City Manager Blog

Each week I send out an FYI Update to City Council and staff on the latest happenings within the City of Maplewood.  I would like to share this information with the residents of Maplewood, as well. 

Follow my blog if you would like to be kept up to date on the behind the scenes happenings within the City. 

Nov 17

November 17th, 2023

Posted on November 17, 2023 at 5:11 PM by Chad Bergo


Meetings and Announcements:   

  • Our next Council meeting will occur on Monday, November 27, 2023.  At this time there is not a workshop scheduled.
  • The Annual Holiday Employee Breakfast will be held on December 14th at the Maplewood YMCA. The breakfast is sponsored and prepared by the Senior Management Team and goes from 7-9 am. Hope you will join us. We also have an ugly sweater contest. 


Initial research on Translation services

As Maplewood strives to be a more “Inclusive Community,” through its strategic plan, one area where we seek to improve is ensuring our print materials are accessible in the many languages our community members speak.  

Our website is enabled with Google Translate, which allows its content to be displayed in many languages. Nearly all city policies are linked directly to a web page, allowing people to dig fairly deep into information about the city. The City’s page is also rated highly in accessibility for people with visual impairments using a digital aid.   

Maplewood will highlight the five most common languages spoken in our community and put specific translation buttons in those languages in a prominent place on the website.

In the next quarter, the MORE team will identify what .PDFs should be converted onto the web page, as a separate .PDF is not automatically translated via the Google Translate function.

Communications will work with all departments in trying to facilitate translation of flyers and other materials when requested or relevant.

In the past year, the Communications Department has identified and utilized three translation services in our area. This was especially helpful in translating our city’s annual survey into Hmong and translating fire safety flyers into Karen.  Where we run into issues is in-person verbal translations, especially for real-time word-in, word-out translation. We will need to be more proactive identifying times and meeting where that is needed, because there are few of those services available after hours and in person qualified for specific word-in, word-out translation. 

Maplewood contacted ISD 622, which uses and One takes advantage of a multi-lingual call in hotline where people can leave a message in their native language, the school can process the request and respond in the caregiver’s home language. 

For greater context: here are some general demographic breakdowns… and how that could inform translation needs in the future.  

Primary Languages Spoken in the  Homes of ISD 622 Students 


School Year


School Year 


























Pop breakdown – of the cities in ISD 622 (Maplewood-Oakdale-North St. Paul)

We do not know what the overall population’s primary language, but again, here is some context that could inform future needs.

Maplewood  – 40K (19% Asian, 10% Hispanic)  

Oakdale — 27K (10% Asian, 4.5% Hispanic) 

N. St. Paul— 12K (16% Asian, 5.9% Hispanic)

*Census QuickFacts 

**Minnesota’s Median age by race/ethnicity

Hmong – 25 years old

Somali – 19 years old

Mexican – 24 years old

White – 42 years old


**Total in Minnesota that don’t speak any or speak little English

Mexican -- about 23% 

Hmong 10K

Somali 10K 

**Minnesota Demography Office  


Emergency Sanitary Sewer Service Repair Program
Sanitary sewer service lines run from the home/building to the City’s sanitary sewer main, which is usually located in the middle of the street.  In Maplewood, property owners are responsible for any repairs of the sanitary sewer service line from their home/business to the sanitary sewer mail.  This includes the section that located under the street.  Many factors such as the type of soils, how deep the sewer main is, and if the repair is under the street, greatly impact the cost of the repair.  Repairs can range from $5,000 to $15,000 or more.  These unexpected repair costs can have a big impact on property owners.  In some cases, property owners have contacted the City because they are struggling to find a way to finance/pay for the necessary repairs.  If the property owner cannot afford to make the repairs, the building may become  uninhabitable.

To assist property owners that are faced with an unexpected or expensive sanitary sewer service repair or replacement, the City of Maplewood has created this policy and program to provide property owners with an option to finance the repair or replacement cost through a special assessment. This program is available for both residential and commercial properties. Participation in this program is voluntary and property owners have the option to arrange for private financing.  Once the repairs are completed the City pays the contractor directly.  The repair costs are funded through the sanitary sewer fund and the cost is then assessed to the property over a period of 15 years with interest.  

Attached are three forms that were developed for this program.  The first form is the policy which also doubles as instructions for the property owner.  It covers how the program works and what the required steps are through the whole process.  The second form is the application form that is submitted prior to the contractor beginning the repair work.  The third form is the completion form that is submitted after the work is done and is required before the contractor is paid by the City. 

The program was designed so that the application and approval process is quick and efficient.  These types of repairs need to be addressed in a timely manner to help property owners maintain a high quality of life in their homes and buildings. 

Manufactured Home Energy Pilot Project
Maplewood was one of two cities in the state chosen to participate in Xcel Energy’s Manufactured Home Energy Pilot Project.  The purpose of the pilot project is to extend resources and outreach opportunities to make up to 60 manufactured homes more energy efficient and healthy.  The project helps Maplewood meet its Climate Adaptation and Mitigation goal of reducing the energy burden on underrepresented populations and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.  

