A lot of updates: Land Use, Taxes, County Services for Veterans, Oxbow Park, And More!



Olmsted County is an active participant in the Housing Coalition.  You can see progress made by the Coalition at 9thAvenue SE (South of 4th Street) where Row Homes are being built.  The Row Homes allow for more homes to be built on a city lot which reduces the cost and allows for more people to afford a home.


GLUP is the acronym for Olmsted County’s General Land Use Plan.  It is the primary set of land use policies that defines the community’s vision of how, when, and where growth, redevelopment, and preservation should occur in the county.  The GLUP is reviewed every five years and updated to make improvements to the plan.  The updated GLUP was approved by the Board at its August 16th meeting.  The GLUP is important because it preserves sensitive land from development.  Those area may include includes land in the Decorah Edge, ecological sensitive land, waterways, animal migration paths, and can include recreational corridors.  Before accepting the GLUP revisions, the planning department consulted with and received feedback from many groups including:  Rochester-Olmsted Council of Governments (ROCOG), Olmsted County Environmental Commission, Olmsted County Parks Commission, Olmsted County Township Officers Association, Township Cooperative Planning Association (TCPA), Rochester Housing Alliance, and held several open forums for public input.  I voted to approve the revisions in the county’s General Land Use Plan.  To find out more about the GLUP please to: https://www.olmstedcounty.gov/business/building-development-gis/planning-land-use-zoning/general-land-use-plan-update-information

Election Integrity

Learn more how Olmsted County protects our election integrity.  Here is a link to a YouTube video produced by the County:


Mobile Mental Health Crisis Services.

The regional mental health crises services program received $950,938 in grants from the Federal Medical Assistance to serve Southeast Minnesota (Fillmore, Goodhue, Houston, Mower, Wabasha, Winona and the Minnesota Prairie County Alliance).  Treating mental health and improving mental health is a goal of Olmsted and other counties.  In the past, very few services and treatment resources were available.  Two years ago, with the help of a State grant, The CREST treatment center was built and staffed to meet the needs of mental health services for SE Minnesota.  (CREST is an acronym for Collaboration, Resources, Education, Services, Technology; an easy translation of this is SE Minnesota counties that have banded together to provide a center for mental health crises treatment.)  These grants will be used to better serve the people of SE Minnesota.

Services for Veterans

Olmsted County has a staff of three people that serve the veterans of the county.  Their office is located in Public Health building.  Services offered include:

Accessing Veteran Assistance compensation and pension benefits

Obtaining military records, discharge upgrades, retiree assistance

Burial benefits

Education benefits

Financial resources

Dependent benefits


So far in 2022, 1746 veterans have been seen.  Three fourths of the population seen by Veterans Services are 55 years and older.  Veterans Services also coordinate and host other programs including:  disabled veterans Chester Wood deer hunts, Whitewater fishing, Women Veterans gala, PTSD support groups, and a support group for Women Veterans over 40.

Operation Green Light

The Government Center will be lit in green on Veteran’s Day, November 11, to send a message that we want veterans to connect with Olmsted County veterans’ services.  We want to reduce mental health and homeless issues with our veteran population.  Operation Green Light is a visible sign that we support and have assistance for our veterans.

Reducing Nitrates in the Water

Olmsted County has started a Soil Health Initiative for farmers.  The goal is to promote the use of beneficial management practices and crop rotations to reduce the leaching of excess crop nutrients (nitrates) in the groundwater.  The pilot enrollment period will start soon.  Olmsted is using $3,000,000 of American Rescue Program Aid (ARPA) to fund this three-year program.  Farmers can receive money for working with Olmsted County’s Soil and Water and enroll in this program.  The enrollment options will include the use of cover crops, growing alternative crops or small grains, and haying and grazing.  For more information, please use the following contact:  angela.white@olmstedcounty.gov

Channel One Response

Channel One, the non profit that distributes food to the needy, reported to Olmsted County that more people are visiting Channel One for food assistance.  Channel One also reported that they will run out of funds to help the needy.  In response, the County appropriated $90,000 to help get Channel One get to the end of 2022.

Rising Costs

An example of rising costs is the cost of Bituminous (black top).  In 2021 the cost was $66.41 per Ton; in 2022 the cost is $94.77 per Ton.  On average a mile of bituminous overlay in 2021 cost $275,000; in 2022 the cost is $440,000.

Friends of Oxbow Nature Center are Halfway There

The Friends of Oxbow are halfway to their goal of raising $1,000,000 for the new Nature Center!  The Friends are a vital part of the Oxbow operation.  They contribute not only financial support but also thousands of volunteer hours.  If you would like more information about the Friends of Oxbow please go to:  https://friendsofoxbow.org

Truth in Taxation Meeting

The Budget and Levy will be discussed at public Truth in Taxation meeting on December 1 2022 at 6:00 pm in the Government Center Boardroom.  The public can speak at this meeting.

The maximum levy set by the board is a 5.9% increase from 2022 for a total of $119,479,472.  The actual levy which will be set after the public meeting on December 1cannot be more than a 5.9% increase but could be less.

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