October 2015 News and Events from Commissioner Linda Higgins

Subject: October 2015 News and Events from Commissioner Linda Higgin




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Second half property taxes are due
October 15, 2015.

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Linda Higgins
Commissioner, District 2

Tina Sanz
Principal Aide

Roshonda Royston
Administrative Secretary


District 2 serves the cities of Golden Valley,Medicine Lake, north and northeast Minneapolis, southeast Plymouth andSt. Anthony.

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Understanding your property tax

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Fall is in the air, the apple crop is outstanding, and Hennepin County continues to work hard on behalf of our residents. Thanks to all our employees who go the extra mile to help clients, answer questions, and explore new ways to best deliver services.

Be sure to check out all the great upcoming events this month, and think about subscribing to other interesting topics offered by Hennepin County.


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Top stories

Board approves levy for 2016

2016 proposed budget includes child protection system changes, election upgrades

The Hennepin County Board of Commissioners approved a $726.8 million maximum property tax levy that will improve the safety of children, modernize the county’s elections system and support self-sufficiency and workforce initiatives.

The maximum property tax levy represents an increase of $31.2 million or 4.48 percent from last year’s adjusted levy. The board is required by state law to adopt a maximum property tax levy in September. Commissioners may later approve a property tax levy that is lower than the approved maximum, but they cannot set it higher than the maximum adopted at the September 22 meeting. In November, property owners will receive a notice that shows the effect of the county maximum levy on their properties, as well as the effect of taxes proposed by other local units of government such as cities and school districts.

Full budget up for approval December 15

On September 8, Hennepin County Administrator David Hough presented a proposed budget of $1.9 billion; the figure the board approved on September 22 is the part of the budget that is covered by property taxes.

“The board has taken an initial look at balancing priorities for this budget cycle,” said Board Chair Jan Callison. “We will continue to look carefully at funding, program and service needs and impacts before setting the final budget in December.”

Hennepin County’s property tax levy has increased by an average of 0.19 percent per year over the past four years, but changes in state and federal funding and onetime and systemic changes continue to make the county more reliant on the property tax levy to fund programs and services.

The 2016 budget reflects onetime and systemic changes that are meant to improve conditions for some of the county’s most vulnerable residents, increase innovation and self-sufficiency, support services to residents, and demonstrate a commitment to solid fiscal priorities and responsibilities that remain evident in more than three decades of AAA bond ratings.

Some elements of the 2016 budget 

Child protection: A plan to improve the safety of children in the county includes increasing critical staff and reexamining current work practices.

Elections: In preparation for national and local elections in 2016, the county is updating existing voting equipment.

Self-sufficiency and workforce initiatives: As Baby Boomer employees retire, the Career Connections program identifies, trains and hires qualified candidates for gateway county positions with opportunities for additional education and advancement.

Upcoming hearings

The board held a series of budget hearings in September and will continue to do so until the final budget and levy are accepted in December. Remaining hearings and other important dates (for full schedule, see Office of Budget and Finance information):

September 25, 9 a.m. to noon;
November 2, 1 to 4 p.m.;
December 1, 6 p.m. (Board holds Truth-in-Taxation public meeting);
December 10, 9 to 11 a.m.;
December 11, 10 a.m. to noon;
December 11, 1 to 3 p.m. (if needed);
December 15, 1:30 p.m., County Board approves 2016 budget and levy at regularly scheduled board meeting.

Lowry North Open Streets this Saturday!

The final Open Streets Minneapolis event of 2015 is this Saturday, September 26 in conjunction with Harvest Fest on Lowry Avenue North between Emerson and Vincent. Get your free Open Streets T-shirt while you still can. Organizers need a few more volunteers to power the event this Saturday. As a volunteer, you get to do anything from roving the street with giant bubbles to taking photos or helping to keep the street clean and car-free. Come celebrate community with us. You choose what you do and when you’ll do it. To learn more or volunteer, visit openstreetsmpls.org/lowry_ave_n.

Many Faces, One Library
Sumner Library’s
100 Year Anniversary Celebration

You’re invited to celebrate 100 years of service to the community!

Saturday, Oct. 10, 12 to 4 pm (program at 12:30)

Hennepin County Library – Sumner
611 Van White Memorial Blvd., Minneapolis, MN 55411

  • Enjoy historical exhibits, silent film, music and fun activities for the whole family during the open house.
  • See open mic performances by Open Door Learning Center students at 2 p.m.
  • Honor the diverse groups who have been a part of the Sumner Library community through the decades!

Sponsored by the Friends of the Sumner Library.

Event parking will be at Summit Academy OIC (935 Olson Memorial Highway) and Harvest Preparatory and Seed Academy (1300 Olson Memorial Highway).

About Sumner Library: This Carnegie-funded library opened in 1915. It is named for Charles Sumner, a U.S. Senator from Massachusetts and an outspoken abolitionist. The library has received historic designation from the City of Minneapolis Heritage Preservation Commission and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. A 2004-05 renovation refurbished or reclaimed many historical building features. Learn more at the anniversary celebration or online at hclib.org.

Golden Valley Library closed for remodeling

The Golden Valley Library will be closed for remodeling from September 21, 2015, through January 22, 2016. Knutson Construction will take ownership of the building and will be running the remodel project. More information may be found here.

Webber Park Library update

Commissioner Linda Higgins, Hennepin County staff and LSE Architects met with community members on September 9, 2015, to discuss the new Webber Park Library project. Designs for the library’s outdoor spaces, including the shape of the outdoor reading area, planting materials and outdoor furniture, were discussed. The focus will be on native plants that attract pollinators. Samples of granite and zinc that will be used on the library’s exterior were displayed.

