AND NEWS FROM THE WEEK: January 17th,
Staff is currently working on the Council
Calendar. We should have it ready for the Council packet
next week. The next City Council
meeting and workshop will be held on
January 27th. Reminder that the EDA
and HEDC will continue the strategy/planning work session from 4-7 pm.
Update on snow clearing for the weekend from
Bryan Nagel - Snow should start here around 2:30 – 3. We expect 5”-7”
by midnight with an additional 2” by the time it ends around 8am. Crews will
begin at 2am for complete plowing. Forecast is calling for high winds and
dropping temps Saturday afternoon, I will be bringing crew back in Sunday
morning to check for drifting and deicing along with starting on sidewalks. A sidewalk
crew will be working on Monday to complete all walks. The crew will start early
again on Tuesday ahead of the morning commute for final cleanup and deicing.
Updates from Staff and Council:
State of the City - Thank you all for attending the State of the City event
on Wednesday. I received a number of calls, emails and texts from people
attending or watching. The feedback I received was very positive. I also want
to thank our communications staff for putting together a great program and
especially congratulate them on the awesome videos! Everyone liked the
Leadership team video. Maybe we should consider how we can use more videos in
future programs. I also want to thank the other staff, especially Lois for
working with our outstanding caterer and Gina, Liz and Meghan for their
assistance with registrations and more. It is a lot of work to put this kind of
program together. Job well done everyone! Here are a couple of photos from the
Presidential Primary - Absentee voting for the Presidential Nomination Primary
(PNP) begins Friday, January 17, 2020 and will continue until March 2, 2020.
The precinct polling locations open 7am on March 3, 2020.
Any Maplewood resident can vote using any of the options
but only Maplewood residents can vote at Maplewood city hall. (We only have
ballots for Maplewood precincts.)
- Absentee by mail through Ramsey County
- Absentee in person (choice of four locations, please note
times vary between sites)
- Maplewood City Hall
- Ramsey County Elections 90 Plato Blvd W
- New Brighton Community Center
- Ramsey County Roseville Library
- Additional sites, including those four already listed,
will open on Feb 25th for Early Voting – when the ballot can
be directly fed into the ballot counter
Different to other voting experiences, voters will be
required to state their major party preference to receive the appropriate
ballot – if someone does not provide their preference, they will not be given a
From Kim O’Brien with the Rice
and Larpenteur Alliance - The Winter Warmer event is shaping up for Saturday,
February 1 from 11:30-1:30 at Nepali Kitchen! We need your help personally
inviting people you think should attend. So far, we have 37 people registered
(see below for current list of attendees—note some orders are for 2 people). We
have 80 total spots available.
If you are able to come and
have not yet registered, please do on Eventbrite.
- Buffet lunch available from 11:30-1 (event ends at 1:30)
- Open-house mingling from 11:30-12:30
- Remarks from elected leaders at 12:30 (12:15?)
(translation will be available, if needed based on registrations)
- I asked if the Nepali dancers from our Summer Block Party
event could perform as well but have not confirmed.
- Printed pieces available (being developed now)
- One-pager about the Alliance at the event (and a
translated version in Hmong, Karen, Nepali, and Spanish)
- Short Annual Report to highlight 2019 accomplishments
(note: this piece will not be translated due to cost and timeline)
- Applications for membership on our Long-Term Alliance.
Note: The Alliance agreed to fund a low-cost façade
improvement for the restaurant ahead of the event. Unfortunately, the window
painter we hoped to hire is unable to complete the project because of the tint
on the windows (and too cold to paint from the outside). I’ll keep working to
see if there is something else we can do in the short timeframe.
Thanks for your help promoting and attending the event!!
Let me know if you have any questions.
Meeting with Senator Wiger - Mike and I met with Senator Wiger yesterday to work
through the schedule for our Proposed Sales Tax Exemption Legislation
yesterday. Senator Wiger will sponsor our bill in the Senate and I reached out
to Representative Xiong to help us on the House side. We expect that we will be
testify on the bills in mid-February. Senator Wiger has been very helpful in
positioning us for the upcoming process. If Council would like to call our
Legislative team and let them know how important this is for the City, please
feel free to do so.
New City Website Launched - We flipped the switch Tuesday on the City’s new website.
It features many more visually appealing elements and functionality that will
make navigation easier for all users, especially those with visual impairments
and other disabilities. The new video banner shows off our City’s best assets.
Please scroll through and give us your feedback. Mostly we’re looking for flaws
or design elements we were too close to catch. A big thank you Chad Bergo who managed this
project over the last two years. We also appreciate all of the feedback,
insight and updates from the web administrators in each department. This was a
true team effort and big accomplishment under our Integrated Communications
Joe Rueb is pictured here with State Demographer
Susan Brower, who spoke at the January monthly Minnesota Government Finance
Officers Association (GFOA) meeting in Roseville. Joe was inaugurated as
president of MN GFOA at the January meeting, after serving several years as
Chair of the Technology Committee, followed by the roles of Treasurer,
Secretary, and Vice President. Joe will serve the association as President for
the year 2020. Congratulations to Joe, I know he will make an excellent
President for GFOA members and organization.
From Jeff Thomson: I attended the meeting on Friday. The
MPCA recently tested Battle Creek for PFAS. The results from a location in the
creek within Maplewood detected extremely high levels of PFAS in the foam of
the creek. (Foam is naturally occurring on the surface of the creek as a result
of the movement of the creek.) This is the first time that PFAS has been
identified in surface water foam in Minnesota. The Department of Health
indicated that there is minimal health risk, but people and pets should avoid
exposure to creek foam, and if they are exposed should wash the area with soap
and water. Last week MPCA took additional surface water and foam samples from
four additional locations along the creek. They expect to have the results available
in February. The contamination is outside of the scope of the previous
settlement with 3M and the government working group’s scope of work. MPCA is
working on identifying the source and responsible party for the PFAS found in
MPCA will be releasing this information to the media
today. See Article posted in the Star Tribune in News Section below.
PARKS AND RECREATION
Harvest Park Master Plan Open
January 21 from 6:00pm -
Wakefield Community Building
As part of the Harvest Park Master Plan process, we will
be holding an Open House on January 21 to get resident feedback and ideas
concerning usage, facilities, and Harvest Park as a whole. We will have drafts
of initial concepts available that evening to facilitate the discussions and
our consultant and Rush Line BRT staff will be there as well to answer
A letter was sent out to 200 homes near the park inviting
them to the Open House and flyers were posted on the website and social media.
Since the event takes place at the Wakefield Community Building, this will be a
great chance for the public to tour the new facility. We would love to have
City Council join us and hope to see you there!
News from Partners and local media
The Star Tribune posted this article this week regarding PFAS in Battle Creek Park
Please let me know
if you have any questions or concerns with next week’s Council packet.
City offices are closed on Monday in observation of Martin Luther King
day. Stay warm and safe this snowy weekend. Melinda