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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. 

Aug 19

August 16, 2019

Posted on August 19, 2019 at 8:21 AM by Chad Bergo

COMMUNICATIONS AND NEWS FROM THE WEEK:  August 16th, 2019

Meetings and Announcements:

The next Council Meeting is Monday, August 26th.  The Workshop will start at 6 pm and there will be department presentations from  Community Development and more information on  the 2020 Budget.

Parks And Recreation Commission(PRC) Parks Tour

The PRC and staff will be taking a parks tour on August 19 from 4:30pm – 7:00pm to check out recent improvements as well as areas/facilities that pose challenges in our parks system. We will be boarding the bus at 4:15pm at City Hall, and returning to City Hall around 7:00pm. The tour will include a stop at the Wakefield Community Building for dinner. We would love to have the Mayor and Council join us and if interested, please contact Audra Robbins by email: audra.robbins@maplwoodmn.gov or by phone: 651-249-2125.

Maplewood is nominated in two Categories: Public Safety and Planning, Land Use and Public Works.

We invite you to join the Saint Paul Area Chamber of Commerce and East Metro Chamber partners on Thursday, September 12 for the Leaders in Local Government Awards Luncheon. The event is held to honor five organizations and an Elected Official of Note in the east metro who exemplify and demonstrate innovation, excellence, and success in local government. Please let Lois know if you would like to attend ASAP. Thanks.

Event takes place, Thursday, September 12thfrom 11:30 to 1:30 pm at the Vadnais Heights Commons. Finalist shown below:

Business Retention and Expansion
City of Burnsville
City of Lakeville Economic Development Department
City of Oakdale Community Development Department

Communications and Marketing
Ramsey County Communications and Public Relations Department
City of Woodbury Communications Department

Innovation
City of Saint Paul Human Rights and Equity Opportunity Department
City of Saint Paul Office of Technology and Communications
Saint Paul Public Library

 Planning, Land Use and Public Works
City of Burnsville, Community Development
City of Maplewood
City of Oakdale Community Development Department

Public Safety
Dakota County Sheriff's Department
Lakeville Fire Department
Maplewood Department of Public Safety

 Elected Official of Note
Stan Karwoski, Washington County Commissioner


Updates from Staff and Council:

Follow up to the T-21 discussion: 

The following warning had been released from the MN Department of Health Tuesday, August 13:

The Minnesota Department of Health has been alerted to four suspected cases of severe lung injury among adolescents who report vaping. Adolescents and young adults who experienced severe lung disease after vaping have also been identified in Illinois and Wisconsin. Minnesota patients presented for care with symptoms indicative of pneumonia, including fever, but symptoms did not resolve after broad spectrum antibiotic treatment. Evaluation for infectious diseases was negative in all patients. Symptoms have resulted in hospitalizations lasting multiple weeks, with some patients requiring invasive ventilation

 

https://www.health.state.mn.us/news/pressrel/2019/vaping081319.html

https://www.health.state.mn.us/communities/ep/han/2019/aug13lung.pdf

 

Town and Country MHP, LLC v. City of Maplewood

We received by e-service the attached written order this afternoon granting the City’s motion and dismissing the complaint. Let me know if you have any questions or concerns.

 

Andrea Sindt awarded new certification

Andrea was notified this week that she has received an award from the Municipal Clerks and Finance Officers Association. She has been awarded the designation of Minnesota Certified Municipal Clerk. This designation recognizes her competency in the execution of the duties of City Clerk. Andrea attended week long training sessions for 3 years to learn the material needed to attain this designation. Congratulations to Andrea!

 

RCLLG Meeting

I attended the RCLLG meeting last evening. Metropolitan Council Chair Nora Slawik spoke to the group.  She discussed various issues including transit, housing and livable communities, as well as  updates from the Governor’s office and state legislature. The presentation was informative with much of the questions and discussion focusing on the lack of public transportation in the suburbs where we have several employers and residents who need buses to get to work, school, etc.

 

PARKS AND RECREATION

Spanish Nature Walk

The Nature Center offered a series of 3 translated walks on Friday mornings this summer in Hmong, Somali and Spanish. Last Friday, several families participated in the Spanish nature walk led by  Arturo Leyva, a native Spanish speaker and Nature Center volunteer. He taught folks several words including caracol (snail) estanque (pond) and tortuga pintada (painted turtle).  Muchas Gracias a Arturo por enseñarnos sobre caracoles, estanques y tortugas! (Many Thanks to Arturo for teaching us about snails, ponds and turtles!)

