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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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Feb 19

February 15, 2019

Posted on February 19, 2019 at 8:41 AM by Chad Bergo

 COMMUNICATIONS AND NEWS FROM THE WEEK:  February 15th,  2019


Meetings and Announcements:   

 

             

The next City Council and Council Manager Workshop will be held on Monday, February 25th. Reminder that Council Photographer Coming prior to the meeting. Please arrive by 4:15 pm so there will be time for photos and dinner before the workshop at 5:30 pm. Workshop items include the following: Excel Gas Main Replacement Project and Solid Waste Contract Renewal Options

Commission openings- we have had a large number of applicants for the openings. In addition, we notified the Council applicants of the openings and are giving them time to apply if they are interested. We will break down the interview sessions into 2 workshops (March 11th and March 25th).           

 

Save the Date! 2019 Legislative Conference for Cities

The Roseville Area League of Women Voters which includes Lauderdale, Falcon Heights, Little Canada, Maplewood and Roseville will host a presentation of an updated study on the Metropolitan Council by the Council of Metropolitan Area Leagues of Women Voters (CMAL).  Titled Spotlight on the Metropolitan Council - Ripe for Change or Pretty Darn Good as It Is.  The program will be held on Tuesday, February 19th at 6:30 p.m.  at the Autumn Grove Park Building, the corner of Lydia and Hamline Ave. in Roseville.  

A PowerPoint summary of the study will be given by Karen Schaffer, Roseville Area League member and chair of CMAL.  Interviews with mayors, city managers, and various governance professionals throughout the Metropolitan Council area were conducted to gather information on the current Metropolitan Council status.  League members within the Met Council region will vote to determine points of consensus on updating the current CMAL position.  A written report of the study including consensus questions is attached to this e-mail.

We invite you and any staff in your city with interest in the direction of the Metropolitan Council to attend this meeting.  The program is open to the public and all in attendance may participate in the discussion.  Only League members can vote on the consensus questions.  A flyer for posting is also attached.

 


Updates from Staff and Council:

 

ADMINISTRATION

 

New Kid’s stuff and the MCC/YMCA

This week we celebrated the opening of our NEW Kids Stuff at the Maplewood YMCA Community Center!

 

  

COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT

 

Rental Housing Licensing Program Listening Session

Owners of rental properties and other interested residents gathered Tuesday evening to learn more about the city’s proposed rental housing licensing program. Approximately 25 people gathered at Fire Station No. 2 in Gladstone to talk directly to staff from the police, fire and building departments. At the meeting staff discussed elements being considered for a rental licensing program including frequency of inspections, fees and public safety considerations. Another listening session is scheduled for March 5 from 2-4 p.m. again at the Gladstone Fire Station. 

 

After the next listening session, staff will bring this issue for a final review at the April 18 Housing and Economic Development Commission. The City Council will then discuss at a workshop in late April or May.  

  

Rice-Larpenteur Gateway Corridor Update

The Rice-Larpenteur Gateway Interim Alliance, which consists of elected officials and city staff from Maplewood, Roseville, St. Paul, and staff from Ramsey County, released an RFP at the end of last year for the second phase of the project.  Three responses were received.  The Interim Alliance chose to interview two of the consulting groups that submitted proposals on February 12.  After the interviews, the Interim Alliance chose the St. Paul Area Chamber of Commerce to move forward with the project.  The Chamber has hired Kim O'Brien, planning consultant, to support these types of initiatives in order to serve more broadly the East Metro community with professional services for economic development and community engagement.  The Chamber was the entity that worked with the three cities in the beginning to form the Interim Alliance.  The second phase of the project will begin with all three cities adopting a cooperative agreement for the financing of the project.  The one-year project has a budget of $142,500, with Maplewood contributing $10,000, Roseville $50,000, St. Paul $75,000, and a ULI Health Corridor Grant in the amount of $7,500.  The scope of work includes building the long-term alliance, fundraising, community engagement, place-making and activation, and events.

 

 

PARKS AND RECREATION

 

Fur Trade Education at the Maplewood Nature Center

In spite of weather challenges, nature center staff just successfully completed conducting 14 classes of 4th and 5th graders for our Fur trade heritage program.  About 380 students attended . The program incorporates natural resource education along with cultural heritage to provide a mix of hands on activities including building a fire, snowshoeing, tracking wildlife and  learning about Native Americans, European Traders and Voyageurs.

 

The same teachers have been coming out for many years; and stories are told to the students about what to expect. This year naturalists worked to build efficiencies and refocus the educational objectives to be more inclusive of the Native American perspective- both were well received!  The Friends of Maplewood Nature helped purchase some Dakota beaded moccasins, porcupine quill box, and other items so that we could share the art and beauty of Ojibwa and Dakota culture.  Many thanks to Robin Nelson, of School District 622 Indian Education for her training sessions; and also to  MNC naturalists Oakley Biesanz, Carole Gernes, Cathy Troendle, Konnie Her and Kayla Wolfe and many volunteers.  Because this program takes place during the winter; the Friends group also supports the students with extra winter gear as needed.  For many students this is the only time they will have this type of outdoor adventure.

 

 

PUBLIC WORKS

 

BRT Tour

Recently, as part of the Gold Line project, I had the opportunity to take part in a tour of a newly constructed BRT line that runs from San Diego to the Mexico border at Otay Mesa.  This tour included the opportunity to experience dedicated guideway similar to the planned METRO Gold Line BRT, meet with staff and officials that were involved with the project, and gather lessons learned about bus rapid transit project development.

This 26 mile transit route has a lot of similarities to the Gold and Rush line project.  The route includes travel in the downtown areas of major cities, transit only dedicated guideway lanes, areas of mixed traffic, and areas of mixed use development.  The station areas were designed to be inviting, safe, easily visible and recognizable, and to include modern technology such as real-time next vehicle arrival information.

 

In areas of mixed use development sidewalks and bike trails helped connect business living areas to each other and to the transit stops.  In these areas the transit stops included additional amenities such as bike lockers (large silver boxes shown below in the right hand picture).

 

City Hall Parking Lot Lights

Public Works has recently worked to complete an LED retrofit for the City Hall parking lot lights.  With the LED lights comes less maintenance and an estimated annual savings of $1,931.58 on electricity.  Below are some pictures showing the before and after lighting conditions.  As you can see the project has improved the lighting and will reduce the amount of electricity used.

 


 

NEWS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

https://www.twincities.com/2019/02/11/maplewood-city-council/  Reference:  Marylee Abrams, Kathleen Juenemann, Bryan Smith, Sylvia Neblett, William Knutson

 

Thursday Chief Mondor joined Ramsey County in launching pulse point, an app that alerts citizens with CRP training that there is a need to save a life close by.

Chief Mondor help lead this launch and his input is well documented in the news stories:

 

http://www.fox9.com/news/phone-app-alerts-cpr-trained-citizens-of-nearby-cardiac-arrest-incidents


http://www.startribune.com/ramsey-county-unveils-app-that-alerts-cpr-trained-bystanders/505867212/

 

https://www.twincities.com/2019/02/14/know-cpr-in-ramsey-county-you-can-sign-up-for-a-new-app-that-alerts-you-if-someone-nearby-has-a-heart-attack/

 

 



Have a great weekend and as always call or email if you have any questions or concerns with the content of the FYI.

Melinda