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News & Press Releases

October 19, 2021

News
Design for new Anoka County Jail, 911 center moves ahead

Anoka County is moving to the second phase of design for a new jail and 911 call center. Phase 2 will cost over $17 million. In April the board approved a $44,500 contract with Wold Architects for site plan design services for a new jail, 911 call center, workhouse and parking structure. The board reviewed a site plan at an Oct. 1 work session.

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October 12, 2021

Press Release
County Board Brief

Board Hears Veteran Service Office Report

John Kriesel, Anoka County veteran services officer, presented the board with the annual Anoka County Veteran Services Office report, noting that Anoka County is home to more than 21,000 veterans, which is the fourth highest population of veterans in the state. The office works to provide veterans with disability compensation, veterans pension, survivor benefits, and more. To watch the video on this item, click HERE. 

Fees to be Increased at Bunker Beach

Anoka County Parks Director Jeff Perry said his department recently completed a market analysis of water park fees for parks in the metro area, and the recommendation following that analysis was to increase the price of seasonal passes by $10. The last time Anoka County Parks did a fee increase was in 2016. To watch the video on this item, click HERE. 

Design Service Contract Approved for Public Safety, Correctional Facilities 

The board approved an amendment to a contract with Wold Architects and Engineers for phase 2 site plan and design services related to the construction of various public safety and correctional facilities, including a new jail, new parking ramp, new emergency communications facility and workhouse improvements. To watch the video on this item, click HERE. For more information, click HERE. 

ARPA Money Designated as Matching Funds for Broadband Projects

The board amended a policy for the allocation of $3.15 million of American Rescue Plan Act dollars to be used as matching funds towards community broadband projects. The amendment allows for up to $150,000 of ARPA funds per community to be used towards broadband projects completed on or before Dec. 31, 2023. For more information on this item, click HERE.

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September 28, 2021

Press Release
County Board Brief

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month

The board adopted a resolution naming October Domestic Violence Awareness Month in Anoka County and noted Anoka County is working hard to raise awareness about this important issue. In the U.S., on average, nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner, and partner violence accounts for 15 percent of all violent crime. Tina Bronson, director of Mission Advancement for Alexandra House, spoke to the board about her organization’s services for domestic violence victims and their children; Lenae Williamson, executive director of the Dwelling Place, also offered the board information about her organization’s services. To watch the presentation, click HERE.

Compliance and Civil Rights Plan Adopted

The board adopted a resolution regarding a Civil Rights Plan. The American Rescue Plan Act requires that the county meet legal requirements relating to Title Vl of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. As part of establishing proper compliance, the county needed to adopt a Title VI Compliance and Civil Right Plan. Under this plan, the deputy county administrator is listed as the Title Vl & civil rights coordinator and the American Disabilities Act (ADA) coordinator for the county. For more information on this item, click HERE. 

Contact Approved for Office Support

The board approved a contract with Achieve Services for program participants who will perform various office support duties in Anoka County. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, participants in this program were sent home for health and safety reasons, and the contract was not renewed due to the uncertainty of the pandemic. This contract will give departments the opportunity to have Achieve participants assist with office work, as long as there is no federal funding or grants used for their services. For more information on this item, click HERE

Contract Approved for COVID-19 Testing, Vaccine Administration

The board approved the extension of a contract with Bluestone Physician Services for COVID-19 testing and vaccine administration. This agreement extends the contract to Dec. 31, 2022. Bluestone has been used to address COVID-19 testing within the county’s long-term care and congregate care settings and vaccination in residential and community settings. For more information on this item, click HERE. To watch the video on this item, click HERE.

Grant Accepted for COVID-19 Training, Support of Local Public Health

The board accepted a grant from the Minnesota Department of Health in the amount of $271,773 to establish, train and sustain the local public health workforce to support COVID-19 prevention, preparedness, response and recovery initiatives. For more information on this item, click HERE. To watch the video on this item, click HERE. 

Budget Amended for American Rescue Plan Act Funds

On Aug. 24, the County Board approved a resolution adopting a budget for Coronavirus Fiscal Recovery Funds (CLFRF) received through the American Rescue Plan Act. That resolution included $12 million under the public health category related to reimbursement of public health and safety staff as well as to reimburse the county for medical expenses attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic. Since that time, county staff have worked to further refine potential budgets under the CLFRF required expense categories and have identified potential projects under those categories. Subsequently, the board approved an amendment to increase the public health category budget from $12 million to $19.3 million based on these new projects. For more information on this item, click HERE. To watch the video on this item, click HERE. 

2022 Preliminary Property Tax Levy Approved

The board unanimously approved a flat preliminary property tax levy for 2022. The county’s Truth in Taxation meeting is at 6 p.m. Dec. 2. Details about that meeting will be posted on the county’s website, anokacounty.us. The Board of Commissioners will approve the final levy and budget during their 9:30 a.m. Dec. 3 regular meeting. To read the full news release, click HERE.

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September 14, 2021

Press Release
County Board Brief

Longtime Employees Recognized

Employees who have worked at the county for 30 and 35 years were recognized by the board for their service. To watch the presentation, click HERE.

September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month

The board recognized September as National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month and invited Denise Kirmis, manager of Anoka County Behavioral Health and Adult Services, to talk about suicide prevention and resources available in Anoka County. To watch the presentation, click HERE.

Workforce Development Month Recognized

The board also recognized September as Workforce Development Month. Nicole Swanson, director of the Anoka County Job Training Center, spoke about the importance of workforce development in Anoka County, and she also noted the CareerForce Center in Blaine has many resources for residents who are looking for new employment or who are seeking to build their skills to advance their careers. To watch the presentation on this item, click HERE.

