Updates: Lots of Updates in the County!!


Apply to be an Election Assistant in the 2022 Elections

A special election for the First Congressional Seat is needed because of the death of Rep. Jim Hagedorn.  The election will take place on Tuesday, August 9, 2022.  If necessary, a primary election will be held on May 24, 2022.

Twelve temporary positions are needed through November 23, 2022.

For more information, qualifications, and examples of work, please go to the Olmsted County’s website.

House America Initiative

Olmsted County Joined Housing and Urban Development’s Initiative called House America.  As part of this initiative, Olmsted County pledges to respond to homelessness by setting ambitious housing goals to house the homeless.

Housing Redevelopment Increases Housing Stock for Low-Income Residences

The Housing Rehabilitation Authority purchased a building for $2,040,000 to increase the HRA housing stock.  The funds for this purchase came from Minnesota Housing grant ($1,000,000) and the remainder of the funds come from the HRA.  I supported the purchase of this property.

Additionally, HRA will receive from the county 5 tax-forfeited properties.  HRA will sell these properties to non-profit housing entities to refurbish or build low-income housing.  5 properties will be purchased by First Homes Rochester for $6,500.  One property will be purchased by Two Rivers Habitat for Humanity for $15,0000; the refurbishing cost for this house estimated at $85,000.  It is expected that the properties will have completed housing projects by 2023.  I supported the transfer of these properties from HRA to the non-profits to increase the housing stock and decrease homelessness.

County Board Joins Local Climate Mitigation and Adaptation Plan

The County Board will join local and state efforts study and participate in adverse climate mitigation strategies.  I accepted an appointment as Board Liaison to this committee.

Refinanced Bond

I supported the refinancing of approximately $18,905,000 of bonds.  The County’s Aaa (Moody’s) bond rating helped refinancing at a low rate of 2.32%.  This will save the county and taxpayers about $1.7 million over the life of the bond.

Climate Inventory

Olmsted County has begun a Climate Inventory.  This is a list of everything the county is doing that has a positive impact on the climate.  I want the county to be good stewards of the environment and ensure that we are climate friendly.  The Climate Inventory process will help us identify where progress has been made and where more work remains to be done.  I support this process.

Human Services recognized for Excellence

The Minnesota Department of Human Services conferred upon Olmsted County’s Human Services Division the “DHS Circle of Excellence Award” for “exemplary work” in serving the people of Olmsted County.  This award was received because of the work Olmsted County performed in collaboration with a software company to create a simplified online application for nine public assistance programs (MNbenefits).  The application can now be completed on a computer or on a phone.  This has eliminated many barriers that, in the past, prevented people from easily applying for assistance.  Additionally, the digital application has reduced administrative time making the system more financially efficient.  I support the participation of this project.  Because of Olmsted’s good work, this system will now be exported to other Minnesota counties.

10 Billion Dollars

The State’s Budget Surplus is expected to reach $10,000,000,000.  I have advocated with our state legislators to provide tax relief, increase the County Assistance Program, and to fully fund all of the mandates that the Legislature has imposed on Olmsted County.  Over the years, the County Assistance to Olmsted has diminished.  Restoring County Assistance and fully funding all of the Legislative mandates has a direct and immediate affect on reducing property taxes.  As of yet, there is no Legislative bill regarding county aid.  I will continue to advocate for this needed local aid.

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