COMMUNICATIONS AND NEWS FROM THE WEEK: September 30, 2022
Meetings and Announcements:
The next regular City Council Meeting will be on Monday, October 10th. We will have a closed session to discuss the Compensation Study at 5:30 and then Commission Interviews for Park and Rec and HPC. There are three applicants and one opening on each Commission.
Our City Council meeting will follow at 7pm.
Advancing cultural agility work
I’d like to thank members of the SMT and MORE Team who met earlier this week to review the Community Inclusiveness goals in our City’s strategic plan. We looked at hiring practices, job descriptions and reaching out to people that have the skills needed to work in a diverse community. There will be an update on the DEI plan at the Council meeting on October 10th.
- Officer Noah Swetala
- Chief Michael Mondor
- Officer Benjamin Geiselhart
- Firefighter-Paramedic Ray Crawford
- Officer Emily Burt-McGregor
- Steve Love
- Officer Tony Gabriel
- Audra Robbins
- Officer Treana Cruz
- Julia Winkelman
- Barb Johnson
- Joe Sheeran
- Gina Kuchenmeister
- Mike Darrow
We had a nice day for the Annual Employee Picnic on Tuesday. The Fire/EMS Department hosted this year. Thanks to all of the staff involved in the planning, especially Lois Knutson and Kayla Spande. The food was provided by two food trucks, there was pickle ball (New Mike was killing it on the net) great prizes and bucket truck rides. It is a great time to catch up with staff and enjoy the food and games.
Frost Avenue Apartment Project – 1136 and 1160 Frost Avenue
Reuter Walton’s proposed five-story, 150-unit apartment building was reviewed on September 20 by the CDRB and Planning Commission. The CDRB reviewed the site and building design. A motion was made to approve the design review for the project with some minor modifications. Members voted 2-2; the motion failed due to a lack of a majority. A member of the CDRB then made a motion to direct the developer to reduce the unit count so all parking spaces could be underground – this motion was approved 4-0. As a point of clarification, the ordinance would not allow the city to require all parking spaces to be underground. Later that same evening, the Planning Commission conducted a well-attended public hearing – approximately 16 residents spoke. The Planning Commission voted unanimously to table the item until its October 18 meeting and directed the applicant to host an additional neighborhood meeting to allow for more conversation between the developer and the residents. As seen below, Reuter Walton is sending out postcards to property owners within the city’s notification boundary for a meeting to be held at 6 p.m. on October 3.
In addition, Reuter Walton is extending an invitation to any member of the City Council, Planning Commission or CDRB to tour its project in Roseville. If interested in taking a tour, contact Michael Martin at Michael.email@example.com to get a time scheduled.
NeuroRestorative – 822 McKnight Road South
At the August 22 meeting, the City Council referred the applicant’s request for a conditional use permit for a residential rehabilitation group home to be further reviewed by staff and the Planning Commission. After the Council meeting, staff requested the applicant submit refined grading and site plans prior to any review by the Planning Commission. This week the applicant indicated they plan to proceed with their request and will be submitting updated plans. Because the applicant has waited so long the city needs a letter from the applicant stating it is extending its own review deadline. If the applicant does not submit this letter or any updated plans, Minnesota State Statute 15.99 requires the City Council to make a final decision on the conditional use permit request prior to October 26, 2022. In this case, the project will be brought back to the City Council for a final decision at its meeting on October 24. If the city does receive an extension letter and updated plans, the Planning Commission will review this project on November 15, 2022, with a City Council review to follow.
PARKS AND NATURAL RESOURCES
Fall Natural Resource Volunteer Projects
Century College Biology Lab student volunteer projects have begun for fall semester 2022.
On Thursday, September 29, Principles of Biology ll students cut fencing to make deer-protecting tree cages at Fish Creek Natural Area. They also collected native prairie seed, some of which will be used in our City Hall Campus Restoration.
Century College Ecology students are helping with seven natural resources projects this fall. Instructor Jeff Korpik incorporates service-learning projects into lab sessions for hands-on learning. Retired professor Joy Cedarleaf, who began our partnership with the Biology Department, is also volunteering this semester. At City Hall, the class scattered native plant seeds and removed invasive Canada thistle and common tansy. Extra raingarden plants at Maplewood Nature Center were collected for use at Legacy Park. Students also removed thistle and attended buckthorn identification and management training to prepare for a removal project at Wakefield Park. Students will remove invasive plants, collect native seed, clear trails and put Edgerton Community Garden to bed in the weeks to come.
MNC Buckthorn training
Thistle removal at Maplewood Nature Center Buckthorn training at Maplewood Nature Cente
Thanks to these volunteers for helping improve Maplewood’s natural resources!
Street crews installed traffic delineators to extend the effect of the island at the intersection of Barclay Street and Grandview Avenue. Residents have been concerned with southbound drivers moving over into the oncoming traffic lane to take a left on Grandview. We are trying out these delineators to see if we can help prevent drivers from taking this action and improving the safety of the intersection.
Annual Lift Station Maintenance
Sewer Crews were out last week doing annual pump maintenance on the City’s lift stations. I got a chance to see the new crane truck (see picture) in action. This is a great upgrade over the previous version. I could not believe how little effort the crane seemed to need to pull out one of the 900 pound pumps. I really like the custom tail gate that our staff, Jeff W. and Mark H., made. The original one was simply a divider that had to be slid into place by hand. The new one is attached to the truck and folds down to provide a work surface for staff to use as they maintain the City’s assets.
Congratulations to several public safety staff for attaining advanced degrees and certifications
• Ken Nielsen recently completed paramedic school with a 4.0 GPA and is now recognized as Firefighter/Paramedic. Because of his experience and leadership skills he was class captain for his paramedic cohort. cid:image003.jpg@01D8D40A.6CADCA80Ken started his career with the City of Maplewood as a paid-on-call firefighter in December 2008, he became a part-time firefighter/EMT in 2011 and was hired as a full-time firefighter in March 2018.
• Deputy Police Chief Dan Busack recently attained a Master’s Degree in Justice Administration from the University of the Cumberlands in Williamsburg, Kentucky. UC is currently ranked #7 in the nation for the best Masters in Criminal Justice Programs. Deputy Chief Busack joined the PD in 1999.
• Lt. Mike Dugas is set to graduate from Northwestern University’s School of Police Staff & Command this week. It’s “an intensive leadership and management education program” geared toward advanced law enforcement leaders. Upon completing the program, students are prepared for success in senior command positions by being better prepared to think globally, initiate and successfully complete team-oriented projects, mitigate legal risks.
This is the news for the week. Next week Mike Darrow will be sending out the FYI as I will be out of town. Enjoy the weekend. Melinda