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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. 

Mar 25

March 22, 2019

Posted on March 25, 2019 at 9:26 AM by Chad Bergo

Meetings and Announcements:

Council Workshop and Meeting on Monday, the  25th. Workshop will start at 5:30 pm. Workshop items include the Public Safety Strategic Plan and Commission Interviews. Dinner will be available at 4:45pm.

Click to view document
March Council Calendar
Please note that the North End Study Group Meeting scheduled for March 27th has been cancelled.

Greetings from District 622
As you may know, District 622 will be holding a bond referendum election on Tuesday, May 14, 2019. The purpose of this bond referendum is for the improvement of District 622 facilities.

You are invited to attend a 622 bond info session for elected officials on Friday, April 5, from 10:30 AM-11:30 AM, at the District Education Center in North St. Paul.
If you are available to attend, please RSVP by selecting the following link 
 
Learn more about isd622 bondPlease connect with any questions. John Anderson

 

SPRWS Mediation Meeting
The mediation session will be held on March 26th.  Mayor Abrams, myself, Shann Finwall and Sergeant Nye will be representing the City at this meeting. We hoping for a successful outcome for the residents.

Rush Line BRT Project – Ramsey County Rail Right-of-Way Master Plan Workshop
Rush Line BRT Project staff will be hosting a Ramsey County Rail Right-of-Way Master Plan Workshop on Wednesday, March 27 from 3:30-6:00 p.m.  Members of all three Rush Line BRT Project advisory committees (Policy, Technical and Community) have been invited.  All members were invited with hope those folks who have a particular interest in the Bruce Vento Trail will participate in this workshop. This workshop will focus on developing guiding principles for this year's design process for the Ramsey County Rail right-of-way, where the Bruce Vento Trail and Rush Line BRT will be co-located. 

The workshop will be at Realife Cooperative of Phalen Village (1355 Phalen Boulevard in Saint Paul).

Promo Please contact Lois if you would like her to register for the conference. I am planning on attending. Melinda


Updates from Staff and Council:

 

COMMUNICATIONS

Maplewood kicked off its tree Sale Monday  

The Nature Center and communications division have teamed up to get out the word on the tree sale.  Announcements have been running on the City website’s main page a few weeks prior to the sale open. It was prominently featured in the March (and April) edition(s) of Maplewood Living.  On Monday, communications posted a series of Facebook and Twitter messages announcing the sale. On Wednesday, communications did a paid Facebook “boost” targeting people within a 10-mile radius of City Hall (it’s the smallest geographic target FB allows), who have identified as DYIs, gardeners and landscapers. We’ve been running ads on channel 16 and on the digital display boards in City Hall. The Nature Center has flyers at their facility and 1902. Communications will continue with the social media strategy through the sale and adjust other marketing as needed.

 
ADADMINISTRATION

From the  Ramsey County 2019 Assessor’s Report on behalf of Luis Rosario, County Assessor. Note that this is a preliminary report. I final report won’t be out until August.  I haven’t reviewed this fully but overall values in Ramsey County and Maplewood are increasing. According to the report the retail market is holding steady. Overall vacancies are trending lower and rents are trending slightly higher. The market value of all properties in Maplewood had an 5.85% increase. The median value of residential went up 8%. The median value home increased from $212,000. To $235,000. or 10.5%. This large increase is due to many factors, but primarily inflation catching up. Also, with the tight housing market, Maplewood is more attractive with our existing, lower cost housing stock. We typically have seen increases in the 4.5 to 6.5% range. This will have an impact on our residential owners taxes but we won’t know how much until we get all of the commercial and industrial data and the final report.

Please let me or Ellie know if you have any questions. In addition, Joe and Mike Martin responded to a call from the Pioneer Press about this report. 
Click to view document There may be a quote in the Pioneer Press.

