-7635

When: Tuesday, May 24, 2011 at 7 p.m. until 8 p.m.
Where: Hopkins City Hall – 1010 1st Street S., Hopkins, MN 952-935-8474

More information and directions are available here.


April Board Actions

April 12, 2011

  • The Board accepted $503,868 in grant funding from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development Supportive Housing Program for the Rapid Exit home finding services for the homeless.
  • The Board accepted grant funding from the MN Department of Public Safety for the Sheriff’s Office Boat and Water Safety Activities.

April 26, 2011

  • The Board accepted a gift in the amount of $646,009 to the Hennepin County Library Foundation from the estate of retired librarian Lillian G. Wallis.
  • A purchase agreement was approved in the amount of $4,150,000 with Semper Development, Ltd. for the sale of surplus county property at 8351 Elm Creek Boulevard in the City of Maple Grove.
  • The Board approved agreements with the US Department of HUD for the Neighborhood Stabilization Program3 (NSP3) and MN Housing for NSP3, accepting funding in the amount of $2,505,500.
  • A contract with MN Department of Public Safety to accept funds in the amount of $1,487,377 for the 2010 Urban Area Security Initiative grant program was approved with supplemental funding of $527,836 for Public Works Emergency Preparedness.
  • The Board approved an agreement with Great River Energy for waste processing services.

For video and minutes of County Board meetings: Hennepin County website.

In addition to our regularly scheduled board meetings, the Board often meets on Thursday mornings to receive “Board Briefings.” These are informal opportunities to discuss emerging issues. Board Briefings occur in the Boardroom on the 24th floor of the Hennepin County Government Center and are open to the public.

On April 21, the Board was briefed on one topic:

The Board met with members of the Hennepin County Crime Lab Task Force to discuss their recommendations regarding crime lab services in Hennepin County. This task force was formed in 2009 to (1) “review best practices for operating a crime lab including identifying potential areas of efficiency and cooperation between the City of Minneapolis and Hennepin County”; (2) examine other crime labs; and (3) make recommendations to the County Board concerning the future of the Crime Lab unit. Currently, three agencies provide services in Hennepin County: the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office, the City of Minneapolis and the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.


Last month, the following highlights were presented to the County Board:

  • April 10-16 was National Volunteer Week and the Board recognized the 4600 volunteers who contribute their professional skills in achieving the County’s goals. The estimated value of their contributions is $4.4 million. The Twin Cities area ranks number one in volunteerism in the nation.
  • On April 26, the Board received a report on Hennepin County’s Emergency Medical Services (EMS) system performance. According to Cardiac Arrest Registry to Enhance Survival (CARES), more people survive cardiac arrest in Hennepin County than 40 other areas of the U.S. that CARES tracks. CARES collects and reports out-of-hospital cardiac arrest survival rates and helps communities measure the performance of 9-1-1, first responders, fire departments and EMS, and link it with outcome data from hospitals.


What: A public hearing on May 3, 2011, to obtain public comment on the 2011 Hennepin County Consortium Consolidated Action Plan. See Consolidated Action Plan for greater detail.

Low-cost vaccination clinics that include the measles vaccination
What: There have been at least two dozen reported cases of measles infection and parents need reminding of the importance of keeping their children immunized against a variety of diseases. Hennepin County is offering low-cost immunizations to people who lack health insurance or whose health insurance does not cover vaccines.

When: Tuesday, May 3 and 7 from 3 to 5:30 p.m.
Where: Bloomington Clinic – Bloomington Division of Health, 1900 W. Old Shakopee Road

When: Friday, May 6 from 8:30 to 11 a.m.
Where: Hennepin Health Services Building – 525 Portland Avenue S.

When: Tuesday, May 24 from 9 to 11 a.m.
Where: Hennepin County Brookdale Service Center – 6125 Shingle Creek Parkway
Donations are requested but not required for the immunizations.

