Editor’s Note: The following announcement 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.
Public hearing scheduled for amendment to Bassett Creek Watershed Management Plan
The board will hold a public hearing at the board meeting on Tuesday, July 31 at 1:30 p.m. to obtain comments on a proposed minor amendment to the Bassett Creek Watershed Management Plan.
The amendment, proposed by the Bassett Creek Watershed Management Commission, provides for construction of two new stormwater treatment ponds that will improve water quality, as well as restoration of an eroding stream channel in Plymouth. The goal of the project is to reduce erosion and improve water quality and stream habitat in Northwood Lake in New Hope by reducing phosphorus loading by 73 pounds per year. Estimated cost of the project is $990,000.
Ambulance response times well above standards
The board approved ambulance response time standards for Code 3 (lights and siren; life-threatening illnesses or injuries) and Code 2 (no lights and siren; non-threatening illnesses of injuries) calls.
County ordinance requires that Hennepin’s Emergency Medical Services Council makes recommendations to the board for response times every two years. The council reviewed 2011 data and found that ambulance service exceeded standards countywide:
- 93 percent of Code 3 ambulance runs arrived in less than 11 minutes – better than the current standard of 90 percent.
- 97 percent of Code 2 ambulance runs arrived in less than 21 minutes – better than the current standard of 90 percent.
The council determined that some municipalities continue to be difficult to serve quickly, due to their location, low volume or other factors.
Board approves joint powers agreement for Fort Snelling Upper Post
The Hennepin County Board of Commissioners approved negotiation of a joint powers agreement (JPA) with major governmental landowners and regulatory agencies to establish an interim organization to preserve and enhance the Fort Snelling Upper Post. The vacant and rapidly deteriorating portion of Fort Snelling lies west, across Highway 55, from the Historic Fort Snelling state park, which is managed by the Minnesota Historical Society.
The Upper Post, which sits on unincorporated county land, has been designated one of the 11 most endangered historic sites in the nation by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The site is divided into two National Register Historic Districts. One area, east of Bloomington Road, is owned by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR), and includes 141 acres and 28 historic buildings.
The second district, west of Bloomington Road, includes 23 acres and 17 historic buildings owned by multiple users, including the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, National Park Service, Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, Minnesota Historical Society, Minnesota Department of Transportation, and the Boy Scouts of America.
By 2005, the condition of many of the Upper Post’s historic buildings had deteriorated so badly that stabilization efforts were needed. Participants in Hennepin County’s STS Homes Program, in which inmates are trained in the construction trades, have done virtually all of the stabilization work on the structures so far.
The JPA includes all of the site users; Hennepin County, which has taken a leadership role in trying to redevelop and restore the site; and other partners, including federally recognized American Indian tribes.
The JPA will establish an interim organization to continue building stabilization and redevelopment, and establish a permanent governance organization for the area. The DNR would be the lead agency staffing and providing support resources to the organization. Hennepin County would provide economic development and redevelopment support.
When appropriate, draft Requests for Qualifications or Requests for Proposals to seek qualified developers for certain lands within the Fort Snelling Upper Post could be issued. National examples of successful redevelopment for similar historical forts include the renovation and restoration of historic military bases in San Francisco, California; and Fort Vancouver in Washington State.
The JPA extends from Aug. 12 of this year through Dec. 31, 2015.
Upgrades in Minneapolis traffic signals will smooth traffic flow
The board approved an agreement with Minneapolis for cost participation, including $980,000 in county funding, to upgrade traffic signal systems managed by the city.
Many of the existing signals are decades old. The improvements – the first in nearly 40 years – are expected to move cars, buses, light rail and even bike and pedestrian traffic more efficiently through the city. There also will be less waiting during peak traffic times at signals where there is no side street traffic.
The project will include replacement of 62 individual intersection traffic control systems, and an upgrade of the centralized computer system that controls the signals, including collection of data that will create new signal timing patterns.
Total cost of the project, which will take place over the next two years, is estimated at $16.2 million – largely funded by the federal government. Under the terms of the agreement, Minneapolis will be responsible for the project and the county will reimburse the city for its share of project costs (approximately $1 million) not covered by federal funds. Minneapolis will spend approximately $2 million.
City officials expect the new system to reduce traffic delays by at least 15 percent.
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.
For more information about these news items, call Carolyn Marinan: 612-348-5969, or Carol Allis: 612-348-8536.
Look for more news on the Hennepin County website – www.hennepin.us.