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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Jul 31

July 27, 2018

Posted on July 31, 2018 at 7:54 AM by Chad Bergo



Meetings and Announcements:   

Our next City Council meeting and Manager Workshop will be held on Monday, August 13th.   Start time for Workshop 5:30. We will begin with discussion on Overnight Parking and Excessive calls for service and then the first review of the 2019 Budget.


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. 


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


Updates from Staff and Council:



T-21-Andrea and I met with Katie Engman from the Association of Non-Smokers- Minnesota yesterday. We agreed that the first place to start with understanding the T-21 movement would be to have their organization come in and give a presentation to the City Council at a workshop. We will schedule this after we get the Preliminary 2019 Budget set in September. Next steps may include inviting our retailers in and also provide an opportunity for school kids to come and address the Council.


Roseville’s Ask Series  Councilmember Abrams sent this link to the online version of an article that appeared in the Pioneer Press on Monday. The article describes a new forum being used to generate tough conversations in the Roseville community. I will also pass this along to the PAC as I think they might be interested in considering a similar format in their engagement work.





Presentation to Rotary today: Kristin Reither and myself presented to Rotary. We talked about how our agreement came about and the Mission and programs of the Y. It is an example of a great community partnership. Mayor Slawik attended today to show support for the work we are doing together.  Councilmembers are always welcome to attend as a guest of Rotary anytime. Let me know if you are interested in attending.




Park Edge Apartments Regulatory Agreement

The City’s bond counsel has confirmed that the 51-unit Park Edge Apartments Development will continue to operate under the affordable housing guidelines until at least 2030.  This is good news, as the City Council had concerns about maintaining the affordability component of the apartments into the future.  Last Monday night, the City Council terminated the regulatory agreement that was in effect for the term of the conduit revenue bonds.  The bond issue will be satisfied July 31, 2018.   The buyer of the Park Edge Project purchased the property subject to the covenants in place relating to low-income housing credits.  After 2030, the buyer may elect to either re-syndicate the project as affordable or convert the units to market rate.  However, the buyer’s portfolio consists of approximately 80% affordable housing.  And, the buyer has indicated the desire to continue to operate the project as affordable.     




Rain gardens and art piece for City Hall

Maplewood has received a grant from Ramsey-Washington Metro Watershed District (RWMWD) for stormwater improvements at City Hall campus.  The grant will cover 100% of the cost (up to $60,000) to install three raingardens.  One will be in the in the parking lot median and take parking lot runoff.  Two smaller gardens will be in at the entrance to City Hall, expanding the existing front gardens.  In addition, RWMWD has approved a 50% cost-share grant for a sculpture for the new rain garden in front of City Hall.  Both the City and the District share a goal of incorporating public art into projects.  Artist Lisa Elias will be creating the metal sculpture.  Staff is seeking written quotes for the landscape improvements.  This item will come before City Council in late August or early September for approval of the grant and awarding of the project.  We hope to complete installation this fall.


A Trip Through Time – Celebrate Gladstone Savanna

Join the fun at Gladstone Savanna on Thursday, August 2nd.   See attached flier.   A short ribbon cutting ceremony from 6:00-6:15 pm will kick off the event and then revelers take to the trail to explore the site with a scavenger hunt.  The Parks & Recreation Department and Maplewood Area Historical Society have planned a fun event with the stilt ladies, KID City, Bison games, sweep netting, railroad lore, treats and prizes!   If you haven’t been to the site in the past few years, be sure to check out the playground and the eight new interpretive signs telling the story of the site’s natural and industrial history.




Wakefield Park Update: The Parks & Recreation Department along with the Communications Department have put together a plan to document the progress of the Wakefield Park Improvements. In addition to video and photo coverage by the Communication Team, Braun Intertec will be doing a series of UAS(drone) flights to document  the construction progress of the future Wakefield Park Community Building and the surrounding area. From the captured imagery, Braun Intertec will produce a photogrammetric representation (aerial) of the specified area. The UAS flights will be repeated every two weeks (10 total flights) until the completion of the project.  Their  FAA-certified pilots will fly the site at an altitude of approximately 150 feet above ground level (AGL). The resulting images will then be processed into a georeferenced orthomosaic (aerial) and a link to the results will be provided to the City.



