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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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Nov 04

November 1, 2019

Posted on November 4, 2019 at 7:49 AM by Chad Bergo

COMMUNICATIONS AND NEWS FROM THE WEEK:  November 1, 2019   

Meetings and Announcements:   

 

The next City Council meeting and workshop will be held on Tuesday, November 12, 2019(City Hall will be closed Monday, November 11th in honor of Veterans Day).  The workshop will begin at 5:30 p.m.

Council/HEDC Development Tour- Saturday, November 16th at 8:30 am to 1:30 pm. Tours are being planned in the cities of Richfield, St. Louis Park, and Robbinsdale.  Details to come soon. 

 Strategic Planning Meeting- City Council and HEDC scheduled for November 25th at 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. This will be held in the Council Chambers and a light dinner will be provided.

Maplewood Business Engagement & Networking Event  Wednesday, December 4th at 4:00p.m. - 6:00 p.m at Unison Event Center

Maplewood Business Council meetings (MBC) and the St. Paul Chamber Business Education Series schedule of events is listed below:

·       December 10 / 3:00 - 4:30 p.m.      Business Education Series – 8 Metrics to Success (Roseville)

 

Updates from Staff and Council:

ADMINISTRATION 

Sales Tax Legislation

Staff is meeting with State Senator Chuck Wiger on Monday, November 4, 2019 to discuss the Sales Tax Legislation.  In addition, staff spoke with representatives of the League of Minnesota Cities (LMC) regarding this issue.  To date, 12 cities have expressed interest in pursuing legislative authority for a Local Option Sale Tax in the coming legislative session.  Please feel free to contact area legislators and let them know your support for these initiatives.

 

Tobacco 21 in the News

The Pioneer Press reported earlier this week: 

Carla Nelson, R-Rochester and Rep. Heather Edelson, DFL-Edina, held a bipartisan news conference at the Capitol Monday, October 28, 2019 to show the support in the House and Senate for raising the age for purchasing tobacco products to 21. The two lawmakers are also chief sponsors of legislation that would add warnings about vaping to school health curriculum.

https://www.twincities.com/2019/10/28/bipartisan-group-of-mn-lawmakers-back-raising-tobacco-age-to-21-statewide/

 

November 12th City Council meeting and workshop.

Reminder that we will be meeting on Tuesday, instead of Monday, the 11th which is Veteran’s Day.

 

State of the City Date

Please mark your calendars for Wednesday, January 15th from approximately 11:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. The meeting will include District 622 Superintendent Christine Osorio as a guest speaker.

 

FINANCE 

Last week we heard from the Ramsey County Auditor and Assessor regarding the status of Maplewood’s tax petitions for taxes payable in 2019.  Several large properties, including some of the mall properties, are petitioning for a reduction in market value.  Ramsey County has estimated the potential impact of the petitions and will be subtracting $742,000 from the City’s upcoming November tax settlement.  This money would be used to pay for the City’s share of the pending claims if the petitioners are successful. The County and the mall property owners have each hired independent appraisers and the case is expected to go to tax court. 

 

In response, city staff are currently evaluating the 2019 budget and making projections for the year end.  We are also holding off on any expenditures that are not necessary or can be deferred.  The General Fund budget is performing well and is expected to finish with a surplus. We will continue to update you as we work through the impact(s) to the General Fund, Debt Service, and Capital Improvement Funds.  

 

This recent news comes on the heels of record high petitions in fiscal year 2018, when the second half tax settlement was reduced by $720,000 for several large petitions.  The petitions have represented a significant hit to the City’s revenue stream the last couple of years, as we typically plan for about $250,000 in successful petitions.  At this point, there is no way to know if this pattern is the “new normal.”  However, the allowance for petitions should be given additional consideration as we prepare the budget for taxes payable in 2021. 

 

PUBLIC WORKS

Country Road B and White Bear Avenue

Striping is complete at the County Road B and White Bear Avenue intersection and opened back up to traffic. 

 

PARKS AND RECREATION

Boo Bash at the Bruentrup Farm

It was a brisk but beautiful day for our Boo Bash event at the Bruentrup Farm last Saturday (October26, 2019). The crowd started showing up an hour before the event and Bill Bruentrup stayed late to make sure everyone that wanted a hayride got one! An estimated 1200 people joined us for an afternoon of spooky delights that included live animals, crafts, pumpkin decorating, hayrides, storytelling and Belle and Gaston made a surprise appearance thanks to Ashland Productions!

 

Our event staff had a blast daring kids to try the sensory tables, play games and get crazy hair/ tattoos. Nature Center staff and volunteers provided fun yet educational activities and The Census and Ramsey County Health provided great information and giveaways. The Maplewood Historical Society ran the concession booths with all proceeds benefitting the Society.

 

A special thanks to our sponsor GoGo SqueeZ for giving out over 800 packets of fruit, Friends of Maplewood Nature for sponsoring the Audubon Center animals and the Police Dept. and YMCA staff that helped with activities and made sure that people made it across County Road D safely.                                                                                  

 

 

NEWS FROM OUR PARTNERS

Join Us! LMC Metro Regional Meeting and Metro Cities Policy Adoption Meeting

Join your colleagues for the LMC Metro Regional Meeting and Policy Adoption Meeting on Thursday, November 14, 2019 in Minnetonka! The Metro Regional Meeting is jointly hosted by LMC and Metro Cities, and Metro Cities membership will also meet to approve the 2020 Legislative Policies. Click here for more information.

 

2020 Draft Legislative Policies

Metro Cities' Draft 2020 Legislative Polices are now online for review. The draft policies were recommended by members through Metro Cities' four policy committees and were approved by the Metro Cities Board of Directors at their October meeting. The policies will be put forward for adoption by the Metro Cities' membership at the Policy Adoption Meeting on Thursday, November 14, 2019. Click here for more information.


DEED Awards Redevelopment Grants; Announces 2020 Grant Program

DEED announced over $2 million in redevelopment grants and demolition loans to several cities this month. The metro awards were funded from the Redevelopment Grant Program. Click here for more information.

 

Metropolitan Council Releases Draft 2020 Budget for Public Comment

The Metropolitan Council on Wednesday approved the draft 2020 unified budget which includes the Council's operating budget and capital program budget. The budget is now open for the public to review and comment. Click here for more information.

 

Metropolitan Council Accepting Comment on Regional Solicitation Application

The Transportation Advisory Board (TAB) approved a draft document with recommended changes to the Regional Solicitation application process at its meeting last month and released the application document for public comment. Click here for more information.

 

EVENTS: Metropolitan Council Regional Solicitation: Intersecting Transportation, Equity and Housing

The Metropolitan Council has scheduled two opportunities for communities to learn about the Regional Solicitation equity and affordable housing criteria and scoring measures. The Draft Regional Solicitation application is currently out for public comment. Click here for more information on the scheduled events.

 

Thanks for reading this week’s FYI. Please call if you have any questions or concerns with the packet reports or other issues.  

Have a nice weekend,

Mike