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. 

Jul 12

July 12, 2019

Posted on July 12, 2019 at 12:55 PM by Chad Bergo

Meetings and Announcements:   


The next Council Meeting is July 22nd. The Workshop will start at 5:30 pm and there will be presentations on the Public Works Department, Community Development and Big Picture 2020 Budget.

See registration information for the White Bear Chamber sponsored Governor Walz visit below. Lois has arranged for a City of Maplewood table for 8. Please let me know soon if you would like to attend.

·         Maplewood Business Council meetings (MBC) and the St. Paul Chamber Business Education Series schedule of events is listed below:

August / 3-4:30 p.m.                                      Business Education Series – Healthcare Affordability [Shoreview]

September 26 / 7:30 – 8:30 a.m.                MBC – Public Safety Update-MCC/YMCA

October 8 / 7:30 – 9 a.m.                               Business Education Series – Benefits Other Than Pay [Shoreview]

October or November                                   Business Engagement Breakfast

December 10 / 3-4:30 p.m.                          Business Education Series – 8 Metrics to Success [Roseville]

TBD – to be rescheduled                      Business Education Series – HR practices [Roseville]


Updates from Staff and Council:




First Avenue Connection

Council member Smith, Jeff Thomson and myself met with the Dayna and Byron Frank, the owners of First Avenue and several other music venues. We met on Tuesday and discussed the possibilities of music venues in Maplewood. It was a very positive meeting and we are planning to send them information on the North End Study and meet again to do a tour of available spaces in Maplewood, including the Sears Building. They seemed interested in coming to Maplewood if we can find them the right location.





With the exception of a 20 minute downpour, it turned out to be a beautiful night for a party at Hazelwood on July 4th! There was something for everyone –3MWizards, vendor booths, a bean bag tourney, tattoo and glitter hair booths, game stations and of course giant inflatables. 

The food vendors and our event partners the Dog House Bar & Grill kept everyone satisfied with delicious food and drink. Mayor Abrams and Councilmember Neblett handed out hundreds of the famous City Council fans that were much appreciated on such a warm afternoon.

The roving circus performers(especially the stilt walker) were a hit with kids and parents alike, stopping to take photos and even dancing with the crowd. Good for Gary lit up the stage and energized the crowd with a wide array of hits and built up the excitement for the upcoming fireworks show which went off without a hitch.


This was definitely a team effort across many City Departments and we are looking forward to next year!


These are a few of the comments that were posted online after the event:

Thank you for an AWESOME show tonight!! My little family loved it.

They were so excited to see the stilt walker!

Thank you so much for the awesome celebration you put out for the community!! My granddaughters had so much fun (they are 10 & 11) & they even said the fireworks are better than the ones they saw in Stillwater!!?

We had an awesome time! Thank you for another great year!

What a great night! Great food! Great band! Spectacular fireworks! Definitely will go again next year. Thank you for a great night!

AGREED! My family said it’s the best 4th of July they’ve ever had




White Bear Avenue Parade and Fair

The rain stopped and the sun shined just in time for a great White Bear Avenue Parade. Our two newest council members, Sylvia Neblet and Bill Knutson, came through the parade in the city’s two newest public safety vehicles with Mayor Marylee Abrams. Thanks to a grant our police and fire department acquired the two ATV-type vehicles, which will help them better navigate Maplewood’s many parks and trails along with better public safety support for big events like the 4th of July Celebration.  A great crowd turned out for the parade, which also marks the kick off to the Ramsey County Fair.   




Gladstone Phase 3 Update


A lot of work has been completed on Frost Avenue between White Bear Avenue and Prosperity Avenue.  In the image below you can see the existing street width where all the construction vehicles are and how the new roadway looks with the narrowed street and the sidewalk in place.  This week the contractor is paving first lift of pavement on this section and next week they will be paving the trail on the south side of Frost Avenue.



Upcoming Meetings and Important Dates:

The following are a couple of upcoming meetings and important dates related to the Public Works Department:


·         Wednesday, July 17th – Ramsey County will be hosting the Rush Line Community Advisory Committee at the Maplewood Fire Station (6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.)

·         Thursday, July 25th – Ramsey County will be hosting the Rush Line Policy Advisory Committee at the Maplewood Community Center (2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.)


News from local sources or partners


https://www.twincities.com/2019/07/08/after-the-dnr-ended-its-frog-and-toad-survey-maplewood-volunteers-refused-to-quit/    Reference: Carol Gernes


http://www.startribune.com/maplewood-police-paramedics-launch-mental-health-team/512238992/  Reference  Ashley Bergeron, Emily Burt-McGregor, Rochelle Hawthorne, Michael Mondor, Mike Dugas, Joseph Bergeron







Jun 24

June 21, 2019

Posted on June 24, 2019 at 9:32 AM by Chad Bergo


Meetings and Announcements:   
Next Council Workshop and Meeting is Monday, June 24th.  Workshop start time is 5:30 pm. We will continue our report on the CIP as well as a presentation on the Communications Plan and Department Presentation. (please bring your CIP document).                                                                  



We will be setting up a booth at Hazelwood Park for Council and ENR use. Please contact Audra if you want to use the space. Thanks



Minnesota Deputy Registrar Grant Reimbursement

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety has awarded the Maplewood Driver and Vehicle Services Division a grant in the amount of $124,178.44, pursuant to the Special Session Laws of 2019.  The grant was based on transaction counts and is intended to reimburse Deputy Registrars for overtime and other costs incurred as part of the failed MN LARS system.  We are currently reviewing staffing and technology options to alleviate the backload of work and provide more efficient service.  MN LARS will be replaced by a new system that has been tested and proven in other states.  However, we still expect the transition to be disruptive and it is unlikely that the new system will speed up the process.  The Minnesota Deputy Registrar Association has been lobbying for a fee increase and it appeared to have some support in the legislature this year.  If this legislation passes, the increased fee will support the additional staff person that we are hoping to hire.



