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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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Sep 17

September 14th, 2018

Posted on September 17, 2018 at 9:11 AM by Chad Bergo

COMMUNICATIONS AND NEWS FROM THE WEEK - September 14th, 2018

 

Meetings and Announcements:  

Our next City Council meeting and Manager Workshop will be held on Monday, September 24th.  The workshop will begin at 5:30. Topics include Code Enforcement Update and proposed Pilot Code Enforcement Sweep Program.

 

Maplewood Council Informational Workshop - I have invited all of the candidates for Maplewood Mayor and Council to come and learn more about Maplewood and local government. This will take place on September 20th from 5-6 pm.

 

Alsalam Mosque Meet and Greet-  Friday, September 21st, starting at 1:30 pm. 1460 Skillman Avenue. The Police Department will be providing pizza and other refreshments.

 

Conifer Ridge Open House - Council members are invited to the Conifer Ridge Grand Opening party on Tuesday September 25 from 5-7 p.m. The building’s manager hopes for a great turnout and people should “Come for some delicious food and tour our new community!”

 

Ribbon Cutting for Firstat, will be held on Friday, September 28th from noon until 6 pm. The Mayor has indicated that she is unable to attend. Would one of the other Council members like to fill in for the Mayor? Let me know.

 

2018 Business & Achievement Awards - White Bear Area Chamber

October 2, 2018

11:30am Registration

12:00 - 1:30pm Program

Keller Golf Course, 2166 Maplewood Dr., Maplewood

 

Featuring Guest Speaker, Mark Lindquist

As a special treat, Mark Lindquist will keynote our program. Mark has appeared in ABCs Lost, CBS’s Hawaii Five-O and the Universal Studio’s “Battleship”.  He is a world -touring entertainer and motivational business speaker. You are guaranteed to find his presentation inspiring and incredibility uplifting.

 

The cost to attend is $35 per person or a reserved table of 8 for $250. Please let Lois or I know if you would like to attend. At this point, Mike Funk and I and other staff will be attending. We have not heard from any Council members yet.

 

Community Business Engagement Breakfast

The 4th Annual Community Business Engagement Breakfast is scheduled for Thursday, November 1 from 7:30 – 9 a.m. at the Maplewood Community Center in Room C. The event will feature a recap from this year’s Business Retention Engagement & Attraction (BRE&A) visits and Perkins Will will discuss the North End Vision Plan. As a heads up, the Annual State of the City Address has been scheduled for January 10, 2019.  Please reserve these dates on your calendar!

 

 

Updates from Staff and Council:

 

ADMINISTRATION

Better Angels Red/Blue Workshop

I think this is an interesting concept. I’ve asked for a report back on how this program worked out.

 

Dear Ms. Coleman,

I'm reaching out from Ramsey County Library. We have an upcoming program at the Maplewood branch that I was hoping you could help us promote.  We could use more registrants from both sides of the aisle and we've had great luck in reaching out to local government. I've attached a flyer and more info below.

Thank you in advance for any help you can offer in spreading the word!

Better Angels Red/Blue Workshop

Saturday, September 22 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Ramsey County Library in Maplewood

Register at dogoodroseville.com

The Better Angels Red/Blue Workshop brings together about 5-7 Republican-leaning citizens and 5-7 Democratic-leaning citizens for seven hours of structured, moderated conversation.

Better Angels (www.better-angels.org ) is a national citizens' movement to reduce political polarization in the United States by bringing liberals and conservatives together to understand each other beyond stereotypes, forming red/blue community alliances, teaching practical skills for communicating across political differences, and making a strong public argument for depolarization. This Better Angels workshop focuses on listening and reflecting rather than debating and persuading.

Our goals are to better understand the experiences and beliefs of those on the other side of the political divide; to see if there are areas of commonality in addition to differences; to learn something that might be helpful to others in our community and the nation. Presented in partnership with Do Good Roseville. Please go to http://dogoodroseville.com to register—you will be asked to identify as either “red” or “blue” to ensure an equal distribution across the political spectrum.

Thank you again!

Carol Jackson

Branch Manager | Shoreview Library

4560 Victoria St. N.

Shoreview, MN 55126

651-724-6090

 

 

COMMUNICATIONS

Boosting sponsors to underwrite the cost of Living and special events, like the 4th of July Celebration (This was distributed at the Council meeting on Monday but I don’t think everyone received it so here it is again)

Through the summer, the communications department in coordination with EEDD has been working on a private partners sponsorship package plan that includes multiple tiers of advertising in Living and at special events. These range from the smallest level of partnership which include an ad in Living and/or at the 4th of July Celebration to a major package, which includes 12 monthly Living ads, mentions at all 3 of our marquee events (State of Maplewood, Community Engagement Breakfast, Light it Up), and other benefits such as recognition on the City Hall digital display boards.   The communications division will start selling these ads this fall and make a major push at the November 1st Business Community Engagement Breakfast to promote this opportunity.

Communications and EEDD feel these package plans (versus 1-time ad and sponsor sales) are a more effective use of pitching time and more stable and predictable source of revenue to underwrite Living and the special events mentioned above. We appreciate Councilmember Abrams suggestion to pitch this opportunity at the Business/Community engagement breakfast.