 

Pathways to Policing Program, by Human Resources and the Maplewood Police Department-From Mike Funk

The following link brings you to an article called, “New Police Recruitment Program Increases Diversity” that is currently featured in the Mar/Apr Minnesota Cities publication from the League of Minnesota Cities.  The City of Maplewood has participated in the first two years of the program and as a result, have successfully hired 2 officers in year one and 1 officer in year 2.  For the City of Maplewood, this program has opened the door for broader recruiting beyond traditional means.
Take me there
For the entire article, click on the link.

 

Community Development Director Recruitment:  Good news, I will be announcing our new Community Development Director early next week. We are still working on finalizing the terms of employment. I am especially grateful for Stacie Kvilvang from Ehlers and Associates, our new Financial Advisors, who helped us find new candidates by reaching out to her partners in local government. Her assistance found us two highly qualified candidates that were interviewed on Wednesday.

 

COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT

Sandy Lake Neighborhood Meeting

A facilitated meeting between the Sandy Lake neighbors, Saint Paul Regional Water Services and the City of Maplewood is scheduled for this coming Tuesday from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Maplewood Community Center. This meeting is being facilitated by Aimee Gourlay from the Mediation Center with the purpose of sharing information, discussing issues, and considering whether there are mutually acceptable solutions to address concerns related to the use of the Sandy Lake site under the current Conditional Use Permit for the storage, stockpiling, and recycling of materials. Staff will update the City Council on the outcomes and next steps as a result of this meeting.

 

North End Vision Study - Working Group and Business Council Updates - Working Group Postponed 

The planned Working Group Meeting for this coming Wednesday has been postponed by the Project Team as we continue to hold discussions with key landowners in the North End. Staff is working to ensure these landowners have ample opportunity to review the city’s proposed vision drawings for the North End and provide input to be used as we worked towards a final draft vision plan. The Working Group will meet in April.

 


 

NEWS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

Take me thereReference to a new park planned for Ridgedale Mall in Minnetonka.

 

Take me thereReference to new affordable housing initiatives in Shoreview. Perhaps we borrow from their playbook.

 

 

District 622 e-news for Friday, March 22, 2019

At a Glance 

Facilities bond referendum

SPARC meeting on Monday, April 1

Project Family Connect on Saturday, April 13

Results from DECA State Career Development Conference

Community Education news

Follow the link or open the attached PDF
 to read this week's District 622 e-news: Click to view document

 


As always, please call or email with questions or concerns with this information or material contained in the City Council packet. Enjoy the weather this weekend.

Melinda

 

 

Mar 18

March 15, 2019

Posted on March 18, 2019 at 1:18 PM by Chad Bergo

COMMUNICATIONS AND NEWS FROM THE WEEK:  March 15th, 2019


Meetings and Announcements:                

Council Workshop and Meeting on March 25th. Workshop will start at 5:30 pm. Workshop items include the Public Safety Strategic Plan and Commission Interviews.

 

Greetings from District 622

As you may know, District 622 will be holding a bond referendum election on Tuesday, May 14, 2019. The purpose of this bond referendum is for the improvement of District 622 facilities.

You are invited to attend a 622 bond info session for elected officials on Friday, April 5, from 10:30 AM-11:30 AM, at the District Education Center in North St. Paul. If you are available to attend, please RSVP by selecting the following link: https://goo.gl/forms/ULH8N0GfUhFMC32p1.

You may learn more by visiting: www.isd622.org/bond2019

Please connect with any questions. John Anderson

 

SPRWS Mediation Meeting- The mediation session has been set for March 26th. The time has not been confirmed but I believe it will be 6 pm. Mayor Abrams, myself and Shann Finwall will be representing the City at this meeting. We hoping for a successful outcome for the residents.

 

North End Study Group- will be meeting on March 27th at the Gladstone Fire Station from 6-8 pm.

