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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 24

September 21st, 2018

Posted on September 24, 2018 at 10:06 AM by Chad Bergo

?COMMUNICATIONS AND NEWS FROM THE WEEK:  September 21, 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.

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 forThursday, 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:

PARKS AND RECREATION

Raingarden Installation Update

The contractor, Outdoor Landscape Lab,  will be installing three raingardens at City Hall in October.  Their plan is to construct the parking lot raingarden the week of October 1st and they hope to finish that in one week.  The parking stalls adjacent to that garden will be blocked off for the week.  Removal of the trees in the parking lot garden may occur next week.

They will install the two gardens right in front of city hall sometime later in October. 

PUBLIC SAFETY- POLICE

Response to questions raised by the Maplewood City Council regarding Maplewood Police interactions with homeless persons.

 

At the council meeting on September 10, 2018, Chief Nadeau was asked about issues and concerns relating to homelessness in Maplewood.  The questions included: what resources are offered, where do homeless individuals tend to be in the city, and what citizens should do if they have questions or concerns about encounters with a homeless individual.  Attached is a response to these questions and information concerning a response to the homeless in Maplewood. 

The City of Maplewood has entities which provide shelter services to those in need.  The providers include Catholic Charities, The Harriet Tubman Center, the Salvation Army, and Woodland Hills Church.  Housing providers, such as Concordia Arms (administered by The Wilder Foundation) have arranged grant funding opportunities to provide shelter to senior citizens who are long-term homeless persons.  As well, many homeless citizens (both with and without shelter) utilize Metro Transit, and a major terminal is located at Maplewood Mall. 

The Maplewood Police Department responds to any number of complaints of persons who are likely homeless.  These calls include camping in Ramsey County open spaces, persons sleeping in cars overnight in private business parking lots, and persons who obstruct traffic through panhandling. 

The Maplewood Police Department has trained officers in de-escalation and problem solving techniques.  As part of this, officers are encouraged to provide homeless with information on how to access services.  The Handbook for the Streets is published by Saint Stephen’s Outreach, and printed and electronic versions are used by officers to help connect citizens with services.

Being homeless is not a crime, but we know persons who are homeless have higher rates of substance abuse, mental health problems, and police contacts.  Citizens are encouraged to call 911 for any person who appears to be in crisis or needs medical attention.  In order to avoid becoming victimized, we recommend citizens to not engage with panhandlers:  Instead, citizens who wish to make change should consider providing donations to organizations who help homeless persons.

 

PUBLIC WORKS

Upgraded Pedestrian Crossing at Hazelwood St. and Saint Johns Boulevard

Public Works was contacted by the property manager of the new Hazelwood Medical Center.  They had concerns about the pedestrian crossing at the intersection of Hazelwood Street and Saint John’s Boulevard.  They had seen an increase in the number of patients walking between Saint John’s Hospital and the Hazelwood Medical Center.  The intersection was signed and stripped for pedestrian, but they wanted to know if there were any additional improvements that could be made that would further alert drivers that there may be a pedestrian crossing the intersection.

Public Works purchased and installed a solar pedestrian crossing sign.  These signs look very much like typical pedestrian signs.  However, these signs include a button which activates the LED lights that surround the edge of the pedestrian sign.  These type of signs are more effective than a continuously flashing signs due to the fact that the signs only flash when being used by a pedestrian.  Thereby, alerting drivers that something is different then what they are used to seeing.

 

A big thank you to the Public Works staff that helped with the installation of the new system.

A quick update on a few items being addressed from Thursday’s storm:

o   Public Works crews are pumping the Edgerton Pond near the Forest Lawn Cemetery.  This is the location that we installed a system that allows us to do this pumping a few years ago.

o   Public Works crews are pumping a pond near Ripley Avenue south of the Edgerton Pond.

o   We have some flooding out at Markham Pond.  We have contacted Ramsey Washington Metro Watershed District about this issue.  Their outlet appears to be partially blocked which is slowing down the drainage of this system.  The flooding is impacting the soccer fields.  We did check with Park and Recreation and they are done using the fields for the year so there should be no impacts to any programs.

o   We had one tree that was down, but Public Works crews have removed it.

 

ENVIRONMENT AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

Work Begins on New Panera Bread Location

Demolition work began this week of the former Bremer Bank location at 2965 White Bear Avenue – just east of the Maplewood Mall. The building is being taken down to make way for a new Panera Bread restaurant building that will start construction later this fall. The new Panera Bread location is expected to open for operation by next summer.  

Frost English Silver Grand Opening – October 3, 4 -7 p.m.

On October 3 from 4 to 7 p.m. Sherman Associates will be hosting a grand opening celebration for its opening of Frost English Silver, Sherman’s new luxury residences (55 ) in the City of Maplewood . To R.S.V.P. please emailmarketing@sherman-associates.com by October 1. The formal program will begin at 4:40 p.m. Frost English Silver is phase 2 of this overall redevelopment project and consists of 107 market-rate senior housing units located near the intersection of Frost Avenue and English Street. For more information on this project please visit www.frostenglishsilver.com.  

Have a great weekend! Mike