The architects provided an updated interior image of the library to show how color, lighting and furnishings designs are developing. The image included an example of a sound-absorption wall panel shown above the children’s area. Acoustical ceiling panels and insulated windows that reduce sound transmission from outside of the library are also included in the plan, found here.


Absentee voting is in effect for the following jurisdictions in District 2 with elections this year.

Golden Valley  

Medicine Lake (46A)*

Plymouth (Portion in 46A)*

St Anthony

ISD 270 Hopkins, ISD 282 St Anthony, ISD 284 Wayzata

*Election because of the special election for the 46A legislative district caused by the resignation of Rep. Ryan Winkler. Some of those voters will have both the special election for 46A and a school district election on their ballots. Only Golden Valley and St Anthony have city offices on the ballot in District 2.

You may visit the Hennepin County Elections office, your city hall, or your school district for in-person absentee ballots. To find your voting information, visit the Minnesota Secretary of State’s website at:mnvotesinfo.sos.state.mn.us.

Note: League Of Women Voters Candidate Forum Oct. 7

The Golden Valley League of Women Voters candidate forum for the 2015 Golden Valley City Council election is October 7 at 7 p.m. in the City Hall Council Chambers, 7800 Golden Valley Rd. Read more.

Target hiring event Wednesday, September 30

Target is hosting a hiring event from 9:00 am to noon, Wednesday, September 30 at the Minneapolis Central Library, at 300 Nicollet Mall. The event will take place in the Robins, Kaplan, Miller and Ciresi Community Meeting Room, second floor (above Dunn Brothers) of the library. Positions are available at the St. Louis Park and Ridgedale stores.

Hennepin Gallery exhibit memorializes veterans and soldiers lost to suicide

The 8030 Project photograph installation
on display September 4 through October 27

Every day an estimated 22 U.S. veterans and soldiers commit suicide.

Every year, that adds up to more than 8,000 lives lost.

The 8030 Project, a veterans’ suicide awareness project, was created as a community participatory public art project to raise awareness of these unnecessary and tragic deaths. An installation featuring images from The 8030 Project will be seen at the Hennepin County Government Center in the Hennepin Gallery from September 4 through October 27, 2015 (more information here).

Images featured in the installation are culled from The 8030 Project’s open call to create individual memorials for these lost lives. The memorials use everyday objects in everyday spaces; 22 items represent the 22 lives lost. They can be as simple as a circle of chairs, stones on a beach or a drawing. More than 100 submissions have been collected over the past year on the project’s website, www.8030project.com. The exhibit is a selection of the submissions with the stories that accompany them.

Despite increasing media coverage and heightened public awareness, the number of deaths keeps rising. This project provides a tangible, local experience to help people understand what the numbers truly mean.

This will be The 8030 Project’s first large-scale installation.

Community Action Partnership of Suburban Hennepin (CAPSH)  now accepting applications for its Energy Assistance Program

Community Action Partnership of Suburban Hennepin (CAPSH) is now accepting applications for its Energy Assistance Program (EAP).  EAP is a federally funded program that provides financial assistance to low income households to maintain electric and heat services during the winter.  Assistance is available to all eligible Hennepin County residents, including the City of Minneapolis.

CAPSH staff will be available at the following suburban Hennepin County locations to accept applications and answer client questions:

CAPSH Office
8800 Highway 7, Suite 401
St. Louis Park, MN 55426
Hours: M,W 8:00 AM- 7:00 PM
Tue, Th, F   8:00 AM to 4:30 PM

Northwest Family Service Center
7051 Brooklyn Blvd.
Brooklyn Center, MN 55429
Hours: M, W, F 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM

VEAP Community Service Center
9600 Aldrich Ave. S.
Bloomington, MN 55420
Hours: Thurs.  8:00 AM to 6:30 PM

During the 2015-2016 heating season, CAPSH will also have staff available at three Minneapolis locations.

Center For Changing Lives
Lutheran Social Services
2400 Park Ave. S.
Minneapolis, MN 55404
Hours: M – F   8:30 AM to 4:30 PM

Minneapolis Urban League
2100 Plymouth Ave. N., #112
Minneapolis, MN 55411
Hours: M – F 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM

Sabathani Community Center
310 E. 38th St., #211
Minneapolis, MN 55409
Hours: Mon. 8:00 AM to 7:00 PM
T – F 8:00 AM to4:30 PM

Important notes regarding CAPSH’s Energy Assistance Program:

  • Energy Assistance applications are available now through May 31, 2016.
  • Both renters and homeowners can apply.
  • It is a grant, not a loan. Benefit recipients do not have to pay the money back.
  • The grant is intended to cover a portion of the household’s energy and heating bill. It is important that those who receive energy assistance continue to make payments and/or request a reasonable payment plan with their energy provider.
  • The grant is paid directly to the electric and heat provider.
  • Homeowners may be eligible for emergency furnace repair or replacement.
  • Applicants are encouraged to apply before they face an emergency.
  • Applications are processed on a first-come, first-served basis.

Who is eligible?
Eligibility for this program is based upon income guidelines corresponding to household size.

How to apply?
The 2015-2016 EAP application may be downloaded from the link below or requested by calling CAPSH at 952-930-3541.  Applicants can also fill out this form for more information on applying or to request an application.

2015 – 2016 Energy Assistance Application

Give your input on Minnesota Family Investment Program (MFIP)

The Minnesota Family Investment Program (MFIP) helps families with children meet their basic needs, while helping parents move to financial stability through work. Parents are expected to work, and are supported in working with both cash and food assistance. Most families have a lifetime limit of 60 months on MFIP.

Hennepin County invites members of the public to provide input as it develops its 2016-2017 Minnesota Family Investment Program (MFIP) Biennial Service Agreement, which is to be submitted to the state of Minnesota in October 2016.

To provide input in the developm