For more information about these clinics, call 612-348-2884 or go to http://www.hennepin.us/vaccines.


Wetland Health Evaluation Program (WHEP)

Adult volunteers — who do not need a science background or previous experience — will work under the direction of a team leader and receive training on wetland monitoring protocols, including both plant and insect identification.

The total time commitment is 20 to 40 hours throughout the months of May, June and July, and all equipment is provided.

Participating communities will use the collected data to help determine the health of water resources and assist with natural resource management.

To become a volunteer, call Mary Karius at 612-596-9129 or visit the program website at http://www.mnwhep.org/

Green Notes covers environmental news, programs and events from Hennepin County. Sign up for monthly newsletters at greennotes@co.hennepin.mn.us

Community POWER grants available in 2011
What: Community POWER (Partners on Waste Education and Reduction) is a project of the regional Solid Waste Management Coordinating Board. Grants are available for non-environmental organizations and schools to conduct community-based waste reduction, toxicity reduction, and recycling projects. $158,000 is available, supporting projects up to $12,000 each. Application guidelines, grant manager contact information, and descriptions of past grantee projects are available here or attend an information meeting on Wednesday, May 4, 4:30 – 5:30 pm — Hennepin County Environmental Services Building, Visitor’s Center, 417 North 5th Street, Minneapolis, 55401

Applications for funding are due by May 24. Applicants are strongly encouraged to contact the Community POWER Project Manager while preparing an application. Laurie Gustafson, Community POWER Project Manager, can provide feedback, evaluation guidance, and information on resources. Email: CommunityPower@RethinkRecycling.com or call 651-252-1487.

Unwanted Medicine Waste Collection Events
What: Hennepin County Environmental Services is working with the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office to provide residents with the opportunity to safely dispose of their unwanted medicines. These collection events provide a safe and legal way to collect the medications, help prevent prescription drug abuse and protect our environment by keeping drugs out of the water supply.

When: Thursday, June 2, from 3 to 7 p.m. Where: Richfield Ice Arena — 636 66th Street E, Richfield.

Visit the county webpage for more information on what is accepted and guidelines for the event.

Household Hazardous Waste Collection Events
What: During the month of May Hennepin County and the cities of Independence and Minnetonka are organizing collection events for county residents to safely and properly dispose of their unwanted garden and household hazardous waste.

When: Thursday, May 5, through Saturday, May 7, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Where: Independence City Hall parking lot — 1920 County Road 90.

When: Thursday, May 19, through Saturday, May 21, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Where: City of Minnetonka Public Works — 15522 Minnetonka Blvd.


Hennepin County Traffic Group Begins Summer Enforcement

The Traffic Enforcement Group is a consortium of law enforcement agencies throughout Hennepin County that work together to identify traffic patterns, crash patterns, crime data, and problems within their communities that will benefit from an increased police and traffic safety presence. Studies have proven that high visibility traffic enforcement helps reduce crashes, crime problems and increases public awareness about traffic safety. Officers from communities throughout the county, including the Sheriff’s office, will be working together on specific dates saturating targeted areas.


Please call or e-mail anytime that staff or I might be able to help. We are also happy to meet with groups in the district any time. You can reach the office at 612-348-7886 or email us directly:
• Commissioner Jan Callison at Jan.callison@co.hennepin.mn.us,
• Principal aide Dave Nuckols at Dave.nuckols@co.hennepin.mn.us, and
• Administrative assistant & scheduler Cassi Holmstrom at Cassi.holmstrom@co.hennepin.mn.us

The Hennepin County Board consists of seven commissioners elected from each of seven districts. I am proud to represent the 6th District which includes Deephaven, northern Eden Prairie, Edina, Excelsior, Greenwood, Hopkins, Long Lake, Minnetonka, Minnetonka Beach, most of Orono, Shorewood, Tonka Bay, Wayzata, and Woodland. You do not need to live in the 6th District to receive this newsletter.
If you are not sure who your commissioner is, follow this link.

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