Manufactured home parks in Maplewood and Faribault were assessed to determine age of homes, demographics, and the willingness of park management to participate in the pilot.  Rolling Hills Manufactured Home Park was ultimately chosen in Maplewood to participate in two outreach events on October 20 and 27.  

Xcel Energy collaborated with social service nonprofit organizations, including Community Action Partnership of Ramsey and Washington Counties, to offer other resources including food aid.  No income qualifications were required in the chosen neighborhoods.  Residents participating will be offered free upgrades to heating and cooling systems, water heaters, refrigerators, floor insulation, electrical, and assistance with energy bills.  During the events, Xcel Energy and its partners offered free food and prizes.  There were translators present to assist with any language barriers.  Maplewood Police and Fire attended the events.   

Century College and 3M City Hall Restoration Volunteers
Nineteen volunteers from Jeff Korpik’s Century College Ecology volunteered at Maplewood City Hall Campus on October 12 to work on the pollinator restoration project. Volunteers collected thistle seed (to stop its spread), pulled and dug weeds, transplanted native pollinator-supporting plants and seeded bare areas north of the parking lot. They also installed scare tape to discourage geese from eating the new plants and seed.

Sara Nelson of Great River Greening led 21 volunteers on October 19, who removed 8 large trash bags of invasive yellow nut sedge that was taking over some areas. They planted the remainder of the plugs and spread native prairie seed collected from Maplewood preserves by Century College students. The volunteers installed goose tape throughout the middle section of the prairie and re-did the tape that came loose on the north side.

A total of 1000 plants were transplanted and 14 gallons of seed spread! Thank you to all involved in our continued restoration work!

Tree Planting at Edgerton Elementary School – Update from Dani LeMire, AMPACT Member
Students at Edgerton Elementary were planting trees with Mr. Wallin’s 4th grade class. They had the opportunity to learn about trees, share their favorite things about trees, and had the hands-on experience of planting 2 elms at the Edgerton fields. Students were excited about being able to visit the trees as they grow and named the trees “Johnny and Little Timmy.” Experiences like these expand appreciation towards the services that the environment provides for us, and inspire the next generation. 

Myrtle-Sterling Area Street Improvements
The Myrtle-Sterling Area Street improvement project has been completed. The final layer of pavement was installed on all project streets last week and lawn restoration was completed this week. This project included the replacement of the failing street pavement, the replacement of deteriorated concrete curb and gutter, the installation of new concrete curb and gutter on streets that didn’t previously have it, upgrades and expansion of the storm sewer system, repairs to the sanitary sewer system, and the replacement of watermain on Lakewood Drive and Myrtle Street north of Ripley Avenue. A new sidewalk was also installed along the east side of Lakewood Drive between Holloway Avenue and Ripley Avenue to improve pedestrian safety near the Justice Alan Page School. Due to some material shortage delays early in the project, some boulevard restoration work will be carried over into the spring of 2024. Likewise, Staff will be performing a warranty walk-through in the spring of 2024 to identify any items needing correction.

Woodlynn-Southlawn Area Street Improvements
The Woodlynn-Southlawn project has been completed. This project included the reconstruction of 1.75 miles of streets, upgrades to the existing storm and sanitary sewer systems, and the addition of sidewalks on Radatz Avenue and Woodlynn Avenue. Radatz Avenue was narrowed from 30-feet to 26-feet in width and included two curb ‘bump-outs’ to promote slower vehicle speeds. Woodlynn Avenue, east of Ariel Street, was also reconfigured as part of the project to better fit current and future traffic demands, promote slower vehicle speeds, and fill in the missing segments of the pedestrian network. Staff will be performing a warranty walk-through in the spring of 2024 to identify any items needing correction.

This is the news for this week. Have a great weekend. Melinda

Oct 30

October 27, 2023

Posted on October 30, 2023 at 8:08 AM by Chad Bergo


 Meetings and Announcements

  • Our next Council meeting will occur on Monday, November 13, 2023.  Currently we do not have a workshop scheduled. There may be an EDA at this meeting or on the 27th

My retirement- I will be working with Mayor Abrams to outline a process for your consideration at an upcoming workshop.  The first step is to hire a consultant to conduct the recruitment process. 

Gold Line Project Update – Century Ave Closure
As part of the Gold Line construction work that is currently taking place, the section of Century Avenue underneath I-94 in both the north and south directions will be temporarily closing. The closure is scheduled to start on November 2nd and run through November 10th.  Hudson Boulevard to the east of the Century Avenue will still be open during this time.  West bound I-94 ramps will be closed, but east bound I-94 ramps will be opened.  Detours will be signed on Conway Avenue, McKnight Road, and Lower Afton Road. 

Congratulations to Chief Mondor
Chief Mondor received  his Chief Fire Officer (CFO) designation from the Center for Public Safety Excellence.  Attached is a screen shot from Linked In. This is a pretty amazing designation that requires a lot of time and work.  I want to thank the City Council for supporting employees to participate in on-going training and education! Continuing education is great for our employees and for the city overall. Congratulations Chief Mondor.  