Updates from Staff and Council:

PUBLIC WORKS

 

Rain and Snow Melt Update: Steve Love

 

Yesterday Chief Lukin, Jon Jarosch, and myself attending a meeting with RWMWD and a number of cities within this watershed district regarding flood risk planning.  This meeting was to discuss what the watershed’s models are showing them, a discussion on what cities are seeing, and how we are able to support each other.  One of the items the watershed talked about is that the current snow pack represents about 4 to 5 inches of water.  As you know with a fast melt and rain this can some localized flooding issues.

 

PW crews and Fire crews are responding to a number of call due to the melt and rain.  Overall, we are in decent shape.  The following is a summary of some of this work:

 

  • Crews have been out opening up catch basins to ensure the streets remain open
  • Last night several of the PW crew members responded to drainage issues and were here to about 2:30 a.m.
  • We had to pump one basin in the south leg to lower the water level last night
  • Crews responded to a call on Gem Street last night and worked to open up a drainage swale to help lower water levels at the low point of neighborhood
  • Bryan Nagel, Chief Lukin, and I met this morning at Edgerton Pond.  We are planning to pump Edgerton Pond to lower the water level.  If the pumping is unsuccessful we have a plan to sandbag 3 homes next to the pond.
  • Later today we plan on pumping one low area by Roselawn Pond
  • Bryan Nagel is monitoring several areas and keeping an eye on the weather.  It sounds like we will be going back to temperatures below freezing for about a week.  If the roads do not get dried out crews will be out salting the roads.

 

Here is update as of Friday at noon from Director Love:

 

Public Work and Maplewood Fire have been responding to a number of localized flooding issues due to the rapid snow melt and recent rain.  Crews are pumping down Edgerton Pond (by the Forest Lawn Cemetery) south of Roselawn Avenue to create capacity in the basin for additional snow melt and rain.  We are posting the following letter at residential properties in this neighborhood to make sure residents stay off of the ice.

 

Maplewood Fire and Public Works are responding to a call from 1490 Sterling Street in the south leg.  The residents contacted the City because their basement is flooded and they are without heat.  Both residents are elderly with medical conditions.  Maplewood Fire is making sure that they are ok medically and that they have a safe dry place to stay until the house can pumped out and heat can be restored.  Public Works crews and Maplewood Fire are sandbagging their house and setting up two pumps to bring the water level down in their house and around their home.

 

Maplewood Fire and Public Works have been responding to other localized flooding issue in the City.  A special shout out to Luanne Cortesi, Public Works Admin, for all the work she is doing speaking with residents, entering in issues into cartegraph, and closely coordinating with Bryan Nagel on all these issues.

 

I will keep you posted on any major concerns or issues that may occur during the next several days.  Melinda-I am very impressed with Public Works and Chief Lukin and all other staff involved in the response to the water issues. Thanks to them all for the great service. 

 

 

2019 Ramsey County Public Works Projects

In 2019 Ramsey County is planning two overlay projects in the City of Maplewood.  Additionally, they will be doing pedestrian ramp improvements along these projects prior to the overlay work.  The first project is Century Avenue between Linwood Ave. and Century Avenue as shown below:

The second project will be on Larpenteur Avenue between east of White Bear Avenue and west of Century Avenue as seen in the map below:

On Wednesday, April 3rd Ramsey County and City staff will be hosting an open house meeting at the YMCA-MCC on the Larpenteur Avenue project to gather feedback from residents.  In the upcoming weeks Ramsey County and City staff will be meeting to discuss potential 4 to 3 lane conversion on several county roads.  This would be similar to what was done on Larpenteur Ave. between I-35E and Highway 61.

 Picture1Picture2

 

ADMINISTRATION

 

HPC- Heritage Service Award

Ron Cockreil Photo of City Council and Ron Cockriel recipient of the Heritage award from HPC.
 