County Acquires Hodgson Road Property for Development

Anoka County and the City of Lino Lakes determined the area of Hodgson Road and County Road J/Ash Street in Lino Lakes needs improvements to accommodate the proposed Lyngblomsten senior community development. Improvements to the intersection will require acquisition of right-of-way to allow for the new alignment of the intersection. The property owner has expressed interest in selling the parcel. The cost of this acquisition will be split between Anoka County and Ramsey County. For more information on this item, click HERE. 

Traffic Signal Painting Approved

The board approved a signal painting project at several intersections around the county. The price of this maintenance has been steadily dropping over years –– when new signals are installed, material is used that requires no painting. For more information on this item, click HERE. To watch the video on this item, click HERE.

Grant Accepted for Enhanced Mobility for Seniors, Residents with Disabilities

The board accepted a Transit Coordination Assistance Project grant agreement to implement transportation services for enhanced mobility of seniors and individuals with disabilities. The grant amount is $120,000 with a 20 percent local match of $30,000, which is allotted in the 2021 transit budget. For more information on this item, click HERE.

Thirteen Percent of Grant Returned for Bunker Beach

In 2019, the Board approved a Met Council Parks and Trail Legacy funding agreement for the Bunker Beach infrastructure project in the amount of $1,002,395.80. That amount was decreased by 13 percent last year in anticipation of reduced revenues due to COVID-19. The State has since determined that the 13 percent reduction was not necessary and is releasing those funds. $220,676 will be allocated to the Bunker Beach Infrastructure Improvements Project Grant Agreement. For more information on this item, click HERE. 

Agreement Established for Maintenance of Off-Road Bike Track

The board authorized a memorandum of understanding with Minnesota Off-Road Cyclists for the maintenance of 3.5 miles of single-track trail, which is to be constructed within the Rice Creek Chain of Lakes Park Reserve. For more information on this item, click HERE. 

County Health Care Rates Approved

The board approved 2022 self-insured health care insurance plan rates for benefit-eligible employees. For more information on this item, click HERE.

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August 24, 2021

Press Release
County Board Brief

West Freeway Drive in Columbus to be Reconstructed

The board approved a professional services contract with SRF Consulting Group for the reconstruction and realignment of West Freeway Drive in the City of Columbus. This project is slated for the 2023 construction season. For more information on this item, click HERE.

Bunker Lake Boulevard to be Reconditioned

The board approved a contract with Forest Lake Contracting for the reconditioning of Bunker Lake Boulevard, from Armstrong Boulevard to Sunfish Lake Boulevard in the City of Ramsey. Proposed improvements include constructing turn lanes, increasing the length of merge lanes, restricting left turning movements at designated locations and installing a traffic control system. Construction on this project is anticipated to begin in September of 2021 and be completed in November of 2021. For more information on this item, click HERE.

Grant Funding Allocated for Substance Recovery Program

The board accepted funding from the Minnesota Department of Human Services for the Pathfinder Companion Pilot program. The Pathfinder program uses a mobile app for people in recovery to find local and online resources of all kinds, allows them to watch, listen and read stories from others in recovery, and communicate with counselors. The second part of this program uses a web-based dashboard for organizations to manage accounts for clients and staff. For more information on this item, click HERE.

Homeless Prevention Funds Accepted

The board accepted funding for the Family Homelessness Prevention and Assistance program for 2022-2023. Anoka County was awarded $794,100 from Minnesota Housing. For more information on this item, click HERE.

Policy Approved on Symbolic Resolutions and Proclamations

The board approved a resolution that notes the board shall consider symbolic resolutions and proclamations for public awareness, arts and cultural celebrations and special honors. It shall not consider ones that deal with matters of political or ideological controversy, matters generally supported or opposed by political parties, topics with no direct relationship to Anoka County, and campaigns or events contrary to Anoka County policy. For more information on this item, click HERE. To watch the video on this item, click HERE.

American Rescue Plan Act Resolutions Adopted  

The board adopted two resolutions in regards to American Rescue Plan Act funding: 1. Accepting American Rescue Plan Act funds, and 2. Establishing budget allocations for the funds. For more information on this item, click HERE.

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August 10, 2021

Press Release
County Board Brief

Right Turn Lanes to be Added on Constance Boulevard

The board entered into a joint powers agreement with the City of Ham Lake for the addition of right-hand turn lanes on Constance Boulevard, at Tippecanoe Street, in the City of Ham Lake. For more information on this item, click HERE.

Hodgson Road to Be Improved

The board approved a professional services contract with WSB Engineering for the design, permitting and environmental documentation for intersection improvements at Hodgson Road and County Road J in the cities of Lino Lakes and Shoreview. For more information on this item, click HERE. To watch the video on this item, click HERE.

Improvements Planned for Ramsey Boulevard

The bord approved a Local Road Improvement Program agreement for design services for the Ramsey Boulevard and U.S. Highway 10 interchange project in the City of Ramsey. For more information on this item, click HERE. To watch the video on this item, click HERE.

Feature Added to County System for American Rescue Plan Act Reporting 

The board approved an adjustment to its contract with OpenGov Inc. for a module to be added that assists in American Rescue Plan Act reporting. This module will track and store data points for measurements, outcomes, expenditures, budget and more. For more information on this item, click HERE.

Gifts Accepted for Anoka County Veteran Services

Several parties recently donated to Anoka County Veteran Services, and the board accepted those donations. Those who donated included the Ham Lake Chamber of Commerce: $2,000; Ham Lake Lanes: $1,500; Jayne and Craig Walker: $1,500; and the Coon Rapids American Legion Auxiliary: $50.

Met Council Funding Approved for Three Parks Projects

The Metropolitan Council provides financial support to regional parks for projects which intend to strengthen equitable usage of those parks and trails. Anoka County applied for four grants and were successful on three. Those projects are: $20,000 for a translation program that will fund translation services for park maps, information sheets, monuments/signs and more;  $34,000 for a learn to bike program; $52,500 for an augmented reality trail program at Bunker Hills Regional Park. For more information on this item, click HERE.

