Hennepin County Board briefs

The Hennepin County Board of Commissioners met Tuesday, Aug. 13.

Hennepin County Board actions includes summaries of only a portion of the total actions of the board, selected for general news interest.

Veterans and Community Housing facility to expand

The County Board, acting as the Hennepin County Housing and Redevelopment Authority, authorized staff to work with Community Housing Development Corporation (CHDC) on a concept development plan for the Veterans East Project at its Aug. 6, meeting.

The concept development plan is an initial step towards an amended enhanced use lease with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs that would allow for the expansion of the existing Veterans and Community Housing project by up to 80 affordable rental units serving homeless and near-homeless individuals, primarily targeted to veterans. The current project is located on the campus of the Minnesota Veterans Affairs Health Care System.

Funding for Pinto Drive project

The board approved a cost sharing agreement for improvements at the intersection of Highway 55 and Pinto Drive (County Road 115/116) in Medina. The city of Medina has secured federal funds for design engineering of the improvements at the intersection. Due to the size of the city, federal rules require the county to be a sponsor for the project on behalf of the city. Approval of this agreement secures Minnesota Department of Transportation cost participation.

2013 Community Development Block Grants awarded

Hennepin acts as the lead agency on behalf of 40 suburban cities for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program. A total of $2.5 million in CDBG funds will assist 140 affordable housing units and provide family, senior, youth and transportation services assisting more than 21,000 low-income persons.

Nine suburban cities receive a funding allocation from the county based on a federal entitlement formula; the remaining 31 cities have access to CDBG funding through a consolidated funding pool. The following grants were awarded:

• Brooklyn Center, $239,249 for five projects

• Brooklyn Park, $477,677 for 11 projects

•Consolidated Funding Pool, $451,149 for 13 projects

• Crystal, $106,088 for two projects

• Edina, $124,671 for five projects

• Hennepin County, $325,159 for general administration and Fair Housing projects

• Hopkins, $111,861 for four projects

• Maple Grove, $133,915 for six projects

• New Hope, $133,964 for three projects

• Richfield, $201,637 for five projects

• St. Louis Park $195,859 for six projects

Public Hearing Sept. 10 for 2012 CAPER

There will be a public hearing before the board at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 10, where residents can comment on the 2012 Consolidated Annual

Performance and Evaluation Report (CAPER).

Annually, the county prepares a CAPER to meet statutory requirements for the receipt and use of the following U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) funded programs in the suburbs: Community Development Block Grant, HOME Investment Partnerships and Emergency Solutions Grant.

The hearing will take place in the County Board Room, located on the 24th Floor of the A Tower in the Hennepin County Government Center, 300 S. Sixth St. in Minneapolis.

Written comments will also be accepted from Aug. 28 to Sept. 13. For more information, visit www.hennepin.us/CAPER.

Washburn Center for Children receives $5 million grant

The board approved agreements with the State of Minnesota and the Washburn Center for Children to accept $5 million in grant funds on behalf of the Washburn Center for Children. The grant funds will be used to construct a new, larger facility on Glenwood Avenue and Dupont Avenue N. in Minneapolis. The facility will provide mental health services to children and should be ready by the end of 2014.

Grants to NorthPoint Health and Wellness to prevent diabetes, promote family planning

NorthPoint Health and Wellness Center has received two state grants totaling more than $800,000, to help promote family planning and to prevent diabetes.

The County Board voted Tuesday to accept $595,244 from the Minnesota Department of Health through the Family Planning Special Project.

The other grant was $226,558 from the We Can Prevent Diabetes Minnesota project through the Minnesota Department of Health.

Both grants run through the end of June 2015.

John Doan appointed

The board appointed John Doan as director of the Housing, Community Works and Transit Department.

Doan has vast experience in both the public and private sector, including the Minnesota Department of Transportation. Doan currently serves as a member of the Metropolitan Council and Vice President of Atkins North America.

He has a Masters in Public Policy – Transportation, Housing and Urban Development from Harvard University and a B.S in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University.

Approves funding for Human Services and Public Health satellite offices

The County Board approved a $3.2 million plan to remodel two Hennepin County properties to become “satellite” Human Services and Public Health offices. The plan will transform existing space in the Brookdale Regional Center and remodel vacant space in the Eden Prairie Service.

The department will remodel 7,500 square feet in Eden Prairie. When it is completed, the space will provide office space for Human Service and Public Health Department staff and a Women, Infants and Children (WIC) clinic facility.

The Brookdale project consists of remodeling 14,000 square feet of space that already is occupied by Human Services and Public Health staff. The remodeled workspace will provide:

• Work space for 22 staff members who currently are in leased space at 6601 Shingle Creek Parkway.

• Drop-in desk space that will be shared by about 90 county workers in several different areas of Human Services and Public Health.

• A new location for Child Protection Supervised Visitation, currently offered only in downtown Minneapolis.

 

The change is projected to save the county about $224,000 in rent and operating charges for the remainder of the lease, through March 2017.

As part of its regionalization strategy, the Human Services and Public Health Department is making intake and case management services available in more locations across the county. Satellite locations will offer a limited set of services designed to complement services provided by community partners, provide work space for mobile staff and support specialized services.

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