Southwest Light-Rail has cleared last major obstacle
An agreement has been made between Twin Cities transit planners and Twin Cities & Western Railroad. This was the last obstacle the Light-Rail had to get through in order to start the final stages of planning. The agreement will allow light rail and freight trains to share part of the nearly 15-mile corridor between downtown and Eden Prairie. Progress on the project had stalled due in part to the disagreement between TC&W and the Met Council. The conflict centered on ownership and operational issues along the part of the route where LRT and freight trains run alongside each other. The agreement gave the Light-Rail transit planners site control along the railway, set perimeters on both construction procedures and operation procedures. The Southwest LRT is scheduled to open and operate by 2023.
Hennepin County plans first mental health facility
On Tuesday, July 24th, the Hennepin County board voted to move forward a plan to build its own mental health facility. The board unanimously approved a study to find the feasibility of converting an abandoned building at the workhouse in Plymouth. The short-term facility would house residents or inmates who couldn’t find a secure bed at the Anoka-Metro Regional Treatment Center, are ready to leave the county jail or are temporarily at Hennepin Healthcare. They hope the study will be completed by October. “The mental health system is jammed up, and this is the county stepping up to deal with a chronic problem,” said Commissioner Peter McLaughlin. Right now, inmates at the county jail are staying longer than their sentence time waiting for a bed at Anoka. The board cited a recent case of a man with mental illness who was held in jail for three months even though misdemeanor charges against him were quickly dropped after his arrest. Besides the possibility of a new mental health facility, the county is working with community organizations and Hennepin Healthcare on a multiyear project to create a mental health and substance abuse residential treatment program at a county-owned building at 1800 Chicago Av. S. in Minneapolis.
Hosmer Library renovations
Beginning Monday, August 27th, Hosmer Library will be closed for renovations. The library is scheduled to reopen by the end of spring 2019. The building’s historic character will be carefully retained through the renovation, as the library has received historic designation from the City of Minneapolis Heritage Preservation Commission. Repairs and preservation work will address the building exterior, including the large skylight and refurbishment of historic wood windows. Inside, patrons will find library spaces updated for increased flexibility and improved access to library services. The renovated entry will increase connectivity between the library’s main floor and the lower level, and meeting spaces of various sizes will be available on both floors. Areas for children and teens will be located to the front of the building and designed to support the activity level of youth programs, with the back of the building offering quieter computer use and seating. Restrooms will be upgraded for ADA compliance, new energy-efficient LED lighting will be installed, and wireless connectivity will be improved throughout the building. During the closure, patrons are invited to use other Hennepin County libraries:
- East Lake Library, 2727 E Lake Street, Minneapolis
- Nokomis Library, 5100 34th Ave South, Minneapolis
- Washburn Library, 5244 Lyndale Ave South, Minneapolis
National Night Out 2018
Join us for the 36th Annual Minneapolis National Night Out on Tuesday, August 7th. National Night Out is about getting to know your neighbors and having a good time in the process. There will be numerous block parties throughout the city celebrating so be sure the check out the list to see what’s going on near you and I hope to see you out!
Don’t forget to take part in the midterm elections this year. Absentee voting has already started and will run until August 13th at 5pm. The Primary Election Day is Tuesday, August 14th followed by the General Election Day which occurs on November 6th. Make sure to get out and vote to exercise your constitutional right. Be sure to check this link to show where you are registered to vote.
Movies at Target Field Station
Hennepin County is hosting free movie nights this summer at Target Field Station in partnership with the Minneapolis downtown council and the Minnesota Twins. Residents can bring a lawn chair or blankets, find a spot on the grass outside the ballpark and watch movies on the video board. The digital screen at Target Field Station allows for movies to be shown in crisp quality and before dusk, making the events ideal for all ages. All movies begin Thursdays at 7pm.
Movie Showtime’s for August:
- Wednesday, August 8: “Coco”
- Wednesday, August 22: “Mary Poppins”
You’re invited. In addition to our regularly scheduled board meetings, the County Board often meets for updates on Thursday mornings. These are informal opportunities to discuss emerging issues. No decisions are made, and topics are subject to change. Board briefings occur in the board room on the 24th floor of the Hennepin County Government Center and are open to the public.
Thursday, August 9:
- 9:30am-10:30am: Protected bikeways on county roads
Thursday, August 23:
- 9:30am-11:30am: Board & Authority proceedings/2020 Census
About District 4
Commissioner, 4th District