Legacy Funding Allocated for Parks Projects

The Metropolitan Council provides Parks and Trails Legacy funding for reginal parks. Anoka County’s Legacy allocation for 2022 is nearly $1.8 million and will cover three major projects:

$325,000 for the Bunker Hills Activity Center roof replacement and drainage improvements; $1,345,539 for the Rice Creek Chain of Lakes Park Reserve park entrance road and boat launch improvements, as well as park enhancements to the beach area; and $125,000 for natural resources management and parks maintenance at the county’s regional parks and system. For more information on this item, click HERE.

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July 27, 2021

Press Release
County Board Brief

July 27 Proclaimed County Staff Appreciation Day 

The board proclaimed July 27 County Staff Appreciation Day. This was a recognition of all county staff statewide, as Governor Walz chose July 27 to acknowledge the exemplary efforts of county staff, particularly during the pandemic. Anoka County has 1,800 full-time staff, over 100 regular part-timers, and in excess of 400 employees work for the county seasonal basis. Over the course of the pandemic, Anoka County staff stepped up their efforts to provide professional, timely service delivery. To watch the presentation on this item, click HERE. 

‘Love Where you Live’ Campaign Introduced

Commissioner Scott Schulte, chair, Anoka County Board of Commissioners, briefly introduced Anoka County’s newest campaign: Love Where you Live. . The idea of this campaign is to encourage our residents to shop, work and enjoy recreation activities in our county –– in essence to support and love where they live. Supporting our local communities is always important, but it’s especially vital now, when so many businesses are still struggling to rebound from the pandemic. Anoka County, through this campaign, will certainly be taking the opportunity to remind people about the importance of investing in where they live. To watch the presentation on this item, click HERE.

Agreement Entered for Highway 10 Improvements

Anoka County entered into a professional services agreement amendment as a sub-client with the City of Anoka for professional services related to the proposed interchange improvement on U.S. Highway 10/169 at the intersection of West Main Street, Fairoak and Thurston avenues in the City of Anoka. For more information on this item, click HERE. To watch the video on this item, click HERE. 

New Jail Management, Warrants, Civil Process Software Purchased 

The board approved a purchase of services agreement with Charter Services for new Jail Management, Warrants, and Civil Processes Software with for the Anoka County Sheriff’s Office. The county’s current software is functionally obsolete and does not meet current needs and standards. Charter Solutions will draft a request for proposal for the replacement of the software utilizing outside resources as necessary to ensure an appropriate vendor is selected to provide replacement software. For more information on this item, click HERE.

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July 13, 2021

Press Release
County Board Brief

July 20-25 is the Anoka County Fair 

After a hiatus last year due to the pandemic, the Anoka County Fair is back and scheduled to run Tuesday, July 20, through Sunday, July 25. The board invited Mike Ahlers, president of the Anoka County Fair Board, to talk about what to expect at this year’s fair. Commissioner Scott Schulte, chair, Anoka County Board of Commissioners, also noted that the public is invited to attend the flag raising ceremony at noon on the first day of the fair. To watch the video on this item, click HERE. 

Affirmative Action Policy Statement Adopted

The board adopted a resolution of affirmative action in employment and equal opportunity policy statement. This statement reflects that Anoka County is committed to the principles of equal employment opportunity. To read the full statement, click HERE.

Employee Engagement and Inclusion Committee Established

The board adopted a resolution establishing the Employee Engagement and Inclusion Committee; this action dissolved the Focus Communications Program and restructured the Diversity and Inclusion Committee. The Employee Engagement and Inclusion Committee will perform expanded duties and functions, as assigned, aimed at promoting diversity in hiring and retention and promoting respect, inclusion, employee engagement, and employee morale within the workplace. For more information on this item, click HERE. To watch the video on this item, click HERE.

MnDOT funding Sought for Enhanced Mobility Study

The board approved a grant funding application to MnDOT to study transportation services for enhanced mobility of seniors and individuals with disabilities. For more information on this item, click HERE.

Anoka County Receives Highest Possible Rating in Audit Report

The Office of the State Auditor reviewed the 2020 Management and Compliance Report for Anoka County and gave the county an unmodified opinion, which is the highest rating attainable. There were no reported concerns. To watch the video on this item, click HERE.

Parks Selling Firewood in September, October

Due to a surplus of firewood from the Anoka County Parks forest management operations, Parks will be selling fireplace cords of wood (1/3 of a full cord) during September and October. Each cord will be $90, and those who purchase must load and haul the wood away themselves. For more information on this opportunity, visit anokacountyparks.com To watch the video on this item, click HERE.

Chomonix Golf Course Doing Well After 3-Year Improvement Plan 

The board received an update on the status of Chomonix Golf Course in Lino Lakes from Parks Director Jeff Perry. The course is at the end of a 3-year improvement plan, and it’s doing well: revenues are up, expenditures are down, and there is a demonstration of success and stability in the current operations at Chomonix. To watch the video on this item, click HERE.

Candidate Filings begin July 27

Commissioner Mandy Meisner noted that the 2021 municipal and school district candidate filing period opens July 27. To watch the video on this item, click HERE.

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June 25, 2021

News
County Board Brief

Several Resolutions Approved Regarding Ramsey Gateway Project 

The board approved several resolutions related to the acquisition of right-of-way for the Ramsey Gateway Project, all which concern intersections along U.S. Highways 10 and 169 in the City of Ramsey. For more information on this item, click HERE. To watch the video on this item, click HERE.

OpenGov Budget and Transparency System Renewed

The board approved the renewal of the OpenGov Budget and Transparency System through Dec. 31, 2024. Over the past six years, the county has implemented various components of OpenGov, such as the transparency platform, budget builder, workforce planner, performance measures, and more. For more information on this item, click HERE. To watch the video on this item, click HERE.

