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. 

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Jul 23

July 20th, 2018

Posted on July 23, 2018 at 7:46 AM by Chad Bergo


Meetings and Announcements:   

 Our next City Council meeting and Manager Workshop will be held on Monday, July 23, 2018.   Start time for Workshop 5:30. We will start with a closed session to discuss potential settlement with the RWSCC lawsuit. We will also hear from Perkins and Will on the North End Study.

Celebrate Gladstone Savanna.  Please mark your calendars and join us for a community celebration of Gladstone Savanna – Thursday, August 2nd, 6:00-7:30 (flier attached).    The Savanna has become a true gem over the past several years through street, park, and history projects.  Installation of the new interpretive trail will be completed next week; it features eight signs telling the story of the site’s history and natural history.   Our event theme “A Trip Through Time” merges natural history and the site’s railroad history.  We’re looking forward to a festive time with a ribbon cutting at 6:00, a scavenger hunt to explore the site, treats, play, learning, and fun.  


Join the Rush Line BRT Project team next Wednesday (July 25) on the Bruce Vento Trail to learn about the project and share your input. Project team members will be at the trail circle just north of Frost Avenue between 4 and 6 p.m. to answer your questions and hear from you. This all-ages event will feature snacks and a fun, interactive design activity.


August 7th National Night Out- Maps with party locations and times will be available on August 3rd.


Updates from Staff and Council:



 What a beautiful night for our Touch A Truck Event!

Thanks to all of you for partnering with the Parks and Recreation Department to make this community outreach event such a success!

We received overwhelmingly positive feedback from attendees at the event and on social media, specifically that it was awesome to see so many different facets of the City all in one place. My favorite comment was “ Great event! We had a blast with our community!” because that’s what it’s all about.


We thank all of the different department staff that worked the event as well.

What a beautiful night for our Touch a Truck Event at the MCC/YMCA -  Over 700 hotdogs were grilled and served up by the fire department!

Highlights of the event include:

  • Tons of trucks from Public Works, school bus, garbage and recycling trucks, fire trucks, police cars and more!
  • YMCA face painting booth kept busy all evening
  • Parks & Rec event staff manned the Bounce House, group games and the crazy hair/tattoo stations
  • KID CITY art project and live performance of A La Carte: In a Fool's Kitchen - pie in the face ending definitely a crowd pleaser!
  • Police K9 unit up close and personal with the crowd
  • EMS Hands Only CPR booth taught live saving skills
  • Parks and Recreation Commission handed out magnets, construction hats and candy  and served as our Parks & Rec Ambassadors
  • Nature Center booth had live animals, games and prizes
  • 3M Wizards experiment table intrigued young and old alike
  •  Ramsey County Public Health booth with lots of cool giveaways
  • GOGO Squeeze – gave out hundreds of free products
  • Pretty Awesome Appearances – Minion and Wonder Woman stole the show and posed for countless photos with kids and grownups


Looking forward to seeing all of you at the August 22 End of Summer Celebration and 3rd Annual KID CITY Laugh-In!


Here is a list of the upcoming season of Park Events


1)       Movie Nights at Bruentrup Farm, 5:30pm8:30pm - August 14

2)       Community Event at Gladstone Savanna, 6pm7:30pm - August 2

3)       Rec Run 5K at MCC/YMCA, 9am – 11:30am - September 29

4)       Fall Music in the Barn at Bruentrup Farm, 5:30pm9pm - September 7

5)       Halloween Event at Bruentrup Farm, 1pm3pm - October 21


North End Markey Study and Vision Plan

Earlier this summer, the services of Perkins Will were retained to develop a market study covering the North End area of Maplewood – roughly between I-694 to Beam Avenue and White Bear Avenue to the Bruce Vento Trail. As background, Perkins Will is the group that worked with Maplewood, Saint Paul and Roseville on the Rice-Larpenteur Gateway Area Vision Plan. Maplewood’s North End is a major employment and activity center for the city and is anchored by two major regional uses – Maplewood Mall and St. John’s Hospital. In addition, there are a number of other uses that are present in the study area including: multifamily housing units, senior housing units, numerous medical related businesses, office parks, a library, additional clinics, box stores, restaurants and retail. Per Scope of Services: the approach of the market study was to include an examination of the supply and demand forces that affect the types of development most often found in districts anchored by a regional mall with a mixture of commercial, institutional, residential, and recreational uses. The market study is being presented at the city council workshop on Monday July 23.


In terms of next steps, city staff has been working internally and with staff from Ramsey County Regional Rail and Perkins Will to determine the needed planning processes and community engagement efforts for the North End. As Ramsey County Regional Rail has begun its next phase of Rush Line planning which includes station area planning, Maplewood will look to Ramsey County lead the planning process along the Bruce Vento corridor and the stations south of Beam Avenue. For the two North End stations – at the hospital and mall – Maplewood will lead this process as part of the larger overall vision plan for the North End.  Ramsey County will still do the same station area planning work it is doing along the entire corridor, Maplewood will just be the contact point for businesses and residents in the North End.


