COMMUNICATIONS AND NEWS FROM THE WEEK: September 4th, 2020
Meetings and Announcements:
The next City Council meeting will be held next Monday, September 14th. We will have an EDA Meeting prior to the City Council meeting. The EDA meeting will begin at 6:00 pm. At the Council Meeting we will be holding a public hearing for the business subsidy for HyVee and the TIF Agreement for Maple Ridge Shopping Center. We will also be approving the 2021 Preliminary Levy.
We will have a closed session at our Council Meeting on September 14th to hear from our League appointed Attorney, Paul Reuvers, to discuss the upcoming Myth Mediation. That will be scheduled for the end of Council meeting. Other Council items include:
- Development agreement for Maple Ridge access improvements
- Appeal of CDRB decision for HyVee
- PUD Ordinance Amendment
- Development application for new hotel on the last parcel in Legacy Village
- CUP for dog day care at Plaza 3000 north annex
- CUP and home occupation license for 2510 Carver
At the City Council meeting on September 28th will hold a workshop prior to the Council meeting to conduct interviews for opening on the following commissions: Planning Commission, HEDC, HPC and ENR. We have strong interest and several applications for your consideration.
Here are the updates from various departments below.
Updates from Staff and Council:
Back Pack Drive and Mall Donation –
In a collaboration among the City, our Public Safety Department, and the YMCA, we have successfully collected donations of $2867. to fill over 100 backpacks for Maplewood Area students. We’d like to thank Big Brothers Big Sisters who donated about 30 filled packs and the Maplewood Mall who donated $500 in gift cards and extra backpacks. We handed out the packs Thursday, Friday and will continue handing them out at our social distanced, small scale, Pop Up Freeze Pop events. This is grand example of our wonderful partnerships and what an impact we can make in our community.
Public Safety Department Finalist in St. Paul Area Chamber’s Local Government Awards
Since 2017, the Maplewood Police Department had been emphasizing community outreach, racial equity, and diversity in hiring. This coincides with the City of Maplewood’s overall strategic priority of “Community Inclusiveness,” which has led to systematically changing hiring, training and promotion of all staff, with an emphasis on Public Safety. Among other metrics, the department has achieved a 125% increase in hiring non-traditional police officers (women, people of color) and has increased police-community outreach from a few dozen hours annually to more than 2000. This emphasis has built accountability, trust and transparency and benefits the department and the entire Maplewood community.
The awards will be announced Thursday, September 17 at a virtual conference.
The City of Maplewood’s Wellness Committee strives to promote a culture of health and well-being that encourages and supports employees and their families. This year, we are offering two Flu Shot Clinics for employees and their spouses and dependents onsite. We typically offer one Flu Clinic each fall, but with the added risk of COVID-19 and flu season, the committee and staff have decided to offer additional opportunities for employees to have convenient access to get vaccinated and stay healthy. We will offer the first clinic on September 24th 1-4pm and the second clinic October 21st 7-10am.
LMC Legislative Summaries
The League of Minnesota Cities has published its 2020 Legislative Summary. This year’s new laws deal with a range of city issues related to the Open Meeting Law, liquor laws, elections, health, pensions, and more. There are also several laws related to COVID-19 response, including workers’ compensation claims, small business assistance, and more. You can view here: https://www.lmc.org/advocacy/law-summaries/current-law-summaries/
MnDOT Releases New Trunk Highway Bridge Guidance
MnDOT has recently released guidance and put into effect a Process to Determine Bridge Ownership & Bridge Ownership Responsibilities to determine the ownership and financial responsibilities of new and rebuilt bridges over Trunk Highways. The guidance applies to new and replacement bridges that carry local roads and infrastructure over a trunk highway and does not provide access to the trunk highway. This can include streets, pathways and transit infrastructure.
In most cases MnDOT will own and bear responsibility for all bridges that carry facilities over Trunk Highways, except for bridges where responsibilities are shared as directed by this new process. For bridges that are determined to be used by only local interests, MnDOT will be listed as the owner but financial responsibilities are likely to be partially or fully the responsibility of the local government. MnDOT and the local government, including cities, must agree on responsibilities before they would go into effect.
To view the Process to Determine Bridge Ownership & Bridge Ownership Responsibilities document, click here. Metro Cities’ Transportation and General Government Policy Committee has had discussion on this issue and will hear from representatives of MnDOT about the new process at its September meeting.
Nuisance Calls for Service Update
In Late 2018 the Maplewood City Council passed an ordinance that sought to address repeat nuisance calls for service in the city, and the Maplewood Police Department began enforcing this ordinance in January of 2019. At the Direction of the Public Safety Director, the Police Department recently did a comprehensive evaluative study of the ordinance and how it has impacted the Maplewood community. We want to acknowledge the work of Lt. Kerry Helle who was in charge of this study. If there are any questions after reviewing the attached please contact Public Safety Director Nadeau.
National Night Out
From Director Nadeau. After thoughtful consideration and in doing research on how to safely conduct National Night Out (NNO) during COVID-19 recommendations and restrictions, the Public Safety Department has decided to cancel the 2020 NNO for Maplewood. We know that this will be a disappointment for many of our staff and residents, but it does not appear that there was a way to control certain aspects of neighborhood gatherings and we want to ensure that we are doing our part in stopping the spread of the pandemic. Public Safety staff continues to look at how we can have some smaller and COVID-19 friendly events and look forward to resuming this important event next year. We will be announcing this decision to the public via our social media channels in the near future.
These are the reports for this week. As always, please call if I can address any questions or concerns. I hope that you have a great long weekend. Thank you.