2020: Year in Review

I look forward to serving the people of District 3 in 2021

Thank you for your support in 2020.  In spite of the difficulties of the year, I worked to insure that county continued to serve the needs of the people in the most efficient and cost effective way.  I care about the people in my district and Olmsted County.  I work to maintain the trust you have placed in me.

I Have Kept You Informed

To keep you informed in 2020 I made 51 posts to my website with about 174 items of interest and updates on county projects.  I also included about 20 videos.  I will continue to update the people of District 3 in 2021.

Highlights of 2020

Here is a partial list of the highlights of 2020.  2020 was dominated by COVID so it is with pleasure that we all can say good-bye to 2020 and look forward to a better 2021.


  • Fisherman’s Inn was purchased to create a larger Park and public boat ramp
  • Olmsted County received $2.135 million grant to enlarge the Nature Center at Oxbow Park
  • County Elections Department began accepting absentee ballots for the Presidential Primary


  • Public Health gives first report on COVID-19
  • Farmers Market votes to move to Graham Park
  • County Road 101 was moved to top of list for reconstruction
  • Olmsted HRA purchases Center Street Village Apartments to preserve low-income housing


  • Zollman Zoo’s baby cougar gets its own place at the zoo
  • Olmsted Public Health, Mayo, and Olmsted Medical Group hold press conference to address the rising COVID-19 threat
  • First Case of COVID-19 Confirmed in Olmsted County (March 11)
  • County Road 9 reconstruction begins
  • Olmsted County video on Community Corrections (Probation) spread nation-wide
  • Construction on the replacement for the last timber bridge in Olmsted County began
  • Olmsted County Declared a Medical Emergency and closed all face to face areas
  • Public Health starts COVID-19 contact tracing
  • Five cases of COVID confirmed (March 17)
  • County Board had its first meeting by distance technology
  • COVID-19 testing site at Graham Park opens (March 24)
  • COVID-19 cases increase to 21 in Olmsted and 287 in Minnesota (March 26)
  • Governor issue first “Stay at Home” order
  • 156 people were tested for COVID-19 (March 30)
  • Court Services were suspended


  • Property Tax late fee for first half of property was extended
  • Goats were dispatched at Chesterwoods Park to control invasive plant species
  • Governor Walz highlighted Olmsted County for its care of the homeless.
  • Olmsted Housing and Redevelopment Authority announces plan to build a 48 unit project on Mayowood Road


  • Public Boat Launch is opened at Fisherman’s Inn site
  • Olmsted HRA approved $1 million in emergency funding for temporary rental assistance to assist low-income families that have lost jobs due to COVID-19
  • Olmsted County Youth Commission begins a tutoring service
  • An online check-in service for licenses and passports starts to eliminate lines and waiting
  • New Bridges at Chesterwoods Park installed


  • County Elections office prepares to send out absentee ballot application for the August 11 Primary
  • Construction on the Southeast Regional Crisis Center begins
  • HRA leases 30 apartments in two building to house the homeless
  • County Board votes to increase the number of Human Service workers that will work with the Sheriff and Rochester Police departments
  • County Board votes to start a diversity and inclusion plan called “One Olmsted”
  • Face Masks are required in public spaced in all Olmsted County Buildings


  • Property tax late fees were extended to December 15
  • Olmsted County named Best Employer by Workforce
  • COVID-19 cases see huge increase; Governor declares that masks will be required in Minnesota
  • Olmsted County provides $5million in relief funds to small business and non-profits to mitigate effects of COVID-19
  • County Board passes resolution recognizing racial inequities in Healthcare
  • Olmsted County Public Health Services Advisory Board and Olmsted County Human Rights Commission vote to jointly study the issue of health disparities associated with race.
  • “Energy Parkway” became the new name of the road that goes to the recycling center
  • 16,300 ballots were cast by absentee in the August primary
  • County Board votes to approve a 10 acre solar energy field on county owned land


  • County Board votes to preliminary set the 2021 property tax levy at 0%
  • Olmsted receives a grant to improve the Cascade Creek watershed to reduce sediment


  • Olmsted receives top credit rating from Moody’s and Standard and Poor
  • Olmsted housed 108 formerly homeless people since March
  • County Board votes to refinance General Obligation bonds sold in 2011 saving the county about $400,000.


  • The second round of COVID relief money (part of $5million that was provided by the county) was awarded to small businesses.
  • Construction for low-income senior citizens and supportive housing began
  • HRA and Olmsted County doubled the space of the warming shelter
  • Reconstruction of 55thStreet was completed
  • Design phase for County 101 was begun
  • “Lake Zumbro Park” became the new name of county park at the former Fisherman’s Inn site
  • Olmsted HRA receives a Commendation from the State Commissioner of Human Services
  • 87% of eligible voters cast ballots in the November election and the majority of ballots were absentee.


  • Demolition of the Seneca site began
  • Census count is over and Minnesota had the highest self-response rate at 75.1%; Olmsted County had an even higher self-response rate of 78%
  • Property tax late penalty fee extended to December 31
  • Entrance fees for all Olmsted County Parks were suspended until April 30, 2021
  • www.olmstedcounty.govwas launched
  • The year ended with 5,323 Minnesota deaths due to Covid-19, a total of 415,302 positive cases, and 3 million people who took a Covid-19 test.  In Olmsted there were 8968 confirmed Covid-19 cases.  Sadly, there were 59 people who died from Covid-19 in Olmsted County.

Everyone ended the year looking forward to 2021 and leaving behind the Year of Covid-19

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