Grant Accepted for Auto Theft Prosecutor 

The board accepted a grant in the amount of $193,859 to be used for an auto theft prosecutor and related training expenses. This is the first time Anoka County has applied for and received this grant. Due to auto thefts increasing 33 percent in 2020, the county applied for this grant to help with the prosecution of these crimes. For more information in this item, click HERE. To watch the video on this item, click HERE.

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June 22, 2021

Press Release
County Board Brief

Several Resolutions Approved Regarding Ramsey Gateway Project 

The board approved several resolutions related to the acquisition of right-of-way for the Ramsey Gateway Project, all which concern intersections along U.S. Highways 10 and 169 in the City of Ramsey. For more information on this item, click HERE. To watch the video on this item, click HERE.

OpenGov Budget and Transparency System Renewed

The board approved the renewal of the OpenGov Budget and Transparency System through Dec. 31, 2024. Over the past six years, the county has implemented various components of OpenGov, such as the transparency platform, budget builder, workforce planner, performance measures, and more. For more information on this item, click HERE. To watch the video on this item, click HERE.

Grant Accepted for Auto Theft Prosecutor 

The board accepted a grant in the amount of $193,859 to be used for an auto theft prosecutor and related training expenses. This is the first time Anoka County has applied for and received this grant. Due to auto thefts increasing 33 percent in 2020, the county applied for this grant to help with the prosecution of these crimes. For more information in this item, click HERE. To watch the video on this item, click HERE.

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June 8, 2021

Press Release
County Board Brief

Contract Approved for Coon Rapids Blvd./Blackfoot St. Design

The board approved a professional services contract with SEH, Inc. for the preliminary and final design services for intersection improvements on Coon Rapids Boulevard at Blackfoot Street in the City of Coon Rapids. The project proposes to update existing pedestrian accommodations to current ADA standards and reconstruct the existing traffic signal. The signal reconstruction will include the addition of flashing yellow arrow capability. For more information on this item, click HERE.

Special PACE Program Assessment Adopted 

In December of 2019, Anoka County entered into a joint powers agreement with the Port Authority of the City of St. Paul to establish a Property Assessed Clean Energy Program in Anoka County for commercial property owners to finance energy efficiency and conservation improvements to property through the use of special assessments under PACE. Anoka County recently received an eligible application for the program from Coventry Properties of Spring Lake Park. For more information on this item, click HERE.

Resolution Adopted for Issuance of County Park Deer Permits 

The board adopted a resolution allowing the issuance of archery deer hunting permits for the 2021 deer management program in Bunker Hills Regional Park and Rice Creek Chain of Lakes Park Reserve for the months of October, November and December. The aim of this program is to manage the deer population in these parks to reduce the amount of deer/vehicle accidents, lessen overgrazing of the natural habitat and to reduce the spread of disease within the local deer herds. For more information on this item, click HERE. To watch the video on this item, click HERE.

Heat Issues at Bunker Beach Water Park Addressed

Opening day, June 5, at Bunker Beach Water Park in Coon Rapids saw many visitors, and some of them needed medical attention due to the heat. Commissioner Mike Gamache, chair of the Parks Committee, addressed this situation at the meeting, and he noted following the heat-related incidents, Anoka County Parks now offers tent shading to visitors waiting in line to get into the water park and cold water. To watch the video on this item, click HERE.

Banfill-Locke Center for the Arts Funded through 2021

The board renewed its purchase of service agreement with the Banfill-Locke Center for the Arts in Fridley through the end of 2021. Due to financial issues, the board will be revisiting this agreement in 2022. To watch the video on this item, click HERE.

Two Public Safety Grants Approved

The board approved the State of Minnesota Annual County Boat and Water Safety Grant Agreement and a Violent Crime Enforcement Teams grant. The first grant will provide reimbursement for patrol enforcement, search and rescue, watercraft inspection, issuance of temporary structure and event permits, waterway marking, and accident investigations. The second grant will help with funding the Violent Crimes Program that combats drug abuse and related violent criminal activities. For more information on these items, click HERE.

Read Press Release

June 2, 2021

Press Release
County Board Brief

Contract Approved for Coon Rapids Blvd./Blackfoot St. Design

The board approved a professional services contract with SEH, Inc. for the preliminary and final design services for intersection improvements on Coon Rapids Boulevard at Blackfoot Street in the City of Coon Rapids. The project proposes to update existing pedestrian accommodations to current ADA standards and reconstruct the existing traffic signal. The signal reconstruction will include the addition of flashing yellow arrow capability. For more information on this item, click HERE.

Special PACE Program Assessment Adopted 

In December of 2019, Anoka County entered into a joint powers agreement with the Port Authority of the City of St. Paul to establish a Property Assessed Clean Energy Program in Anoka County for commercial property owners to finance energy efficiency and conservation improvements to property through the use of special assessments under PACE. Anoka County recently received an eligible application for the program from Coventry Properties of Spring Lake Park. For more information on this item, click HERE.

Resolution Adopted for Issuance of County Park Deer Permits 

The board adopted a resolution allowing the issuance of archery deer hunting permits for the 2021 deer management program in Bunker Hills Regional Park and Rice Creek Chain of Lakes Park Reserve for the months of October, November and December. The aim of this program is to manage the deer population in these parks to reduce the amount of deer/vehicle accidents, lessen overgrazing of the natural habitat and to reduce the spread of disease within the local deer herds. For more information on this item, click HERE. To watch the video on this item, click HERE.

Heat Issues at Bunker Beach Water Park Addressed

Opening day, June 5, at Bunker Beach Water Park in Coon Rapids saw many visitors, and some of them needed medical attention due to the heat. Commissioner Mike Gamache, chair of the Parks Committee, addressed this situation at the meeting, and he noted following the heat-related incidents, Anoka County Parks now offers tent shading to visitors waiting in line to get into the water park and cold water. To watch the video on this item, click HERE.