Rush Line BRT Project – Ramsey County Rail Right-of-Way Master Plan Workshop

Rush Line BRT Project staff will be hosting a Ramsey County Rail Right-of-Way Master Plan Workshop on Wednesday, March 27 from 3:30-6:00 p.m.  Members of all three Rush Line BRT Project advisory committees (Policy, Technical and Community) have been invited.  All members were invited with hope those folks who have a particular interest in the Bruce Vento Trail will participate in this workshop. This workshop will focus on developing guiding principles for this year's design process for the Ramsey County Rail right-of-way, where the Bruce Vento Trail and Rush Line BRT will be co-located. 

 The workshop will be at Realife Cooperative of Phalen Village (1355 Phalen Boulevard in Saint Paul).

 

Community Development Director Recruitment:  With help from our new financial consultants, Ehlers, we have 2- 3 new candidates that we hope to interview on Wednesday, the 20th. I have done 3 informational interviews this week and were impressed with their qualifications and experience. I will let you know how this plays out next week. I hope we have success with this recruitment.

 

NEWS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

Rice Larpenteur – Reference: Mayor Marylee Abrams

White Bear Ave Closure – Reference: Maplewood Police

  

Melinda


Mar 12

March 8, 2019

Posted on March 12, 2019 at 9:27 AM by Chad Bergo

COMMUNICATIONS AND NEWS FROM THE WEEK:  March 8, 2019


Meetings and Announcements:     

              

More Snow!  The Public Works crews have been out making room for more snow removal predicted for Saturday into Sunday.  If it is as bad as predicted our crews may just make one pass on most local streets so that everyone has access and then go back and clean up as able.   The Public Works crews have been out making room for more snow removal predicted for Saturday into Sunday.  If it is as bad as predicted our crews may just make one pass on most local streets so that everyone has access and then go back and clean up as able. 

I have been told that the HPC is serving cake and coffee at 6:45 in the lobby to celebrate the 2018 Heritage Award Winner. This year Ron Cockriel will receive the award. and coffee at 6:45 in the lobby to celebrate the . This year Ron Cockriel will receive the award.

The Council Calendar for March is Attached. I have now added the Advisory Commission Schedule for your reference.. I have now added the Advisory Commission Schedule for your reference.

 

Greetings from District 622

As you may know, District 622 will be holding a bond referendum election on Tuesday, May 14, 2019. The purpose of this bond referendum is for the improvement of District 622 facilities.

You are invited to attend a 622-bond info session for elected officials on Friday, April 5, from 10:30 AM-11:30 AM, at the District Education Center in North St. Paul. If you are available to attend, please RSVP by selecting the following link

You may learn more by visiting the District’s site.

Please connect with any questions. John Anderson

 

Republic Services, Maplewood’s residential trash hauler, would like to invite the Maplewood City Council to their Open House on Wednesday, March 13,  Maplewood’s residential trash hauler, would like to invite the Maplewood City Council to their Open House on Wednesday, March 13, 2019 from 11 am – 2 pm.  During the Open House the City Council will receive a tour of their Recycling Center and Pine Bend Landfill in Inver Grove Heights.  Pizza and refreshments will be served.  RSVP to Romack Franklin, Municipal Services Manager, at 651-286-4575. 

Republic Services Open House

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

11 am – 2 pm

Recycling Center/Pine Bend Landfill

2797 E. 117th Street Street

Inver Grove Heights, MN 55076

 

Maplewood’s organized residential trash system requires that Republic Services dispose of trash at the Ramsey/Washington Recycling and Energy Center.  At the Recycling and Energy Center the resources can be handled to better recover the value that lie within the trash and divert as much as possible from landfills.  Touring a landfill is a good way to appreciate the value of our organized system which allows the City to better manage its solid waste.       

 

 

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

 

March 28, 7:30 – 8:30 a.m.  

MBC – North End Vision Study – North End Vision Study

April 9, 3-4:30 p.m. 

BES – Succession Planning [Maplewood] – Succession Planning [Maplewood]

April 25, 7:30– 8:30 a.m.

