Ramsey County Community Updates

The seventh of bi-weekly newsletters detailing how different communities in Ramsey County are handling the Pandemic.
This week includes:

1. RCLLG Meeting Debrief: COVID Financial Implications
2. Policy Action Group Updates
3. What's New in Shoreview?

 Shoreview Community Center
4580 Victoria St N
Shoreview, MN 55126

**Conference may transition to a virtual format depending on public health guidelines .
Day 1 |  $70
Day 2 |  $110
Both Days |  $150
*includes food/beverage and materials

RCLLG members receive 20% off registration! E-mail gts@mngts.org to receive the discount code before you register.
RCLLG Members Meeting

Financial Implications & Next Steps for COVID-19
July 10 Meeting

Last Friday RCLLG held an “ Implications & Next Steps for COVID-19” virtual roundtable members meeting, with about 20 members in attendance. Commissioner and Chair of the Financial Implications Policy Subcommittee for Ramsey County, Nicole Frethem, shared her subcommittees’ Financial Implications toolkit and asked for RCLLG members' input. This toolkit was designed to help Ramsey County communities educate, communicate, and advocate to the media, the public, and policy makers on the financial implications local governments are facing as a result of COVID-19.

This meeting put a spotlight on Ramsey County’s Financial Implications Committee, a subcommittee of the Policy Action Group we’ve been featuring in our newsletters

Scroll down for other Policy Action Group Updates!
Commisioner Mary Jo McGuire introduced Commissioner Frethem, explaining how the work of the Financial Implications Subcommittee is perfect for RCLLG in helping us stay relevant on current issues. It sets the stage for future conversations.

Speaker Frethem then explained the purpose of the Financial Implications Committee and the major themes in financial implications. The representatives on the committee “serve the same people, but in different ways.” The goal of the committee is to take the understanding of financial challenges & share this picture with shareholders, policy makers, public, and media, and help them understand we all need adequate funding.

How can RCLLG help? Frethem asked for feedback on a draft provided detailing how Ramsey County and its cities have financially responded to COVID. RCLLG members are asked to answer the questions “How can we tell the story better and maximize funding? Is your city interested in collaboration? What issues should this subcommittee address?” RCLLG Members were also asked their thoughts on how they will be spending the CARES spending. Ramsey County is working on a dashboard that shows allocation of the funding.

Suggestions/Updates: RCLLG members took turns sharing examples of COVID-19 implications, plans & needs, and sharing their thoughts on the toolkit. There were suggestions in making this a living, updating document, as well as linking it to the county page. Representatives from school districts agreed that the information on school districts should reflect the unique things schools are doing, such as providing millions of meals. A visual graphic demonstrating how we can or how we are working across jurisdictions was another idea, as well as including hot links on the document.
Commissioner Frethem shared her final thoughts, including the subcommittees’ idea on having hosted websites for their info, creating visual social media tools, and more. Many questions, ideas, and comments came afterward. Check out this link to see the in-depth notes, discussion, and links to documents!

Commissioner Frethem : “We are all serving the same people. We’re doing it in different ways, but this work we’re doing for residents of Ramsey County and for our cities across counties... it’s not at odds, but it is done together.”

The Financial Implications Committee thanks you for your feedback!
Ramsey County COVID Policy Action
Group (PAG) Updates
Debrief: The 12-member Policy Action Group (PAG) , formed to manage policy issues and ensure rapid and long-term response in Ramsey County, has been operating since March. Read more about them in our first newsletter .

The group's more recent meeting was held on Monday, June 29th.
Update: Homelessness and food insecurity were central issues in the May 29 meeting. There was also a report on the court system and some of the challenges to resuming trials.

- Food Security and Basic Needs: Current efforts around food have been focused on connecting and aggregating county wide efforts through our site here .

- Local Finances and Budgets: This week, RCLLG's members meeting featured Commissioner Nicole Frethem, Chair of this Financial Implications Policy Subcommittee. See above for notes!

- Housing and Homeless: Working to adjust to new realities of care with hotel providers and/or the use of their temporary facilities. Most importantly, however, is getting the state to act on larger issues that impact more than just the County. Current public info can be found here . Other updates from the office of Commissioner MatasCastillo:
  • SEOC request: The joint request for assistance in setting up low-barrier shelter options from Ramsey & Hennepin Counties and the Cities of Saint Paul and Minneapolis was sent to Governor Walz and the State EOC on April 23rd. As of today we have not yet received a formal response from the State to our request. 
  • History Center encampment: Due to the civil unrest after George Floyd’s murder individuals living near the History Center were offered shelter in one of Ramsey County’s existing hotel shelters so that could be inside in case of protests near the State Capitol. Some are doing well in the Ramsey County hotel program, while many have moved back outside or to another shelter.
  • Staffing: Ramsey County is continuing to work toward hiring a full complement to staff our hotel shelter program and COVID respite. The City of Saint Paul has provided operational support throughout this period by reassigning some Parks & Recreation staff to roles in the hotel shelters.
  • Hotels: Ramsey County contracted with four local hotels to provide overflow shelter, including the InterContinental, DoubleTree, Best Western Capitol Ridge, and Holiday Inn. Our contracts with the InterContinental and DoubleTree expire later this month. Ramsey County staff are actively exploring new hotels for shelter contracts and anticipate finalizing contracts with them soon.
What's New in Shoreview?
Grants Awarded : The Suburban Ramsey COVID-19 Response Fund h as awarded four grants to non profit service providers to address food and housing instability resulting from the COVID 19 crisis. This fund is the organization comprised of Suburban Ramsey Emergency Coalition, the Lions, Rotary, Kiwanis and Optimists local service clubs, the Roseville Area Community Foundation and the Shoreview Community Foundation.

Grants of $5,000 were awarded to Community Support Center, Keystone Community Services, Neighborhood House and Quincy House. Funds are used for emergency food and housing crisis housing assistance and the area served by these funds are communities within the Mounds View and Roseville Area School Districts. Click here for more info.
Project Updates : Shoreview Commons improvements are nearing completion of this phase of the project. The Commons area is being very well used including a newly enhanced skateboard park which has a provided outdoor recreational opportunity, so important during the pandemic. Shoreview has also added electric vehicle charging stations at the Community Center, a new feature for center users. Read more here .
Concert in the Commons : Shoreview is beginning their summer concert series, utilizing social distancing locations for safe participation by the public. This is a popular summer activity and consequently is great news for the community and those looking for outdoor musical events. Check out the concert line-up here .
Read Ramsey County's Monthly Newsletter :
July 2020 newsletter: COVID-19 update, beaches and...

Coronavirus/COVID-19 update - County beaches and playgrounds open - Vote by mail - 2019 PAFR available - Roseville in Bloom features two county locations - Upcoming events - In the news

Read more

Wondering how you can volunteer during this crisis? Here's some ideas:

A July 10 Tweet from Visit Roseville, MN:

20 artists. 20 stories. 20 roses. Learn more about Minnesota’s sweetest art exhibit at http://RosevilleInBloom.com

We want to hear from you!

Have a story? Find out what your community is doing amidst the Pandemic and let us know.

Contact us at RCLLG@mngts.org .

If you have any questions about RCLLG, your membership, or news listed above, please email RCLLG@mngts.org .

Visit the RCLLG website and follow us on social media!
Ramsey County League of Local Governments | www.mngts.org/rcllg