That’s our news for the week. It appears that winter is making an appearance this weekend -hope the Trunk or Treat event goes well. Melinda  

Oct 23

October 20, 2023

Posted on October 23, 2023 at 9:45 AM by Chad Bergo


Meetings and Announcements:    

  • Our next Council meeting will occur on Monday, October 23, 2023.  There is a Council workshop that will start at 5:45 pm. We will have an interactive demonstration of the proposed alternatives for Century Ave reconstruction and Staff will update City Council on software and other technology updates. 


People of Color Job Fair

The City of Maplewood participated in the People of Color Job Fair event this week at the Minneapolis Convention Center. This is the 10th edition of the POC event and Maplewood was one of only three suburban communities to participate.  Combined with employers, over 1,000 people participated in event on Tuesday.  Staff showcased the fact that we are a $70,000,000 local government industry-leader who employees over 170 people.  As we continue to promote our strengths-based, family-friendly organization, we met with individuals interested in learning more about our departments as well as the tremendous benefits of working here.  Participants were asked to sign into a job database.  Our Human Resources Department will be promoting available jobs as well as community events.


Ramsey County Library cordially invites you and the city of Maplewood to the Grand Reopening of the library in Maplewood on November 4 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Come and see the fresh interior, take a seat on the new furniture, and explore the dedicated spaces for kids and teens. Enjoy fun activities for all ages, including a ribbon cutting ceremony, food and music.

Please see attached flyer and feel free to print and distribute. Please let me know if you have questions.

Pa Na Lor


Deer Management Activities Planned in Maplewood 

Maplewood, Ramsey County and the City of Little Canada are partnering with Metro Bowhunter’s Resource Base for fall 2023 archery hunts in the following locations: 

  • Spoon Lake Preserve; City of Maplewood open space, October 20-22 and December 1-3. “Preserve Closed” signage was installed at trail entrances.
  • City of Little Canada properties on the south side of the city, also October 20-22 and December 1-3.
  • Battle Creek Park; owned by Ramsey County on October 9-11 and October 30 - November 1. The county will set up barricades at the entrance to Maplewood’s Afton Heights Park, to prevent entrance to Battle Creek by hikers. 
  • Ramsey County’s Fish Creek Regional Park, on Oct 20 – 22 and Nov 10 – 12. The county will install signage at the Fish Creek entrances.
  • Overpopulation of deer increases deer disease incidence, results in damage to ornamental and garden plants, high rates of deer/vehicle collisions, damage or excessive browsing to native trees, shrubs and plants and increases of invasive species.

For more information please contact Natural Resources Coordinator Carole Gernes;  

Food scrap program now available in 4 cities in eastern Twin Cities area
Maplewood, North St. Paul, Cottage Grove and Newport residents can order free food scrap bags.
By Greta Kaul Star Tribune
OCTOBER 13, 2023 — 2:10PM

This week, Ramsey and Washington counties announced their Food Scraps Pickup Program is now available to all residents of Maplewood, North St. Paul, Cottage Grove and Newport.

The Food Scraps Pickup program is a composting program for household food waste such as coffee grounds, fruits, vegetables, bones and more.

Residents in these cities can participate in the program by ordering free food scrap bags from the program website. Once filled, these scrap bags can be placed in residents' trash pickup containers. The bags, designed to survive the trip in a garbage truck, are separated from trash and sent to a compost facility.

Previously, the program was available to some Ramsey and Washington county residents under a pilot. The counties plan to roll the program out to all residents in the future.

Ramsey and Washington County residents not yet eligible for food scraps pick-up can still drop off food scraps at waste at drop-off sites.

For more information, visit the Food Scraps Pickup Program website at

Maplewood library debuting renovations next month
New features will include new furniture, acoustics and community spaces.
By DEVLIN EPDING | | Pioneer Press
PUBLISHED: October 18, 2023 at 3:21 p.m. | UPDATED: October 18, 2023 at 4:31 p.m.

Maplewood library is preparing to reopen its doors next month after closing nearly a year ago for renovations.

The remodeled library will open on Nov. 4 with new furniture, improved lighting, spaces designed for kids and teenagers, and more study and meeting spaces. Additionally, the project also addressed problems impacting library visitors such as acoustics and sightlines, as well as better use of the building’s main lobby.

The library’s return box has been operating out of a temporary location in Maplewood Mall since January, and book requests have been routed to other local libraries, according to Ramsey County Library.

The renovation project began in 2018 with community engagement on how best to reconfigure the Maplewood library. According to officials, aside from necessary upgrades due to “wear and tear,” the project was necessary to modernize the 16-year-old library.

Now, the building’s 144,000 annual visitors will have a new space in the community to find a new book, study or relax.

“The building has been reimagined and the spaces within have been designed to create a more inclusive, welcoming and equitable environment that is responsive to racially and ethnically diverse communities,” library officials wrote in a statement.

 That’s our news for the week. Please call if you have any questions or concerns. Enjoy the beautiful fall colors and weather this weekend. Melinda