MBC – 2020 US Census – 2020 US Census

June 11, 7:30 – 9 a.m. 

BES – Traction (Chris Wright - MNUFC) [Maplewood] – Traction (Chris Wright - MNUFC) [Maplewood]

June 27, 7:30 – 8:30 a.m.

MBC – Rice/Larpenteur Alliance update and how to get involved – Rice/Larpenteur Alliance update and how to get involved

July 25, 7:30 – 8:30 a.m.

MBC  Workforce/School Districts Update

August , 3-4:30 p.m.   

BES – Healthcare Affordability [Shoreview] – Healthcare Affordability [Shoreview]

September 26, 7:30 – 8:30 a.m.

MBC – Public Safety Update – Public Safety Update

October 8, 7:30 – 9 a.m

BES – Benefits Other Than Pay [Shoreview] – Benefits Other Than Pay [Shoreview]

October or November      

Business Engagement Breakfast

December 10, 3-4:30 p.m.     

BES – 8 Metrics to Success [Roseville] – 8 Metrics to Success [Roseville]

TBD – to be rescheduled     

BES – HR practices [Roseville] – HR practices [Roseville]

 

Based on feedback from my Development Committee- Mayor Abrams and Councilmember Smith- I will be working on an updated format for the FYI. The intent is to have the most time sensitive and business items at the top of the document and more of the human interest or department news following next. This will be a work in progress so your patience is appreciated. I am also open for additional feedback if you would like to share that with me.  I will be enlisting the help of Joe to help on the design.                                                       

 

                                                                                                                 


Updates from Staff and Council:

 

ADMINISTRATION

 

New street lights have been installed at the pedestrian crossing at the apartments on McKnight Road. This was the crossing where a pedestrian was killed last fall. We had great cooperation here to get this accomplished quickly through our partners at Ramsey County and City of St. Paul.  have been installed at the pedestrian crossing at the apartments on McKnight Road. This was the crossing where a pedestrian was killed last fall. We had great cooperation here to get this accomplished quickly through our partners at Ramsey County and City of St. Paul. Thanks Councilmember Smith and Steve Love for your assist with this as well.

 
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Londin Lane Fire Station- Today I signed an Exclusive Rights Agreement (ERA) for the property. The interested party is Jim Kellison who was the Developer for the Apartment Project adjacent to Costco. We are working on a Purchase Agreement with Ron Batty and a new appraisal has been ordered. As soon as we get the appraisal back we can finalize price and other terms of the agreement. This will come before Council as soon as this is completed. We hope the project will - Today I signed an Exclusive Rights Agreement (ERA) for the property. The interested party is Jim Kellison who was the Developer for the Apartment Project adjacent to Costco. We are working on a Purchase Agreement with Ron Batty and a new appraisal has been ordered. As soon as we get the appraisal back we can finalize price and other terms of the agreement. This will come before Council as soon as this is completed. We hope the project will start late summer. It is for 150 units of Market Rate Apartments.

 

                

COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT

 

North End Working Group Meeting, from Mike Martin

Thank you to all who were able to join us last week for our February Working Group meeting. It was an excellent discussion, and great to get your input. We discussed two “Vision Sketches,” which show two alternative visions of future development throughout the North End site and what that could look like. two “Vision Sketches,” which show two alternative visions of future development throughout the North End site and what that could look like. 

For those who couldn’t make it to the meeting, we ask you to please review the two Vision Sketches and provide feedback by end of day Wednesday, March 13th (See attached.) If you attended the meeting, and you’ve had any new thoughts or ideas since then, please feel free to send those along, as well..) If you attended the meeting, and you’ve had any new thoughts or ideas since then, please feel free to send those along, as well.

After receiving your feedback, we will work to compile the two Vision Sketches into one preliminary concept, which you will be able to review at the NEWG meeting on March 27.

 

 


 

Melinda