 

EEDD

North End Working Group

Staff kicked off the application process this week for assembling the North End Working Group – which will guide the development of the North End Vision Plan. This group is intended to include representation from local businesses, residents, city council, selected board and commissions, Rush Line BRT project team, other key stakeholders and staff. This group will meet six times during the course of the project – the group’s meeting time will be the fourth Wednesday of the month at 6 p.m. Details on how to apply, where and when meetings can be found at www.maplewoodmn.gov/NorthEnd. Staff is using the city’s website, social media and other communication channels to encourage individuals to apply. It is anticipated the city council will formally approve the North End Working Group at its first meeting in October.

 

Frost English Village – Phase 2 Grand Opening

Construction of the second phase of Frost English Village is wrapping up and new residents will soon start occupying the new building. Phase two of this redevelopment project consists of 107 market-rate senior housing units located near the intersection of Frost Avenue and English Street. To celebrate this milestone, Sherman Associates will be hosting a grand opening celebration on October 3 at 3:30 p.m. Please reserve this time on your calendar for what promises to be a fun event. More information and invitations will be sent out closer to the October 3rd date.

 

Household Food and Organics Waste Study

Just a reminder that the Household Food And Organics Waste Study will have their first pickup occurring this coming Wednesday. They were hoping to have the first collection on September 12 but there were a few hauling issues that needed to be worked out before the program could start. There are 120 participating residential households that were recruited to participate in the six week study.  All the households are on the Wednesday trash pickup route to keep routines consistent. All recruited households were provided with necessary materials (trash liners, etc.) to be able to participate in the study. The study is scheduled to end in late October. The project is managed by PhD Candidate, Vaneesha Dusoruth, and the study’s Principal Investigator, Dr Hikaru Peterson, in coordination with staff at Ramsey County. If you have any questions about the study please contact Chris Swanson, Environmental and City Code Specialist at 651-249-2305 or by email at chris.swanson@maplewoodmn.gov.

 

PUBLIC WORKS

Woodlynn Sidewalk Update

Last winter the City was contacted by residents from the Woodlynn Village, which is just east of the intersection of Woodlynn Avenue and Ariel Street, about their difficulties using the sidewalks along Woodlynn Avenue to get to the mall area.  While there is a sidewalk in place along Woodlynn Avenue there was no pedestrian ramp at the southwest corner of the intersection.  This made it very difficult for pedestrians to navigate the intersection and access the east/west sidewalk on the south side of Woodlynn Avenue.

This week a new pedestrian ramp was designed and built by Public Works staff.  This ramp allows residents access to all of the pedestrian facilities in the area.  A big thank you to all of the Public Works staff who helped with this project.

 

Xcel – County Road B Gas Main Replacement Project

If you see crews from Badger Daylighting Inc. doing work on County Road B they are potholing utilities for Xcel Energy’s County Road B gas main replacement project.  Essentially, they are verifying location and elevation of underground utilities in the public right-of-way to ensure their design drawings are accurate.  This is an important part of the design process.

 

English Street and Highway 36 Sight Distance

At the September 10th council meeting the City Council asked staff to look into the sight distance issues with the ramps of the English Street and Highway 36 Bridge.  MnDot reviewed the bridge’s traffic operations in 2016 and found that there had only been 3 accidents in the first 3 years of operation.  They did not recommend any changes at that time.  According to the crash report provided by the Maplewood Police Department there have 6 crashes listed as happening at English Street and Highway 36.  It is likely that these area related to the entrance/exit ramps as the two streets do not physically intersect.  Public Works is reaching out to MnDot to re-engage them in a discussion about the sight distance issues.

 

IT DEPARTMENT

New Employee Intranet Site Being Built

Our existing Intranet site provides many tools and links that staff utilize on a daily basis.  That being said, it’s look and feel is quite outdated and the current site lacks mobility.  We received feedback from the employee survey earlier this year that staff would like a site that is much more mobile friendly so that they may stay connected to City happenings while in the field.  The new site is responsive, much like the public City website, so that it will scale to whatever device is being used.  Communications and IT continue to work together to provide the functionality staff require in a new, improved look and feel.  We anticipate the first draft of the site will be completed by the end of September.  Stay tuned.

 

Update on Cable Franchise Renewal

Staff met with Comcast this week to continue negotiations for their cable franchise renewal.  Progress continues to be made and the next meeting has been set for the first week in October.  Look forward to a presentation from Bob Vose, likely towards the end of October or beginning of November, where he will go over the various items that have been negotiated.  From there we’ll perform final negotiations and staff hopes to have a final renewal document for Council approval by years end.

 

PARKS AND RECREATION

 Here is a list of the remaining season of Park Events

 

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

·      Halloween Event at Bruentrup Farm, 1pm3pm - October 27

·      Santa’s Workshop Party at the MCC/YMCA, 6pm – 7:30-pm - December 7

??

News from outside agencies and newspapers:

Maplewood wrestles with filling big holes in retail hub – Reference: Michael Martin, Melinda Coleman

 

Enjoy your weekend and please let me know if you have any questions or concerns with the content of this FYI or other issues.  Melinda