 

 

COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT

Hillcrest Golf Course Master Plan

The City of St. Paul has announced that they will be undergoing a master planning process for the former Hillcrest Golf Course site at McKnight and Larpenteur Ave. The master planning process will start in October of this year with final adoption expected in March 2021. Mayor Carter will be appointing a Community Advisory Committee (CAC) to guide the planning process, and they have one or two spots targeted for Maplewood residents. The applications for the CAC are due on September 6th and is available on the city of St. Paul’s website. In addition, there will be a Technical Advisory Committee with representatives from city of Maplewood community development and public works staff. Here is the website for additional information – www.stpaul.gov/hillcrest

 

Ponds at Battle Creek

City staff attended the Ramsey County board workshop on Tuesday, August 13th. The county board discussed the 2020-2021 parks and recreation budget and the proposal to close the Ponds at Battle Creek golf course and sell the land for future development. It is important to note the county board is considering the closure as part of its biennium budget, and not through a separate public process. Residents can provide feedback online at the county’s website or at two public hearings on the budget – August 29th, 10:30 a.m. at St. Paul City Hall and November 25th, 6:30 p.m. at Maplewood Ramsey County Library.  Additional information on the budget and providing feedback is available on the county’s website https://www.ramseycounty.us/your-government/budget-finance. 

NEWS FROM THIS WEEK:
Here is an update on the shooting.  It does not reference anyone in specific:  http://www.startribune.com/charges-social-media-dispute-prompted-triple-shooting-in-maplewood/531090671/

 
Dear Friend of 622,
We would like to invite you to the District 622 Welcome Back Event that will be held at Woodland Hills on Tuesday, August 27, from 9:00 AM-11:00 AM. 

Highlights of the event include the Fusion Drumline, the Keynote address from Superintendent Tucci Osorio, and the Elementary Freedom Schools.

All the best,

Josh Anderson

  

That’s the news for this week. Have an enjoyable weekend. Melinda


Aug 12

August 9th, 2019

Posted on August 12, 2019 at 8:58 AM by Chad Bergo

COMMUNICATIONS AND NEWS FROM THE WEEK
Meetings and Announcements:   
The next Council Meeting is Monday, August 12. The Workshop will start at 5:30 pm and there will be department presentations from Public Works, Public SafetyCommunity Development; and the 2020 Budget.

Parks And Recreation Commission(PRC) Parks Tour

The PRC and staff will be taking a parks tour on August 19 from 4:30pm – 7:00pm to check out recent improvements as well as areas/facilities that pose challenges in our parks system. We will be boarding the bus at 4:15pm at City Hall, and returning to City Hall around 7:00pm. The tour will include a stop at the Wakefield Community Building for dinner.

 

We would love to have the Mayor and Council join us and if interested, please contact Audra Robbins by email: audra.robbins@maplwoodmn.gov or by phone: 651-249-2125.

 

Reminder, register now for the August 15th RCLLG Met Council Update with Nora Slawik.

Join RCLLG and newly appointed Metropolitan Council Chair, Nora Slawik, to hear an important and timely overview of what’s new as well as future plans for the Met Council, particularly as it relates to communities in Ramsey County.

Specific issues and opportunities addressed will include transit, housing and livable communities, as well as any updates from the Governor’s office and state legislature. The presentation will include time for your questions, so don’t miss this opportunity to learn more! All elected and appointed officials and staff of RCLLG organizations are invited to participate. Please contact Lois Knutson if you’re interested in registering for the event.

Thursday, August 15, 2019
Where:  Shoreview Community Center, Activity Rooms 1 & 2
When:   5:30 PM - 7:00 PM - $10/person
5:30 - 6:00 PM | Social Hour and Networking
6:00 - 7:00 PM | Met Council Presentation by Nora Slawik

 

Updates from Staff and Council

 

PUBLIC WORKS

2019 Ramsey County Public Works Projects

This week Ramsey County started work on their Larpenteur Avenue overlay projects. The project consists of Larpenteur Avenue between east of White Bear Avenue and west of Century Avenue.

 

Larpenteur Avenue will be restriped to add bike lanes.  On street parking will be removed between Beebe Road and McKnight Road to accommodate the new bike lanes.  This project is expected to be completed by Late August of 2019.

Ramsey County has finished work on the resurfacing of Century Avenue between Linwood Ave. and Century Avenue as shown below:

 

In 2021 Ramsey County is proposing to do a concrete rehab and replacement project on White Bear Avenue, Larpenteur Avenue, and North St. Paul Road (see map below).  This project is currently in the planning stage.

 

 

Mailand-Crestview Forest Area Pavement Rehabilitation
This Saturday the City’s contractor will be paving the first lift of pavement on Phase 1 of the Mailand-Crestview Forest project.  The work will include all of Mailand Street and Mary Street.  All the underground utilities have been completed for this project and project is on schedule.