Banfill-Locke Center for the Arts Funded through 2021

The board renewed its purchase of service agreement with the Banfill-Locke Center for the Arts in Fridley through the end of 2021. Due to financial issues, the board will be revisiting this agreement in 2022. To watch the video on this item, click HERE.

Two Public Safety Grants Approved

The board approved the State of Minnesota Annual County Boat and Water Safety Grant Agreement and a Violent Crime Enforcement Teams grant. The first grant will provide reimbursement for patrol enforcement, search and rescue, watercraft inspection, issuance of temporary structure and event permits, waterway marking, and accident investigations. The second grant will help with funding the Violent Crimes Program that combats drug abuse and related violent criminal activities. For more information on these items, click HERE.

Read Press Release

May 25, 2021

Press Release
County Board Brief

Board Receives Update on Columbia Heights TIF Plan

The board received an update from Columbia Heights Community Development Director Aaron Chirpich about the proposed establishment of the Alatus tax increment financing district, located near Central and 44th avenues. This is a 13-acre site, and Columbia Heights has marked it for redevelopment. To watch the video on this item, click HERE. For more information on this item, click HERE.

Contract Approved with HR Company for Classification, Compensation Work

Anoka County is required by state statute to have an employee classification system in place. The system in place today was introduced 35 years ago. Helios HR will be working with Anoka County to build a new job framework. For more information on this item, click HERE. To watch the video on this item, click HERE.

Armstrong/Sunfish Lake Improvements Planned

The board adopted a resolution authorizing acquisition of right-of-way for the reconditioning of Bunker Lake Boulevard from Armstrong Boulevard to Sunfish Lake Boulevard, in the City of Ramsey. Proposed improvements include constructing designated turn lanes, increasing the length of the merge lanes, restricting left turning movements at designated locations and driveways, and installing a traffic signal system along with other modifications at the Sunwood Avenue intersection. This project is scheduled for construction in late summer of 2021. For more information on this item, click HERE.

Contract Approved for Emergency Preparedness

The county board approved a grant renewal contract with the Minnesota Department of Health in the amount of $230,051 for public health and emergency preparedness. Since September of 2002, emergency preparedness funding has been made available to local public health departments. This year’s grant responsibilities are anticipated to again focus on COVID-19 response. For more information on this item, click HERE.

Reentry and Halfway Housing Funding Received 

The board entered into a contract with the Minnesota Department of Corrections for reentry and halfway housing funding to temporarily house up to six homeless offenders released from prison at the Anoka County Workhouse. This funding will be up to $45,000. Supportive housing helps reduce the risk of recidivism for individuals under correctional supervision. Participants will be provided room and board for approximately 60 days or until stable housing can be obtained. For more information on this item, click HERE.

COVID-19 Supplemental Grant Received  

The board accepted a COVID-19 supplemental grant from the Minnesota Department of Public Safety in the amount of $70,620 to support staffing resources that allow Anoka County Emergency Management to support the county’s coordinated COVID-19 response. For more information on this item, click HERE.

Property Insurance Renewed 

Anoka County renewed its property insurance through the Chubb Group, for a premium of $478,354. Other carriers the county researched indicated higher premiums for property insurance, so there was no incentive to change carriers at this time. For more information on this item, click HERE.

Read Press Release

May 25, 2021

Press Release
County Board Brief

Board Receives Update on Columbia Heights TIF Plan

The board received an update from Columbia Heights Community Development Director Aaron Chirpich about the proposed establishment of the Alatus tax increment financing district, located near Central and 44th avenues. This is a 13-acre site, and Columbia Heights has marked it for redevelopment. To watch the video on this item, click HERE. For more information on this item, click HERE.

Contract Approved with HR Company for Classification, Compensation Work

Anoka County is required by state statute to have an employee classification system in place. The system in place today was introduced 35 years ago. Helios HR will be working with Anoka County to build a new job framework. For more information on this item, click HERE. To watch the video on this item, click HERE.

Armstrong/Sunfish Lake Improvements Planned

The board adopted a resolution authorizing acquisition of right-of-way for the reconditioning of Bunker Lake Boulevard from Armstrong Boulevard to Sunfish Lake Boulevard, in the City of Ramsey. Proposed improvements include constructing designated turn lanes, increasing the length of the merge lanes, restricting left turning movements at designated locations and driveways, and installing a traffic signal system along with other modifications at the Sunwood Avenue intersection. This project is scheduled for construction in late summer of 2021. For more information on this item, click HERE.

Contract Approved for Emergency Preparedness

The county board approved a grant renewal contract with the Minnesota Department of Health in the amount of $230,051 for public health and emergency preparedness. Since September of 2002, emergency preparedness funding has been made available to local public health departments. This year’s grant responsibilities are anticipated to again focus on COVID-19 response. For more information on this item, click HERE.

Reentry and Halfway Housing Funding Received 

The board entered into a contract with the Minnesota Department of Corrections for reentry and halfway housing funding to temporarily house up to six homeless offenders released from prison at the Anoka County Workhouse. This funding will be up to $45,000. Supportive housing helps reduce the risk of recidivism for individuals under correctional supervision. Participants will be provided room and board for approximately 60 days or until stable housing can be obtained. For more information on this item, click HERE.

COVID-19 Supplemental Grant Received  

The board accepted a COVID-19 supplemental grant from the Minnesota Department of Public Safety in the amount of $70,620 to support staffing resources that allow Anoka County Emergency Management to support the county’s coordinated COVID-19 response. For more information on this item, click HERE.

Property Insurance Renewed 

Anoka County renewed its property insurance through the Chubb Group, for a premium of $478,354. Other carriers the county researched indicated higher premiums for property insurance, so there was no incentive to change carriers at this time. For more information on this item, click HERE.

