Opioid Roundtable, MN Choices, 55th Street Ribbon Cutting, and More

Round Table on Opioid Epidemic

Senator Al Franken conducted a roundtable discussion on the Opioid Epidemic in Olmsted County on August 25. The County Attorney (Ostrem) has been in the forefront of this discussion with state groups.  The panel discussion also included Sheriff Torgerson, County Board Chair Brown, vice-chair Kisdaden, and staff members from Corrections.


MN Choices Update – A Positive Financial Report

Olmsted County is recouping more than 100% of our expenses for the work we do in MNChoices.  The net levy impact has changed from a net cost of about $1.5 Million in 2013 to a net savings of over $1.5 Million in 2017.  Although legislative changes in 2017 will reduce the overall state funding pool, Olmsted is expected to maintain a net positive financial situation.  The work that Olmsted County has done benefits all county residences because maintaining MN Choices will not require tax levy support.


55th Street Extension Ribbon Cutting

September 7th at 10:00 AM there will be a ribbon cutting ceremony for the 55th Street Extension held on the new river crossing bridge. (limited parking will be available at Essex Park.)

After 25 years of planning efforts and thousands of hours preparing design and construction plans, Olmsted County opened bids on the largest transportation project in Olmsted’s history on September 15, 2015.  Hoffman Construction Company was awarded the $33 million contract.  The extension and bridge will connect 55th street at Essex Park to North Broadway.  It also includes reconstruction of a portion of North Broadway to a 4-lane roadway.

The extension is scheduled to be open later in the month.


Moving Families onto Productive Lives

Olmsted County has received grants to continue its “Two Gen” efforts.  This efforts works with two generations within a family to end poverty and move the family to well-being and financial stability.  The Family Support Team of Olmsted will be working with other services including work training, employment and the renewed Father Project to affect a positive change for our Olmsted families.


County Roadway Safety Plan

Olmsted County was the first county in the state to complete a study to suggest improvements that can be made to improve safety and reduce fatal accidents.  All counties are required to complete a study; the statewide project to update all County Roadway Safety Plans will occur in phases.  Olmsted is part of the first phase which involves 14 other counties and will be completed in 2018.  The updated safety plan will include a safety prioritization and planning process based on each county’s crash data and planning needs.