 

PARKS AND RECREATION

Maplewood Nature Center Frog and Toad Survey 

Maplewood Nature Center created frog monitoring routes in 2006 and began training citizen scientists to survey frogs and toads in 2007.  To date, 43 volunteers have contributed to the program.  In 2018, for the 5th year in a row, frogs were heard at all of our 40 listening stops.  2019 reports are beginning to be turned in.  A special thanks goes out to volunteers Clair and Mike Rohweder and Dan Sadoff for agreeing to be interviewed by Metro area newspapers this season.  The latest article on our program can be found here: http://www.startribune.com/maplewood-frog-count-measures-wetland-health/514717872/.

 

 

COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT

Republic Services Billing Error

Maplewood’s residential trash customers received inaccurate bills from Republic Services this week which substantially increased their bi-monthly trash bill. The error impacted approximately 8,000 households. Republic Services has acknowledged the mistake and city staff is actively working with Republic on correcting the issues. The city posted an alert on the home page of the city’s website, and Republic sent out automatic phone calls on Wednesday, August 7th to all impacted customers. In addition, Republic will be sending letters to all impacted customers next week with corrected invoices. So far there have been no impacts to customers that are enrolled in automatic payments. Republic is working on resetting the automatic payments so that customers are not overcharged. The city will be working with Republic Services on a plan to avoid billing errors in the future.

 

Rice Larpenteur Summer Block Party

The Rice Larpenteur Alliance will be hosting a summer block party on Saturday, August 17th from 3:00 to 7:00 p.m. in the MyThrift Store parking lot. The block party will include kids activities, live music and dancing, and will highlight local businesses and restaurants in the Rice Larpenteur neighborhood. A poster for the event is attached. 

 

2040 Comprehensive Plan

The city’s 2040 Comprehensive Plan was reviewed by the Metropolitan Council Community Development Committee on Monday, August 5th. The committee did not have any concerns or questions on the city’s comp plan, and unanimously recommended approval. The Metropolitan Councilmember for Maplewood, Susan Vento, is a member of the Community Development Committee, and commended the leadership of Maplewood on the quality of the city’s plan.

 

The full Metropolitan Council is expected to approve Maplewood’s plan on August 28th. Maplewood staff will bring the 2040 Comprehensive Plan to the city council in September for final adoption which will complete the plan update process and officially put the plan in effect. Once the plan is finally adopted, staff will begin the process of making all required zoning amendments to ensure consistency between the city’s zoning code and comprehensive plan. 

 

Maplewood Mall Meeting

City staff met with the new general manager of Maplewood Mall, Paula Mueller, on Wednesday, August 7th. Ms. Mueller has worked as an on-site manager at Northtown Mall in Blaine for over 20 years and is serving at Maplewood Mall on an interim basis. City staff provided an update on the North End Vision Plan, and mall management provided an update on new initiatives that they are working on, which include additional special events, increasing opportunities for short-term and pop-up tenants, and re-facing vacant tenant spaces within the mall.  

 

NEWS FROM THIS WEEK:

Coverage of the shooting:

 

District 622 e-news for Friday, August 9, 2019

·  Back to School News & Information

·  Immunization Clinics

·  Early Childhood Screening

·  Parent Portal Information

·  Upcoming Events

·  Community Education News

Visit the e-news webpage or open the attached PDF to read this week's District 622 e-news.

 

Enjoy this beautiful summer weather!

Melinda


Aug 05

August 2, 2019

Posted on August 5, 2019 at 8:04 AM by Chad Bergo

COMMUNICATIONS AND NEWS FROM THE WEEK

Meetings and Announcements:  

The next Council Meeting is August 12. The Workshop will start at 5:30 pm and there will be department presentations from Public Works, Public Safety, Community Development; and the 2020 Budget.

 

National Night Out, Tuesday August 6

City Staff will email a revised map to you on Monday.  As of today, the party list has been updated to reflect the latest changes.  On Monday, you can communicate through Lois on which parties you’re planning to attend. Lois, in turn, will assist in coordinating where all the council members will be.

 

Parks And Recreation Commission(PRC) Parks Tour

The PRC and staff will be taking a parks tour on August 19 from 4:30pm – 7:00pm to check out recent improvements as well as areas/facilities that pose challenges in our parks system. We will be boarding the bus at 4:15pm at City Hall, and returning to City Hall around 7:00pm. The tour will include a stop at the Wakefield Community Building for dinner.

 

We would love to have the Mayor and Council join us and if interested, please contact Audra Robbins by email: audra.robbins@maplwoodmn.gov or by phone: 651-249-2125.

                                                                                                      

Updates from Staff and Council:

ADMINISTRATION

Strategic Plan - As previously reported, Mike Funk and Lois Knutson participated in a webinar that showcased the city’s strategic plan.  There were nearly 200 attendees that watched the presentation and heard about our success story to construct a high functioning strategic plan.  Additionally, we have been highlighted in a case study – which has given Maplewood broader exposure.  See attached. 