Wakefield Playground Demolition

Work began this Thursday to remove the old playground equipment, concrete and gravel at Wakefield Park to make room for the new and improved play environment that is scheduled to be completed by the end of August. Having Park Maintenance/Public Works Crews do this work enabled the City to get a lot more play value built in to the project.


The Communications Team created the following video to help us inform the public of the exciting changes to come.


YouTube Link (v1, 22s):  https://youtu.be/Yu5j9ZFxFwM


Movie Night at the Bruentrup Farm

It was another perfect night for a Community Event on Tuesday, June 18th! This time it was Movie Night at the Bruentrup Farm.  Gates opened at 5:30pm with the movie starting at 6:30pm. The movie shown was Ralph Breaks the Internet, which was chosen by the public through voting on social media. The 400 attendees enjoyed activities performed by our special event staff that included temporary tattoo and colored hairspray stations, a jump castle, and yard games. The petting zoo was also a huge hit where people got to play with a miniature llama, miniature horse, goats, rabbits, chickens and more!


The Maplewood Historical Society sold a ton of hot dogs, burgers, popcorn and root beer floats and Ramsey County Library joined in on the fun by signing people up for library cards and doing crafts with the kids.


Thank you to the Maplewood Police and Fire Departments for stopping by.  Participants enjoyed the police cars, ambulance and hanging out with Public Safety Staff.


The Parks & Rec special event staff did a great job leading the activities and creating a fun and welcoming environment and received many thanks and shout outs on social media from the public.

See attached photos from this event. 


Save the Date


TUESDAY, JUNE 25, 6:00-7:30PM  


Celebrate the 10 year anniversary and grand reopening of Edgerton Community Garden and the new improvements installed this past year including ADA accessible beds and water spigots. The ribbon cutting takes place at 6:30pm followed by tours

and pollinator planting that starts at 7:00pm.  Other activities include a scavenger hunt, seed art crafts and treats – fun for the whole family!  



Rush Line – Tuesday on the Trails

The following is a list of dates, times, and locations of upcoming Tuesday on Trails public engagement events for the Rush Line project:


·         Tuesday, June 25: Intersection of Bruce Vento Trail and Gervais Avenue, 4-6 p.m. 

News from local sources or partners

http://eastsidereviewnews.com/articles/2019/06/19/maplewood-council-bares-teeth-enacting-myth-security-plan  Reference:  City Council, Marylee Abrams, Kathleen Juenemann, Scott Nadeau


http://eastsidereviewnews.com/articles/2019/06/19/maplewood-approves-new-tennis-courts  Reference:  City Council  


HAVE A WONDERFUL WEEKEND. Let me know if you have any comments or questions with the Council packet or other items. MELINDA

Jun 17

June 14th, 2019

Posted on June 17, 2019 at 9:06 AM by Chad Bergo


Meetings and Announcements:  

  • Next Council Workshop and Meeting is Monday, June 24th.  Workshop start time is 5:30 pm.  We will continue our report on the CIP as well as a presentation on the Communications Plan and Department Presentation. (please bring your CIP document).                                                                                                      


Wakefield Grand Opening

We had a beautiful night for the Grand Opening/ Ribbon Cutting Ceremony. The parks staff served Root Beer Floats to attendees and put up displays about the new ADA play equipment that will be installed this summer.  Mayor Abrams welcomed guests and talked about all of the planning and coordinating involved to get to this new wonderful community park and new building.  I visited with several residents, most of which had lived a long time in the neighborhood, some 40 -66 years! Many talked about swimming and fishing in Wakefield lake and they were happy to hear about our partnership with the Watershed District to clean up the lake.  Special thanks to Audra and her staff for shepherding this project from vision to building!


Celebrate Summer Event: Maplewood Summer Challenge

It was a picture perfect night Wednesday for the first of our Celebrate Summer Events. Over 500 people flocked to Afton Heights Park to test their skills on the inflatable challenges, wrestle a raccoon, perform science experiments, learn hands only CPR and grab a hot dog with the family.  Parks & Rec and Public Safety staff had a blast interacting with the community and are looking forward to the rest of the summer’s events.  Thank you to everyone who filled our collection boxes with donations for Second Harvest Heartland and to GOGO SqueeZ and Ramsey County Health for giving out great freebies to the crowd!


Hmong Nature Walk

The first of a new series of Translated Nature Walks at Maplewood Nature Center, started out great on June 7th!

The Hmong interpreter  was recommended by gardeners at the Edgerton Community Garden and did an excellent job creating a fun, cross cultural connection with staff and participants.

Topics included woodland wildflowers, pond plants, dragonflies, and pollinators during the walk and all participants, including the instructor, interpreter, and the kids reached their goal of learning at least 3 new  nature concepts.



Rush Line – Tuesday on the Trails

The following is a list of dates, times, and locations of upcoming Tuesday on Trails public engagement events for the Rush Line project:

  • Tuesday, June 18: Intersection of Bruce Vento Trail and Frost Avenue, 4-6 p.m.
  • Tuesday, June 25: Intersection of Bruce Vento Trail and Gervais Avenue, 4-6 p.m.

News from local sources or partners

https://www.twincities.com/2019/06/14/152-unit-apartment-development-underway-at-former-country-view-golf-course-in-maplewood/ Regarding the new Trails Edge Apartment project