New Project Reduces Hunger for Children
A pilot project to provide meals and reduce hunger in Olmsted County has started. The project will hopefully fill gaps that exist in the food distribution process and provide cooked meals for families and individuals who are clients of the County. Channel One is providing the ingredients. The meals are cooked and prepared in kitchens partnering with Olmsted County. The meals are then distributed by Olmsted County volunteers. This pilot is in cooperation with Channel One and Minnesota Central Kitchen.
357 meals were distributed to individuals and families being supported by County programs in the first four weeks of the pilot. Approximately 80% of recipients have been families with young children.
The pilot will continue through December and is being evaluated to determine if it will continue or be modified.
37% Increase of Low-Income Rental Units
Since 2018 Olmsted County has increased the rental units for low-income families
In 2018 there were 604 units
In 2021 Olmsted increased the number of units to 829.
I supported the increase of these units and continue to support the development/purchase of more units.
$4 Million Opioid Settlement
I supported Olmsted County joining other counties and cities in a settlement against opioid manufacturers. The settlement was worked out between the Association of Minnesota Counties and the Attorney General’s Office. If the settlement is completed as Olmsted County expects, it will provide about $4 million to the county over 18 years. The money will be used for opioid addiction prevention and related issues.
Olmsted County Public Health continues to plan with Mayo and Olmsted Medical to provide vaccine clinics throughout the county. The collaboration of Public Health and its partners determine where clinics will be held for which groups. Clinics are established for all the varieties of vaccines, boosters, and vaccinations for the different age groups including school age children.
Capital Improvement Plan
I supported the five-year capital improvement plan. The five-year plan is estimated to cost $373 million. In brief, here is where the capital will be invested:
- 49% Transportation (Roads and Bridges)
- 12% Solid Waste
- 29% Facilities
- 10% Other
Some of the projects will include:
- $4 million for planning and designing the intersection at County 44 and Highway 14
- $5.8 million for construction of Judicial Space
- $8 million for Reconstruction of County 44 (60th Avenue)
Other projects to be completed in 2023-2026 include:
- $25 million for Material Resource Facility (at the Olmsted County Waste to Energy Facility)
- $37 million for the interchange at County 44 and Highway 14
The Capital Improvement Plan is funded by:
- 33% Debt (I supported a $20 Million bond)
- 24% wheelage tax
- 22% State/Federal Funds
- 10% other
- 11% of the plan is unfunded at this time.
2021 Comes to Close
This year will be remembered as the year when COVID killed over 1,000,000 Americans and 10,000 Minnesotans. I wish for a better 2022 for everyone. I thank you for your support and placing your continued trust in me in 2022.