 

PUBLIC WORKS

County Road B/Xcel Update - Xcel will be working on the restoration of County Road B next week between Van Dyke Street and Ariel Street.  They are anticipating their work will be completed to the point where they will be able to open up County Road B from White Bear Avenue to Hazel Street, at a minimum, following this work.  This will restore access to City Hall from White Bear Avenue on County Road B.

 

Ramsey County is planning on doing a mill and overlay of that part of County Road B that Xcel has been working between Prosperity Road and Henry Street in North St. Paul.  They are anticipating that this work will take place towards the end of September or early October.  This will be dependent on Xcel’s schedule and the weather.

 

 

Farrell-Ferndale – Gas Service Replacement - Jon Jarosch and I met with a representative of Xcel Energy this week regarding the work Xcel Energy did in the Farrell-Ferndale neighborhood while the City’s street project was being constructed.  Xcel Energy was notified by their pipe supplier that there has been a recall on some of the gas service pipe material that was utilized on this project.  There are about 21 gas services in this neighborhood which are affected by this recall.  In September Xcel Energy will be replacing the affected gas services.  They will be notifying the residents by mail prior to the work taking place.  This letter will explain the reason the work will be taking place and provide residents with contact information if they have any questions or concerns.  This work will take place in the boulevard and yard areas.  The street will not need to be disturbed as part of the project.

 

Street Sweeping - The MPCA has guidelines on how to properly dispose of street sweeping.  To meet the MPCA disposal guidelines the Public Works Department rents a screener to separate the sand from dirt and organics.  The sand is taken to a quarry where they use it as fill material in their operations and the dirt, organics, and other materials are disposed of at an industrial waste site per MPCA requirements.  This process also save the City money as the cost of disposal at the industrial waste site is significantly higher than the cost of the sand disposal at the quarry site.

 

PARKS AND RECREATION

Nature Center Junior Volunteers - The Maplewood Nature Center Junior Volunteers program is coming to a close for the summer – what an awesome group of young people!  These 10-14 year olds helped clear the trail at the Nature Center, plant native plants in the demonstration gardens, take care of the Nature Play Yard, and more, all while learning, spending time in nature, and making fun nature discoveries together.

 

 

PUBLIC SAFETY

Maple Pond Apartments Community Outreach Event - On 7/30/19 Maplewood Police conducted a Community Outreach event at the Maple Pond Apartments on Beebe Road.  Maple Pond is a large complex of mostly subsidized housing.  The Police partnered with Fire, Recreation, Metro Transit, the Census Bureau, the YMCA, Ramsey County Sheriff, Public Works and other partners in an event that helped to build relationships with both adults and kids in the complex.  There were about 150 residents that attended and it was a great night to hear the thoughts and concerns of residents and give them information that could both assist them, and inform them about the great things happening in Maplewood.  Our next public safety community outreach event (other than National Night Out) is scheduled for the Mississippi Street Apartments on 8/13/19 where we will be spending some time with our Karen community members.

 

COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT

Trash and Recycling Contract Negotiations - Staff has been meeting frequently with Republic Services and Tennis Sanitation to negotiate new hauling contracts which are slated to begin in January 2020. These two companies were the preferred companies selected by the city’s solid waste RFP selection committee - Republic Services for trash and Tennis Sanitation for recycling. Council then directed staff to negotiate contracts with the two haulers. In order to stay within a timeline that ensures new contracts are in place before year end staff intends to bring the proposed contracts to council in September for approval.

 

Staff is satisfied with the progress being made in negotiations with both haulers at this point. If in the next week staff feels progress has stalled and we will not be able to move forward with either of the haulers we will discuss options - including selecting another hauler - with the council at its workshop on August 12.

 

2040 Comprehensive Plan - Metropolitan Council staff is recommending approval of Maplewood’s 2040 Comprehensive Plan. The Metropolitan Council begins its formal review of the plan on Monday, August 5 at its Community Development Committee. The full Metropolitan Council is expected to approve Maplewood’s plan on August 28. Assuming this schedule, Maplewood staff will bring the 2040 Comprehensive Plan to the city council in September for final adoption which will complete the plan update process and officially put the plan in effect. Once the plan is finally adopted, staff will begin the process of making all required zoning amendments to ensure consistency between the city’s zoning code and comprehensive plan.

 

North End Vision Plan - Staff will be bringing the draft North End Vision Plan to the planning commission on August 20 for its final review and recommendation. After this meeting, the city council will be asked to consider final adoption of the plan in September. Staff will then work on the implementation process of this vision which will include zoning amendments and discussions with the EDA.

 

Have a great weekend. –Mike