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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 25

November 22nd, 2019

Posted on November 25, 2019 at 9:14 AM by Chad Bergo

Meetings and Announcements:   

The next City Council meeting and workshop will be held on Monday, November 25th , 2019.  The workshop will begin at 4:00 p.m. This is the Special EDA/HEDC Planning Session.

City Offices will be closed on Thursday and Friday next week for the Thanksgiving Holiday. There will not be an FYI next week.

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

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.

Updates from Staff and Council:

PUBLIC SAFETY

From Director Nadeau- his recent travel to US Virgin Islands
In the past month Maplewood Public Safety (MPS) has been involved in working with the United States Virgin Islands Public Safety Support Foundation to exchange information and ideas to improve public safety in the U.S. Virgin Islands.  The MPS began its exchange with hosting three senior Fire/EMS leaders on October 9th and they had a tour, discussion, and dinner with MPS leaders including Chiefs Mondor, Lukin and Director Nadeau.  MPS found that the USVI staff also had a number of valuable insights such as response to natural disasters.

Director Nadeau, who is recognized as a leader in Community Policing,  was then asked to present at a conference on youth, gun violence, and Community Oriented Policing in the USVI 10/13/19 and 10/14/19.  Other police leaders from Florida, New York, North Carolina, and other locations also gave presentations on best practices and what is working in their communities.  On 10/15/16 Nadeau toured Fire Facilities and met again with Fire/EMS officials to continue to strengthen the partnership and build upon this relationship.  Director Nadeau’s presentation on community policing, which draws on his experience in both Maplewood and Columbia Heights was well received.  Also noteworthy was the positive feedback and questions that were received from other agencies attending the conference.

Officials from the USVI Public Safety Support Foundation paid for all expenses and hope that the partnership will continue to advance professional development in both the USVI and their partnering agencies on the mainland.  Attached are some photographs from the event(s).

I have asked Director Nadeau to give a brief overview of his presentation at the December 9th City Council meeting.

 

COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT

Open to Business Program

The Open to Business program is now available to all communities in Ramsey County. Open to Business offers Maplewood businesses and residents free, one-on-one, business consulting and technical assistance to help entrepreneurs through the process of growing or starting their businesses. The program also assists entrepreneurs to identify borrowing needs and accessing financing options, including direct financing and loans in partnership with banks and nonprofit lenders. Funds can be used for inventory, working capital, asset and equipment purchases, real estate acquisition, and start-up costs. Maplewood’s business advisor, Noah Her, can be reached at nher@mccdmn.org or 612-294-1911. More information is available at https://www.mccdmn.org/open-to-business.

 

Bruce Vento Trail Signage Update

Ramsey County is in the process of installing updated signage along the Bruce Vento Trail to provide accurate contact information and up-to-date information about the Rush Line, and bring the signage into conformity with the current county brand standards.

 

Rush Line Bus Rapid Transit – Design Guide 

Ramsey County and city staff have been working to create a Design Guide, which will set the parameters for the design of the Ramsey County rail right-of-way—including the Bruce Vento Regional Trail—when Rush Line Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) is constructed. Maplewood property owners in proximity to Rush Line were sent letters outlining this effort and inviting them to view the Design Guide, available atwww.rushline.org and to speak to project staff in person about it. Three drop-in events have been scheduled – including one in Maplewood – where the public can attend to learn more about the Rush Line’s Design Guide. See scheduled times below. 

  • Thursday, December 5: 5:30-7:30 p.m. at Hmong Village, 1001 Johnson Parkway, Saint Paul.
  • Tuesday, December 10: 5-7 p.m. at Maplewood Fire Station, 1955 Clarence Street, Maplewood.
  • Thursday, December 12: 6-8 p.m. at CLUES, 797 7th Street East, Saint Paul.

Menards – Purchase of Single-Family Home Comprehensive Plan Amendment and Rezoning

Menards submitted comprehensive plan amendment and rezoning applications this week for six single-family properties it has purchase agreements in place. These six properties are being purchased willingly from the existing property owners.  See image below – yellow box indicates the properties Menards is purchasing. The red outline is Menards existing property. If the comprehensive plan amendment and rezoning requests are approved, Menards intends to incorporate the properties into its existing site to facilitate a complete tear down of its existing store and build a new one-story store in its place. A proposed site plan is also shown below. Menards intends to apply for the required Conditional Use Permit, Design Review and Variance applications if and after it receives city approval on the comprehensive plan amendment and rezoning requests. Menards had been looking at the potential at building a two-story store on this site but recently made a company decision to no longer build two-story stores anywhere in the country. According to Menards this is because of building code and accessibility issues it was facing in other states as it related to its moving sidewalk that accesses the second floor.

 

The planning commission will be holding a public hearing for the comprehensive plan amendment and rezoning requests on December 17.

 

Housing Project News

Please see following article from the Star Tribune where the governor announced $254 million to be invested statewide for affordable housing. One project in Maplewood received funding – Twin Cities Housing Development Corporation received $6.7 million in financing to acquire and rehabilitate 29 affordable housing units in the Maplewood Gardens development. This has been a building in dire need of rehab so this is great news.

Unfortunately the two tax credit projects that the council adopted resolutions of support earlier this year were not funded – JB Vang project at Frost/English, and the MWF Properties project at County Rd C and White Bear Ave.

This is disappointing news but we are hopeful that the Developer’s will look for alternative funding to continue with these projects. 

http://www.startribune.com/minnesota-steps-up-affordable-housing-investments/565310272/

 

PARK AND RECREATION
Harvest Park Master Plan

On Thursday, November 20th, staff along our consultant from LHB Inc. held two stakeholder meetings concerning the Harvest Park Master Plan. We met with representatives from First Evangelical Free Church and Twin Cities Bible Church as well as representatives from the many community organizations that utilize Harvest Park for their games, practices and other activities.  These meetings were well attended and we received valuable feedback about people’s needs, wants and concerns for Harvest Park both now and in the future. The next steps in the Harvest Park master planning process will be to present to the Parks and Recreation Commission at their December meeting and to hold a Community Open House in January of next year

 

https://kstp.com/news/police-11-year-old-attacked-by-pit-bulls-seriously-injured-in-maplewood-november-19-2019-/5557802/  Reference:  Maplewood Police, City Prosecutor

https://www.twincities.com/2019/11/16/hold-the-salt-new-proposals-limit-winter-pollution-of-minnesota-lakes/  Reference:  Kohlman Lake

 

Thanks for reading this week’s FYI. Staff will see you at the Special MEDA and HEDC meeting at 4 pm on Monday.   Melinda