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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. 

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May 29

May 25, 2018

Posted on May 29, 2018 at 11:23 AM by Chad Bergo

COMMUNICATIONS AND NEWS FROM THE WEEK:  5.25.18

Meetings and Announcements:  

Our next City Council meeting and Manager Workshop will be held on Tuesday, May 29th, 2018.   Start time for Workshop is 6:15pm. We will have the IT Department Presentation.    Mayor Slawik will be out of town so Councilmember Smith will be Acting Mayor for the meeting.  

Annual League of Minnesota Cities Conference. The conference will be held in St. Cloud on June 20-22nd at the River’s Edge Conference Center. Registration is open and is discounted if you register before April 30th.  Please let Lois know if you are planning on attending. Mayor Slawik and Council Member Abrams will be attending. I am unable to go this year as I will be at Strengths Coaching Class June 18- 22nd.

Updates from Staff and Council

ADMINISTRATION

New Staff Report Format

Staff has begun using the new staff report format for the May 29th City Council meeting.  Please let us know what you think of the new format.

Resident Email

Dear Melinda, 

A big "thank you!" to you and to your ambulance team who responded to the emergency call at my house on May 11.  The two men on the team were not only very professional; they were very kind, efficient and thought of every possible detail that needed to be considered - including what to do with the dog.

Fortunately, I was able to leave the hospital the next day and the medical issues are being taken care.  I know that I am very lucky to live in Maplewood!

Gratefully,
Judith Johannessen
1610 Woodlynn Ave E. #3
Maplewood 55109

PARKS AND RECREATION
MN Conservation Corps at Fish Creek

The Minnesota Conservation Corps (MCC) is working at Fish Creek for 4 days this spring.   They come to the site via a grant the City received from Mississippi Park Connection (MPC).  MPC was looking for woodlands within the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area that would benefit from MCC crew labor.  Fish Creek was a great fit!   Both the youth MCC crew (15-18 year-olds) and an adult MCC crew (18-25 year-olds) are working hard on the bluff top mulching existing tree plantings.   Some of the trees are 4-5 years old.  But 324 of them are seedling oaks that are part of the University of Minnesota study on the site – Accelerated Migration of Bur Oak Ecotypes for Climate Resilience.  We typically pay about $1000/day for an MCC adult crew and the grant brings them to the site at no cost to the City.   Their efforts will ensure a great start for these young trees.   As part of the grant they will be back in August and October to continue work on forestry projects at Fish Creek.

 Parks Update:

  • Cartegraph training
  • Start of Construction for Wakefield Improvements Project  
  • Two Concepts to review for the Public Art Piece at City Hall (due Wed, May 23).

Recreation Update

  • Senior Daytrip to the Ives Auditorium
  • Tennis lessons at Maplewood Heights

Nature Center

  • Wildflower walk for public along Fish Creek
  • Design team met to review Edgerton Garden concepts

Natural Resources:

  • Prescribed burn at Prairie Farm Preserve
  • MN Conservation Corp crews started 5-day stint at Fish Creek, mulching trees and fixing deer fencing

EEDD

Maplewood Rush Line Station Area Planning

Nearly 20 residents, business owners and community members spent Tuesday night identifying issues, discussing options and pitching ideas regarding proposed Rush Line BRT stations in Maplewood. The first meeting of the Maplewood Rush Line Working Group was held at the Gladstone Fire Station and discussed the proposed BRT stations at Highway 36, Frost Avenue and Larpenteur Avenue. Station area planning for the two proposed stops at St. John’s Hospital and Maplewood Mall is being incorporated into the North End Vison planning the city will be kicking off later this year.

Tuesday night’s session focused on idea generation. Attendees split into multiple groups to discuss each station and to draw on maps the opportunities, constraints and wishes each person identified as something they feel should be considered to be incorporated into the station area planning. To wrap up the session, each group reported back to the room and consistent themes were identified.  The Rush Line project team will be working with the issues identified Tuesday and will bring back station area concepts to the next meeting of the working group which will take place on July 31. 

During the day Tuesday, staff facilitated meetings with the Rush Line project team and several Maplewood businesses throughout Rush Line. The businesses identified were geographically representative of each of the proposed stops in the city.  Notably, meetings were held with St. Johns/HealthEast and the Maplewood Mall.  Both the mall and hospital remain big supporters of the proposed Rush Line project and the upcoming North End Vision planning process led by the city. 

  

Ling Becker on Workforce Development. Reminder- we hired Ling to work on a contract basis to help with outreach to the business and education communities. Here are some of the types of meetings she had so far:

  • Had 2 meetings with Modern Catheter Technologies to provide some technical assistance on business resources. She made them aware of the MJSP training grant with DEED. They will make an application in the next round. Also, working with them on the STEP Export Grant, a DEED opportunity as well. Will help them make an application when the financing year opens on July 1. They are one of those small businesses that are prime for growth but need support. There are  minority-owned company.
  • Met with Laura Keithan at HealthEast for a more informal BRE&A visit. With all the Rush Line and work around Maplewood Mall--we are trying to be sensitive to the right amount of time and engagement w/o overburdening some of the businesses. She appreciated a shorter, more candid conversation that timed well--just before a meeting to discuss Rush Line station planning.
  • I've been in touch and will meet with a dentist that wants to open up a new clinic. Will work with staff to identify some sites that might work for them.
  • Met John Slack of Perkins and Will at the HealthEast station planning meeting. Likely more meetings ahead.
  • Had a great meeting with the ISD622 folks. They are excited that the City is investing in a role that can help them connect more with businesses on the workforce issue. There are opportunities here to support their work so that it aligns with meeting business needs in the City. 

 

PUBLIC WORKS

Ramp Realignment Project
MnDot will be reconstructing and realigning the northbound I35E to eastbound TH36 ramp (see map below) this summer the work is expected to start on July 18, 2018 and end on August 18, 2018.  The realignment will improve the tight corner at the end of the ramp.  Additionally, there will be some water quality improvements added as part of this project.

 

McKnight Road County Project
The pavement condition of McKnight Road, from Larpenteur Avenue to 7th Avenue, has drastically deteriorated over this last winter.  Ramsey County has added this section of McKnight Road to their 2018 pavement project.  Last week the County held a bid opening for their 2018 project and they are now working with the contractor start the project by addressing McKnight Road first.

News From local sources and agencies 
https://www.twincities.com/2018/05/21/maplewood-child-dies-after-being-struck-by-family-vehicle-police-say/  Reference:  Cmdr. Dave Kvam                

Thanks for reading. With the beautiful summer weather I hope everyone is out doing something fun.
Monday is the Memorial Day Holiday. City Hall will be closed. Pause and remember all of the brave people who have served our country to keep us safe.

Melinda