Donations Needed for the Warming Center
The Warming Center is currently seeking donations of hygiene products (shampoo, conditioner, body wash, toothbrushes, toothpaste, deodorant, and shaving supplies), cleaning supplies (disinfectant spray, wipes, bleach, laundry detergent, and dryer sheets), and pre-packaged snack items in individual serving sizes. If you would like to donate, please contact Cathy Hunsaker, Chunsaker@ccsomn.org to learn more about how and when donations are accepted.
Warming Center Increases Capacity
The warming center expansion is complete and can now serve 60 clients every night (this is up from 40 clients before the expansion). I supported the use of HRA funds to fund the cost of the expansion and remodel (about $400,000). Please also know that warming center clients are served by the county’s Health and Human Services staff to assist them with county services and to find permanent housing. Serving these clients at the warming center has been a very successful in reducing our homeless population.
55th Street Reconstruction
The 55th Street reconstruction has been completed and the road has been reopened. This completes the 2020 construction projects.
County Road 101 in the Design Phase
The design of County Road 101 (between County Road 1 and Shoppes on Maine at St. Bridget’s Road) is being developed. Watch for an announcement for Public Comment and Engagement on this design. This stretch of road is the most traveled gravel road in the county and sees a daily increase in the amount of traffic. If the design is acceptable and the construction bids are reasonable, construction would begin Spring 2021. This road is an important and connection to Shoppes on Maine and Highway 63 for people on the South End of District 3. I have supported this project for the benefit of the people in District 3.
County Renames White Bridge Pier Park
White Bridge Pier Park is located on Lake Zumbro next to the former Fisherman’s Inn restaurant. It is one acre in size and used primarily as a fishing place. Olmsted County purchased the Fisherman’s Inn when it closed and added 3 acres to the park (which includes the boat ramp). At the November 17 Board Meeting the name of the park was officially changed to Lake Zumbro Park. The Park Board and staff have created a master plan for upgrading the park (now 4 acres in size) which will include picnic areas, bathrooms, kayak and canoe landing, a pavilion for viewing the lake, shoreline repair and expanded parking for the public boat ramp. The cost of the master plan is about $837,000 which will be done in three phases over a 15-20 year period. I supported the purchase of the Fisherman’s Inn property and expansion of the park for the benefit of people of Olmsted County who helped with the cost of the dredging and upgrading of Lake Zumbro.
Olmsted County Housing and Rehabilitation Authority (HRA) receives Commendation
The Housing Stability Team of Olmsted’s HRA received a Commendation of Excellence from the State Commissioner of Human Services. This Commendation recognized Olmsted’s great record in helping homeless become established in permanent housing and for Olmsted’s successful efforts in procuring more housing opportunities for people in need. I and the County Board support the HRA’s efforts; the homeowners of the county contribute a portion of their property taxes to fund HRA housing projects. These taxes are necessary to provide housing for low-income residents and the homeless.
A Secure Voting Process
The County Board received a report from Mark Krupski, the head of Department that oversees the election process. Mr. Krupski reported that voting by mail has increased with each election. In the 2020 election, 86-87% of the eligible voters cast a ballot and majority of the ballots were done through the absentee balloting system. The absentee balloting system is secure and insures the integrity of the vote. It is a possibility that in the future, townships will go to a total mail-in process. Mr. Krupski projects that the mail-in voting is here to stay and will continue to increase in numbers.