Read Press Release

May 11, 2021

News
County Board Brief

Compact roundabout approved in Fridley

The board approved entering into a professional services contract with WSB Engineering for improvements at the intersection of Old Central Avenue and Gardena Avenue N.E. in the City of Fridley. This work will include the construction of a compact roundabout, ADA improvements, drainage system improvements, and sidewalk connections to improve safety and mobility for all roadway users. For more information on this item, click HERE. To watch the video on this item, click HERE.

Contract Awarded for Railroad Grade Separation at Foley Blvd. 

The board awarded a more than $21 million contract to Redstone Construction LLC for the railroad grade separation of Foley Boulevard, between Coon Rapids Boulevard and East River Road, in the City of Coon Rapids. Construction is estimated to begin in early June of this year and be completed in late fall of 2022. For more information on this item, click HERE. To watch the video on this item, click HERE.

American Rescue Plan Act Funding Dedicated for Broadband

The board designated $3.15 million of the federal American Rescue Plan Act dollars to match funds for community broadband projects. $150,000 of this amount is being allocated to the City of Columbus for a broadband project that will serve 188 households. For more information on this item, click HERE.

Meet in the Parks Event Aug. 22

Anoka County Parks Director Jeff Perry noted Anoka County would be hosting a Meet in the Parks event 2 to 5 p.m. Aug. 22 at Locke County Park, 840 71st Ave NE, Fridley. This event will be focused on Anoka County’s Latino community, but anyone is welcome. To watch the video on this item, click HERE.

Bunker Beach to Fully Reopen

Bunker Beach Water Park in Coon Rapids will fully reopen to the public, with a new wave pool and other amenities, in June. There will be a ribbon cutting attended by county officials and local media June 5. To watch the video on this item, click HERE.

Board Meetings Reopen to In-Person Attendance 

Last week, Governor Walz announced he was loosening some of the restrictions imposed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Consistent with that, Anoka County is opening county board meetings and management committee meetings, which take place just prior to regular board meetings, to the public for in-person attendance, starting May 25, 2021. Due to the pandemic, the Government Center remains closed except for the first floor. Accordingly, Anoka County is making special arrangements for members of the public who wish to attend board meetings in person. Information on how to attend meetings will be available on the official Anoka County website and at the top of each future meeting notice. For those who wish to monitor the board meetings remotely, web streaming and archived video of these meetings will still be available, as it was prior to the pandemic. Comments on agenda items will continue to be accepted at committee meetings, which was also standard practice before COVID-19 restrictions were implemented.

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April 27, 2021

Press Release
County Board Brief

Anoka County Employees Receive Awards of Excellence

The board recognized several county employees and groups of employees during the biannual awards of excellence presentation. The awards were submitted by fellow employees and encompassed several categories. To watch the presentation, click HERE.

Correctional Employees Recognized 

The first week of May is set aside to honor the brave men and women who work in the county’s Sheriff’s Office and Community Corrections Department. The board recognized these detention deputies, corrections officers and other employees at the county’s jail and correctional facilities. To watch the presentation, click HERE.

May 9 to 15 Proclaimed Peace Officers Week in Anoka County

The board adopted a resolution proclaiming May 9 to 15 Peace Officers Week in Anoka County. This week is to recognize the Sheriff’s Office and the 11 other law enforcement agencies in Anoka County that dutifully serve the citizens of the area. To watch the presentation, click HERE.

Longtime Employee Recognized for Work in Surveyor’s Office

The board commended Chuck Gitzen, county surveyor, for his years of service to the county and congratulated him on his upcoming retirement. To watch the video on this item, click HERE.

Sunfish Lake/Bunker to be Used as Detour Route

The board approved a resolution entering the county into a contract with the Minnesota Department of Transportation to provide payment by the state to Anoka county for use of Sunfish Lake Boulevard and Bunker Lake Boulevard. This summer, MnDOT will be completing a mill and overlay on Highway 47, from Pleasant Street to East Mineral Pond Boulevard, in Anoka. The work will require the closure of Highway 47 for about 20 days. During that time, Sunfish Lake Boulevard and Bunker Lake Boulevard will be used as detour thoroughfares. For more information on this item, click HERE. To watch the video on this item, click HERE.

Site Plan Design Services Secured for Public Safety, Correctional Facilities 

The board entered into a contract with Wold Architects and Engineers for site plan and design services related to county public safety and correctional facilities. The initial plan is for Wold to prepare up to four site plan configurations for County Board consideration in the fall of this year. For more information on this item, click HERE. To watch the video on this item, click HERE.

Funds Accepted for Dislocated Workers 

The board accepted funding from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development for the COVID-19 Disaster Recovery National Dislocated Worker grant. The grant total is $179,541. Funds will be used to provide employment and training services to dislocated workers and pay the wage and benefits for individuals who will be placed in temporary employment in disaster and recovery humanitarian jobs. For more information on this item, click HERE.

Letter of Support Given for Landfill Expansion

Due to the closure of the Great River Resource Recovery Plant in 2019, the metro region has since reached waste processing capacity, and the Minnesota Pollution and Control agency has issued an intent to review and possibly allow expansions to metro area landfills for municipal solid waste management. As part of this process, metro area landfills which intend to expand are required to submit letters of support from each of the metro counties they serve. Anoka County supplied a letter of support for the expansion of the Elk River landfill. For more information on this item, click HERE.

May Designated Mental Health Month in Anoka County

The board adopted a resolution proclaiming May as Mental Health Month in Anoka County. An estimated 13.1 million adults 18 and older in the United States have a serious mental illness, and 2.3 million youth have had a depressive episode in the past year. To read the resolution, click HERE.

Deadline Extended to Pay Anoka County Property Taxes

In recognition of the unprecedented disruption the coronavirus pandemic has caused, the board adopted a resolution granting owners of residential and non-residential properties one more month to pay their property taxes without penalty. This abatement will apply only to current year non-escrow properties with under $50,000 annual property tax owed for all properties owned by the taxpayer, excluding railroad and utility parcels. This abatement will also apply only if the first half payment is made in full by June 15. A completed application must be submitted to qualify for this abatement. This application can be found by clicking HERE. 

