(The following news release about the April 10 County Board meeting comes from Hennepin County.)
County Board Actions includes summaries of only a portion of the total actions of the board, selected for general news interest. For complete information on all resolutions and actions by the board, see the information on the last page.
Spring 2012 Youth Sports grants approved
The Hennepin County Board of Commissioners approved $144,400 in funding for 24 spring 2012 Youth Sports grants. For more details, see the full news release on the Hennepin County website – www.hennepin.us/news.
Board approves 2012 redistricting principles
The board approved principles to guide the creation and development of the county redistricting plan.
Minnesota law requires the county to complete its redistricting activities no later than May 1. Congressional and legislative lines were established by the state and released Feb. 21; cities completed their ward and precinct boundary lines April 3. Now the counties are proceeding with their redistricting process.
The principles approved include:
- County commissioner districts shall be as nearly equal in population as practicable. The ideal population of the seven commissioner districts, based on 2010 census, is now 164,632. Previously it was 160,000. The variation between districts will not be more or less than 5 percent from the ideal population for each district.
- Under state law, the county shall use precinct boundaries as determined by cities, towns or the county for an unorganized territory, as the primary unit in creating each district.
- Each district shall consist of contiguous territory and be as regular and compact in form as possible, including contiguity by water if the body of water doesn’t pose a serious obstacle to travel within a district (particularly applicable, for example, to as wide-ranging a lake as Lake Minnetonka).
- Districts shall be bounded by town, municipal, ward or precinct lines and, where practical, follow the boundaries of established political subdivisions (for example, not dividing a city or town into more than one district unless necessary to meet population requirements).
- Districts should attempt to preserve communities of interest and historical alignments of communities (e.g., political subdivisions, neighborhoods, etc.) .
The board is scheduled to adopt the new redistricting map at the full board meeting on Tuesday, April 24.
Information on the redistricting process is available on the Hennepin County website – www.hennepin.us – or contact Rachel Smith, Hennepin County elections manager, at Rachel.firstname.lastname@example.org.
Expansion and remodeling approved for Adult Corrections Facility kitchen
The board approved a $1,998,000 contract to expand and remodel the outdated kitchen at the county Adult Corrections Facility (ACF – commonly called the workhouse), located in Plymouth.
The ACF kitchen provides meals to ACF inmates, the Juvenile Detention Center (JDC) in downtown Minneapolis, and the County Home School (CHS) in Minnetonka, as well as serving as backup for the Public Safety Facility (the jail), also in downtown Minneapolis.
The original ACF Men’s Section Building was built in 1930. To provide some perspective – 40 years ago, the kitchen served ACF residents about 600 meals daily. Today the kitchen provides approximately 3,000 meals a day for the ACF, JDC and CHS.
Property Services staff indicate “dire need” for the improvements – in particular, eliminating the conditions under which both dishwashing and food preparation occur in the same area. The outdated kitchen includes cloth-wrapped wiring dating back to original construction in 1930 – insufficient for today’s electrical needs and a safety hazard. The existing ceiling, also original to the building, can’t be feasibly cleaned above the food preparation area. Ventilation is insufficient and plumbing upgrades are needed to allow maintenance of drain lines and replace the main line serving the steam table. The existing walk-in cooler and freezer also are significantly undersized for the quantity of meals prepared on a daily basis.
The expansion and remodeling would add 1,120 square feet to the kitchen and address all the current inadequacies and safety issues.
Graham Construction has been awarded the contract for the project.
Solid waste management plan approved
The board approved the Hennepin County Solid Waste Management Master Plan 2012-2030.
The county has set new, even more challenging goals for recycling and management of organic waste material to help residents reduce, reuse and recycle even more than they are now.
The plan was created after an extensive public engagement process to gather input from residents, businesses, waste haulers, members of community organizations and others. The suggestions were used to establish new strategies in the plan – including standardizing processes about recycling, increasing recycling in multifamily units, expanding education and outreach, providing technical assistance to help businesses recycle, and supporting marketing development for recyclables.
Hennepin is a national leader in diverting municipal solid waste from landfills through its numerous waste reduction, recycling, composting and resource recovery programs. The master plan is available on the web at www.hennepin.us/solidwasteplanning.
New program provides contract-for-deed homebuyer financing
The board, acting as the Hennepin County Housing and Redevelopment Authority, approved $100,000 in Affordable Housing Incentive Funds as part of an agreement with the Greater Metropolitan Housing Corporation (GMHC) to provide contract-for-deed financing to homebuyers who aren’t able to buy a home through traditional mortgage financing.
GMHC and its partners, through the Bridge to Success 2012 Program, are raising $50 million to help an estimated 400 homebuyers over the next 12-13 years. The program gives potential homeowners who are not yet able to qualify for traditional financing the chance to own a home and rebuild their credit rating and credit score. The goal is that they will eventually be able to refinance the contract for deed into a traditional mortgage.
Approximately 75 percent of participating homebuyers are expected to purchase in Hennepin through the program – 200 in Minneapolis and 100 in suburban Hennepin. The program would leverage approximately $37.5 million in public/private investment. Eligible properties include homes owned by GMHC and other Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP) developers. Buyers who work with GMHC on the credit counseling part of the Bridge to Success 2012 program may purchase non-GMHC, non-NSP properties.
Volunteers appointed to Minnehaha Creek Watershed District Board
In a previous meeting, the board reappointed Jeffrey Casale of Shorewood and appointed Sherry White of Wayzata to the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District Board, which coordinates the management of water and related land resources in the watershed that drains into Lake Minnetonka and Minnehaha Creek.
For more information on advisory boards and to apply online, go to the Hennepin County website – www.hennepin.us/volunteering.
Indicating a measure has passed the board does not imply a unanimous vote. The actions of the Hennepin County Board, including a record of how individual commissioners voted, are posted under “Hennepin County Board Meetings” on the front page of the Hennepin County website – www.hennepin.us. This portion of the site includes agendas, minutes and resolutions for all committee and full board meetings. Also, from time to time, individual commissioners may post their own viewpoints, news and information on their own websites.
If you’d like to watch committee and full board meetings, they are generally broadcast live on Tuesdays, beginning at 1:30 p.m., and rebroadcast the Friday following the meeting, beginning at 8 p.m., on Metro Cable Network/Channel 6.
Meetings also are streamed live on the Hennepin website. Look under “Hennepin County Board Meetings,” “Board meeting videos.” Archived videos of past meetings also are available on that site.