We are excited to use this cutting edge technology to document our progress and tell the story of this important project – more to come




Here is a list of the upcoming season of Park Events


1)       Parks Special Events in place of WOW due to construction at Wakefield,6pm – 7:30pm

August 22 –End of Summer Celebration/ KID CITY Laugh In at Edgerton

2)       Movie Nights at Bruentrup Farm, 5:30pm – 8:30pm - August 14

3)       Community Event at Gladstone Savanna, 6pm – 7:30pm - August 2

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

5)       Fall Music in the Barn at Bruentrup Farm, 5:30pm – 9pm - September 7

6)       Halloween Event at Bruentrup Farm, 1pm – 3pm - October 21


The City officially closed on the property located at 2494 Harvester (Gilbert Mancheski property) on Thursday, July 19th. The property was sold to Grant Management LLC for $105,000. Monies from the EDA Fund were utilized to purchase the property and the proceeds from the sale will be deposited back into the EDA Fund. The contractor on this project, McLemore Construction Inc., intends to remodel the existing dwelling and has submitted a remodeling plan with improvements totaling approx. $70,000. The contractor has indicated to staff that they would like to get started as soon as possible on this project. City Attorney Batty and Nancy England, Paralegal from Kennedy & Graven, were instrumental in assisting staff with the closure of this property. A big thank you to the City Council for their leadership and direction regarding the acquisition and sale of this property. This has been a problem property in the city for almost 20 years.


Junior Achievement Building – 1800 White Bear Avenue

Staff has been working with the developer who has a purchase agreement for the Junior achievement building located at 1800 White Bear Avenue. The intended use of the building is a events center/banquet hall and a sports bar and restaurant.  The developer is holding a neighborhood meeting on Wednesday August 1 between 3 and 5 p.m. at the Junior Achievement building. He sent invitations to all property owners within 500 feet of the property.   No exterior improvements are planned for the building, but the proposed use will require a conditional use permit which is planned for review by the planning commission at its September meeting and will then go to the city council for consideration of final approval. 


Legacy Funeral Home – 1310 Frost Avenue

Staff has been working with the development group that owns the property at 1310 Frost Avenue – currently occupied by Legacy Funeral Home – on the potential redevelopment of this site. This property is situated at the southeast corner of the Frost and English intersection and south of the proposed Rush Line BRT station. The group is looking at the possibility of affordable housing that would also provide a bedroom mix for multi-generational housing.  This use is supported by the Gladstone Small Area Plan and the 2040 Comprehensive Plan. City is working through potential financing mechanisms and grant opportunities with the property owner. Staff will keep the council up to date as this potential project progresses. 


Second Meeting of the Maplewood Station Area Planning Working Group

The next meeting of the Maplewood Station Area Planning Working Group will be this coming Tuesday from 6 to 8 p.m. and will again be held at the Gladstone Fire Station which is located at 1955 Clarence Street.  This meeting will hone into details about preferred station platform locations, station access and opportunity for transit-oriented development at each of proposed stations at Larpenteur Avenue, Frost Avenue and Highway 36.


North End Markey Study and Vision Plan

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. 



Safer workers; stronger city

Through a collaboration of the Safety Team and communications, the City has produced a video highlighting the efforts our highest injury risk departments have conducted to help reduce workplace injuries and ensure a safer, more efficient workforce.   This is a preview before a wider Monday public release. (click the screenshot to play the video)







News from other sources


New Business in Star Gate Location: Click on the link to read the story.

http://eastsidereviewnews.com/articles/2018/07/25/new-business-opening-former-stargate-space  Reference:  Mayor Slawik, Council member Juenemann, Scott Nadeau, Andrea Sindt



At a Glance 

·  FREE summer meal program continues until August 23

·  Alumni happenings

·  Download the District 622 Mobile App

·  Community Education offers many summer enrichment opportunities in August!

Follow the link or open the attached PDF to read this week's District 622 e-news: www.isd622.org/e-news





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