IT Purchase Order Approved for Microsoft Enterprise Agreement

The board approved a purchase order for the county’s Information Technology Department not to exceed $2,609.634.76 for the Microsoft enterprise agreement and server cloud enrollment. This is for the licensing of all the county’s servers, file, print and email functionality, along with all the licensing needed for the county’s PC operating systems and Microsoft Office licenses required for the county’s 2,600 workstations. For more information on this item, click HERE. To watch the video on this item, click HERE.

Absentee Ballot Video Used Throughout State

The board noted Anoka County’s award-winning absentee ballot video has been used by counties and other organizations across the state, including the Minnesota Secretary of State’s Office. To watch the video on this item, click HERE. To view the video, click HERE.

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April 13, 2021

Press Release
County Board Brief

ew Economic Development Director Introduced

Samantha Markman, whose hiring was approved at the March 23 board meeting, introduced herself to the board. Markman last served as the economic development coordinator for the City of Faribault. To read the news release on Markman’s hiring, click HERE. To watch the video on this item, click HERE. 

Board Recognizes Public Health Staff

The board took time to recognize the profound work of the county’s Public Health Department over the last year-plus. Some of Public Health’s work has included partnering with other county departments and community organizations to set up quarantine locations for those who didn’t have a safe place to isolate following a COVID-19 exposure or diagnosis; providing supplies, transportation and other guidance and resources to those affected by COVID-19; maintaining a website with vital Anoka County COVID-19 statistics; offering infection control information to businesses; and they have played in integral role in the deployment of COVID-19 testing and vaccinations. To watch the video on this item, click HERE. 

Board Recognizes Emergency Communications Staff

The board commended Anoka County Emergency Communications staff for their work. This recognition was made as part of National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week, which this year is April 11-17. To watch the video on this item, click HERE. 

April 11-17 is Severe Weather Awareness Week 

Scott Schulte, chair, Anoka County Board of Commissioners, reminded the public that April 11-17 is also Severe Weather Awareness Week. This week is designed to refresh, remind, and educate everyone about the seasonal threats from severe weather and how to avoid them. It’s also a great time to make and practice emergency plans and to build or refresh emergency preparedness kits. To watch the video on this item, click HERE. 

Part-time Positions Combined at License Centers

Two sets of part-time positions were combined to create full-time positions at the county’s license centers. This action was taken to create stability at the license centers. For more information on this item, click HERE. To watch the video on this item, click HERE. 

Engineer to Negotiate Sale of County Property

The board adopted a resolution that authorizes the county engineer to negotiate terms of the City of Ramsey’s purchase of county-owned land. Anoka County was approached by the City of Ramsey regarding the City’s desire to purchase a portion of the county’s property, as part of the city’s long-term goals of expanding Riverdale Drive to provide increased safety and mobility for Highways 10/169, and to provide access to a new development occurring on the south side of Highway 10. For more information on this item, click HERE. To watch the video on this item, click HERE. 

Parks Capital Improvement Budget Amended to Accept $500,000

The board approved amending the Parks 2021 capital improvement budget, increasing it by $500,000, to reflect additional funding for the design of the Rice Creek North Regional trail in Circle Pines. During the 2020 State Legislative sessions, the Legislature passed a bonding bill that includes $500,000 for the design and engineering of the Rice Creek North Regional Trail in Circle Pines. While this was in the Anoka County Parks Department’s 10-year forecast plan, it was outside of the county’s 5-yeaer budget process. As a result, the Parks Department had to amend its 2021 CIP to include this funding for 2021. For more information on this item, click HERE

Parks Director Details Bunker Beach Plan for 2021 Season

Anoka County Parks Director Jeff Perry provided the board with some information about the 2021 schedule at Bunker Beach Water Park in Coon Rapids. For health and safety reasons amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Bunker Beach will have reduced capacity limits for the 2021 season, with two sessions per day. A morning/early afternoon session will be capped at 550 participants, as will the afternoon/early evening session. Cardio club, which usually allows 160 participants, will allow 130 this year, to allow for social distancing. Other COVID-19 safety measures will also be implemented at the water park. Bunker Beach will open for the season June 6. To watch the video on this item, click HERE.

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February 23, 2021

Press Release
County Board Brief

Board Reclassifies Economic Development Position

Following the departure of Anoka County’s economic development specialist, the board reclassified the job as an economic development director position. The economic development specialist position was created in 2018, and over the last several years, the position has grown significantly, and the work being performed has had a tremendous impact on the growth of the community in Anoka County –– these factors led to the reclassification. For more information on this item, click HERE. To watch the video on this item, click HERE.

New Positions Approved for Employee Relations

Due to the high volume of work being handled by the county’s Employee Relations department, the board approved the addition of five new positions –– two business analysts, one master data analyst, and two employee relations consultants. For more information on this item, click HERE. To watch the video on this item, click HERE.

Transportation Items Approved

Several transportation items were approved, including a resolution of support for Linwood Township’s local road improvement program (LRIP) grant application for the Martin Lake Road improvement project, and a similar resolution of support for Nowthen’s LRIP grant application for the reconstruction of 185th Avenue NW and Jasper Street NW. For more information on these items, click HERE.

Board Authorizes U.S. Department of Justice Grant Application

The board authorized the county to apply for and accept the Second Chance Act Addressing the Needs of Incarcerated Parents and their Minor Children Program from the U.S. Depatment of Justice. This grant of up to $300,000 would help Anoka County facilities create child-friendly spaces and increase safety for children who are visiting incarcerated parents, and it would also be used to implement strategies that strengthen the relationships between incarcerated parents and their children. For more information on this item, click HERE.

