FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Carolyn Marinan, Communications, 612-348-5969
County board actions
Votes Tuesday approved the design component for the Metro Blue Line Extension, awarded grants to clean up contaminated sites and to continue work prevent the spread of HIV.
Blue Line Extension design component approved
The board voted to approve the physical design component of the preliminary plans for the Bottineau Light Rail Transit Project, also known as the METRO Blue Line Extension. A Metropolitan Council/Hennepin County/Hennepin County Regional Railroad Authority joint public hearing was held on January 19, 2016 for the physical design component of the preliminary design plans for the Bottineau Light Rail Transit Line.
Read the Bottineau Light Rail Transit Project resolution.
Read about plans for the Metro Blue Line corridor.
Grants awarded to clean up contaminated sites
The board awarded eight Environmental Response Fund grants totaling $1.2 million to fund asbestos and lead paint abatement and contaminated soil assessment and cleanup at contaminated sites where the added environmental costs hinder site improvements or redevelopment. Environmental Response Fund grants support a variety of projects that promote economic development by increasing the tax base, creating permanent jobs, enhancing greenspace and developing affordable housing.
The following projects were awarded:
- City of Golden Valley: $152,000 for contaminated soil cleanup at the DeCola Ponds Project, to construct new stormwater management structures in a flood-prone area.
- City of Lakes Community Land Trust: $115,000 for asbestos and lead paint abatement associated with the renovation of four houses that will be owner-occupied, affordable housing.
- City of Mound Housing and Redevelopment Authority: $390,982 for asbestos and lead paint abatement associated with the renovation of affordable rental housing units at Indian Knoll Manor.
- City of St. Louis Park: $50,000 for contaminated soil cleanup associated with the expansion of an outdoor recreation center.
- Hennepin County Resident and Real Estate Services: $250,000 to demolish hazardous and contaminated buildings on the tax-forfeited former Universal Plating facility site in Minneapolis.
- Minnesota Brownfields, countywide: $200,000 to continue the Brownfields Gap Financing Program, which provides small environmental assessment grants to municipalities and nonprofit organizations.
- Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board: $50,000 for disposal of contaminated soil that will be excavated during construction of a walking and biking trail on the east bank of the Mississippi River in northeast Minneapolis.
- Perspectives, Inc.: $61,000 for contaminated soil cleanup associated with development of a new parking lot that will facilitate the expansion of Perspective’s adjacent family center.
Read more about the Environmental Response Fund process and grantees.
Funding increase to help Public Health Clinic work to prevent HIV spread
The board agreed to an amendment to an agreement with the Minnesota Department of Health, that increases a grant for HIV health education and risk reduction services by $226,928. The total grant to the Hennepin County Public Health Clinic now is $1.1 million over five years. In Minnesota, approximately 7,200 people have been diagnosed with HIV; about 4,000 of them live in Hennepin County. The Hennepin County Public Health Clinic is the largest STD/HIV testing and counseling site in Minnesota, diagnosing more STDs/HIV than any other single site in the state.
Read more about the Public Health Clinic’s work to stop the spread of HIV.
Federal legislative platform approved
The board approved the 2016 federal legislative platform asking the Minnesota members of Congress to support the county’s transportation, health and human services, HCMC, criminal justice and housing and community development requests.
Read the summary of Hennepin County's federal legislative platform.
Sale of 3216 Garfield Avenue South, Minneapolis
The Housing and Redevelopment Authority Board set a hearing to gather public comment on the proposed sale of 3216 Garfield Avenue South, at the next meeting of the HRRA, which is scheduled for Thursday, February 18, at 1:30 p.m., in room A-2400 of the Hennepin County Government Center, 300 South 6th Street, Minneapolis. The proposal for the property is a sale to Karim Behi, president of Cultural Homes, Inc. Cultural Homes provides housing to people with mental illness in a culturally appropriate setting. This transaction would allow Cultural Homes, Inc., an adult foster care provider, to continue to house Hennepin County clients. The property will be preserved as affordable housing with services; and the property will be returned to the tax rolls.
Learn more about the proposed sale of 3216 Garfield Avenue South, Minneapolis.
Issuance of capital improvement debt
The Budget and Capital Investment Committee set a hearing to gather public comment on the proposed issuance of up to $200 million in aggregate principal amount of general obligation bonds of the county for the purpose of financing new capital improvements. The hearing will be held during the committee’s meeting on Tuesday, March 8, at 1:30 p.m., in room A-2400 of the Hennepin County Government Center, 300 South 6th Street, Minneapolis.
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Look for more news on the Hennepin County website at www.hennepin.us/news.