Staff anticipates bringing a work and cost scope of the proposed North End Vision Plan work to the council at its August 13 meeting. This effort will cost between $110,000 and $120,000 and like the 2040 Comprehensive Plan will focus heavily on community engagement and involvement. Staff is also working with St. John’s Hospital (HealthEast/Fairview) on a potential partnership that would include some cost sharing for development of this plan. As part of this process – again like the 2040 Comprehensive Plan – a citizen and business-focused task force will be assembled to work on guiding the development of the North End vision plan. Ahead of the development of the task force staff has scheduled a kick-off open house for August 21 from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. to be held at the Ramsey County Library in Maplewood – 3025 Southlawn Drive. This open house will serve as a way to introduce the North End Vision process to local residents and also provide an update on the work being done on the Rush Line over the past few months.  



Speak with the Project Team on the Bruce Vento Trail (more info)

Join the Rush Line BRT Project team next Wednesday (July 25) on the Bruce Vento Trail to learn about the project and share your input. Project team members will be at the trail circle just north of Frost Avenue between 4 and 6 p.m. to answer your questions and hear from you. This all-ages event will feature snacks and a fun, interactive design activity.


The Rush Line BRT will be co-located with the Bruce Vento Trail through the portion of the route that utilizes the Ramsey County Regional Railroad Authority right-of-way. It is a priority to ensure that the trail remain an asset to the community – that's why citizen input is so important. This event was schedule to compliment the event held on June 16 – which had to deal with some unfortunate inclement weather that day. The project team is working to ensure public input leads this process to another session was scheduled for this part of Maplewood.


City Hall Campus Comprehensive Sign Plan

This week the community design review board approved a comprehensive sign plan for the city hall campus. EEDD staff assembled a city-wide working group of staff to consider and develop sign concepts for the eventual replacement of signage throughout the city hall campus. The first step in this process is to replace four wayfinding signs on the campus which will better guide visitors in finding the correct building for the services they seek. An example of the new wayfinding signs is shown below. This comprehensive sign plan will then guide the city in replacing and updating the wall and freestanding signs on campus.



Update from Consultant Ling Becker

  • Working with Modern Catheter toward a DEED STEP (export) grant. They have a great chance of getting funding as they are the exact type business it is designed to help. As a small growing, minority company they really could use some technical assistance to help them grow. . Also, they would be very open to a BRE&A business visit. They would also be a great company for Joe Sheeran to highlight at any point as well. 
  • In terms of BRE&A, I would recommend that we check in with Ashley over at 9 Rounds. Since she just worked with the city to get her business up and going that would fit nicely. Also, I know her business is doing pretty well so great to hear about a woman entrepreneur! 
  • After the BRE visit to Roseville schools, the Superintendent asked the Roseville HS principal to reach out to me. She would like to meet to discuss workforce connections opportunities between schools and businesses, and I will be meeting with her next week. 
  • I continue to work on identifying businesses that should be looped into the North End Study.



Joe Sheeran is sharing the final version of the Gladstone Shops video:



We will be rolling it out on social media Monday. 


Bringing the history and stories of the Gladstone Railroad Shops to Life:
The communications team in collaboration with our Heritage Preservation Commission and the Maplewood Area Historical Society produced the video to help recount the Gladstone Shops’ historical significance and the city’s efforts to return the space to it pre-shop native prairie.   



Comcast Cable Franchise Renewal Update

Staff has met with Comcast representatives and we’ve started negotiations.  Comcast was given the franchise agreement that the City entered into with Centurylink as a starting point for discussions.  We recently received Comcast’s redlined version of the agreement and staff, along with Cable Attorney Bob Vose, are in the process of responding with our demands.  While the process is going slower than initially expected, progress is being made.  The current franchise agreement expires at the end of July which is why an extension through the end of 2018 is being taken to Council on Monday, July 23.


News from other sources


Metro Cities News

July 20, 2018

Metropolitan Council Approves New Inflow-Infiltration Demonstration Project Grant

The Metropolitan Council recently approved guidelines for a new inflow and infiltration demonstration project click for full newsletter

Metropolitan Council Committee Debates Potential HRA Housing Cuts, 2019 Budget

The Metropolitan Council CDC met Monday to review the division’s draft 2019 budget. A key area of discussion was the click for full newsletter

Metropolitan Council Requests Comments on Parks Policy Plan

The Metropolitan Council released a draft Regional Parks Policy Plan and is seeking public review and comment. The draft click for full newsletter

State Revenues Higher than Forecast

The most recent economic update from the Department of MN Management and Budget (MMB) shows revenues are click for full newsletter

First Policy Committee Meetings Held

First meetings of Metro Cities’ four policy committees were held this week, and committees were strongly attended. click for full newsletter


That’s the news for this week. Enjoy the weekend!  Melinda