Opioid Crisis Grant Accepted

The board accepted funds for the National Health Emergency Dislocated Worker Grant from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED). The grant total is for $360,000. The primary focus of this grant funding will be to hep individuals affected by the opioid crisis through integrated career exploration, employment, reemployment and training, on-the-job training and support services. For more information on this item, click HERE.

DNA Backlog Grant Approved

The board approved the execution of the DNA Capacity Enhancement for Backlog Reduction Program Grant between the Office of Justice Programs and Anoka County. The grant fund will enhance the capabilities of the Midwest Regional Forensic Laboratory’s Biology Section and assist in reducing the time required to complete DNA requests for services. For more information on this item, click HERE.

Donation from Federal Premium Ammunition Accepted

The board accepted a donation to the Anoka County Sheriff’s Office of 283 cases of 9mm blanks, 437 cases of 556 simunitions, 69 cases of 9mm simunitions and a box of simunition rifle bolts to convert live rifles into simulation firing rifles. These donations will be used for training purposes for the Sheriff’s Office. For more information on this item, click HERE.

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February 9, 2021

Press Release
County Board Brief

Several Transportation Items Approved

The board voted to approve multiple transportation items. Those items include:

  1. A contract amendment for design services for the reconstruction of Foley Boulevard, from East River Road to Coon Rapids Boulevard in Coon Rapids.
  2. A joint powers agreement with the City of Anoka for a countywide overlay program on 7th Avenue from Buchanan Street to a point about 600 feet north of 38th Lane in Anoka.
  3. A contract agreement for the reconstruction of Birch Street from Hokah Drive to 550 feet east of West Shadow Lake Drive in Lino Lakes.
  4. A contract for improvements at the intersection of Highway 47 and Bunker Lake Boulevard in the cities of Anoka and Ramsey.
  5. A joint powers agreement with the Metropolitan Council for parking lot revisions at the Coon Rapids park and ride facility along Foley Boulevard.

For more information on these items, click HERE. To watch the video on these items, click HERE.

County Accepts Gift from Coon Lake Improvement Association

The board accepted a $500 donation from the Coon Lake Improvement Association. This money will be used to assist in electrical panel upgrades for the east bay of Coon Lake, which will help with conservation efforts at the lake by allowing a second aerator to be installed. This aerator will improve oxygen levels in the lake during the wintertime.

Parks Director Provides Update on Record Year at Chomonix Golf Course

Anoka County Parks Director Jeff Perry provided the board with a brief update on the 2020 golf season at Chomonix Golf Course in Lino Lakes. Last year proved to be a banner year, with a record amount of golf played at the course. To watch the presentation, click HERE.

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December 1, 2020

News
Collaboration Leads the Anoka County Finance Team to Success

As Cory Kampf describes it, he and his financial leadership team in Anoka County, Minnesota, have been on a “journey of change together” since he joined the county as Finance and Central Services Division manager in October 2014. The team’s focus on creating an organizational culture of collaboration and empowerment in order to develop better, more efficient ways of doing things is showing great signs of success and has enabled it to adapt to the changes brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Read the full article below.

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December 6, 2019

News
2020 Levy Pared Down from Preliminary Amount

December 6, 2019

Contact: Erik Thorson, Communications Director, 763-324-4612, or e-mail: Erik.Thorson@co.anoka.mn.us

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

2020 Levy Pared Down from Preliminary Amount

The Anoka County Board of Commissioners approved a property tax levy increase of 3.97 percent during the board’s meeting Dec 6.

In September, the board adopted a preliminary budget that met the county’s goals and resulted in a 4.97 percent levy increase. At that time, commissioners directed county management to continue looking for more opportunities to reduce the levy. Staff found creative solutions to lower the levy, and this led to a final amount that is an entire percentage point lower than the preliminary levy.

Budget priorities for 2020 include public safety, cyber security and preserving and maintaining the current level of county services. The levy pays for about a third of the county’s operational costs. The rest of the county’s budget comes from other sources, such as fees and state and federal grants.

“This final levy is the result of hard work and ingenuity,” said Scott Schulte, chair, Anoka County Board of Commissioners. “Staff took what was already a modest preliminary levy and reworked it to lower the amount, which is a testament to their expertise and dedication to serving our taxpayers in a respectful, innovative and fiscally responsible manner.”

One of the main budget items in public safety was hiring more 911 operators. This action was in response to the volume of calls that come into Anoka County Central Communications. Anoka County’s dispatchers field more than 300,000 calls per year. Having an adequately staffed Central Communications center is important to ensure calls are answered in a prompt fashion and emergency services are rapidly dispatched, when they are needed.

Cyber security is of vital importance for every household and business, and Anoka County is no different. Protecting sensitive county data is vital, especially given the amount of intrusions, ransomware and other threats Anoka County faces daily. Every day, the county’s firewall blocks an average of 3.68 million access attempts from “untrusted” sources outside of the U.S. and Canada. Keeping up to date with the most recent security software and employing staff who can recognize and eliminate security issues is essential.

You can explore the Anoka County 2020 Budget in detail at www.anokacounty.us/budget.

Note: Anoka County only has authority over the county portion of the property tax bill; cities and school districts have their own taxing authority.

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October 29, 2019

News
HRA to refund bonds to save money

The Anoka County Housing & Redevelopment Authority (HRA) will refund two senior housing bonds that  are linked to three senior housing projects that they one: 

1. Savannah Oaks - City of Ramsey

2. Oaks of Lake George - City of Oak Grove 

3. Chauncey Barrett Gardens - Centerville

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September 9, 2019

News
County Hires consultant for intersection project

Design of Reconstruction Project for intersection of Bunker Lake Blvd (CSAH 116) and Highway 47 in the cities of Anoka  and Ramsey.

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News
County to Remodel Centennial Library

County Board awards Contract for Centennial Library Remodeling Project.

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