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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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Sep 28

September 25, 2020

Posted on September 28, 2020 at 12:49 PM by Chad Bergo

COMMUNICATIONS AND NEWS FROM THE WEEK: September 25th, 2020

Meetings and Announcements:  

The next City Council meeting will be held Monday, September 28th.  We will hold a workshop meeting beginning at 5:30 pm to conduct interviews for openings on the following commissions: Planning Commission, HEDC, HPC and ENR. We have strong interest with 14 applications for your consideration. We will suspend Commission interviews at 6:30 to hold an EDA meeting for the continuation of the public hearing for the business subsidy for HyVee and the TIF Agreement for Maple Ridge Shopping Center. At the 7 pm City Council meeting we will resume Commission Interviews under Presentations and Appointments. In addition, we will be sending the interview questions out in advance because of the zoom format and to help keep interviews moving along.

The Rice & Larpenteur Alliance is proudly presenting a safe community event on Saturday, September 26 from 3 to 7 p.m., called the Rice & LarpenTOUR! Pick up a free event guide at the event hub in the MyThrift Store Parking Lot (SW Corner of the intersection) and enjoy giveaways, music, public art, etc. before heading to local businesses, parks, and establishments around the area

October 1st will be a 1-3pm Drive By Celebration for Maplewood Care Center with a 3:30pm Red Ribbon Cutting.  Mayor Marylee Abrams will attend this event hosted by White Bear Chamber.

 

Updates from Staff and Council: 

ADMINISTRATION

HyVee update:

Please note in the HyVee staff report in your packet that there has been a change in the TIF application. The representatives from HyVee and Slate, the TIF applicant, have insisted that they are not happy about having a job requirement in the Agreement. According to HyVee they have never had that as a requirement in other city deals and do not want to set a precedent with our agreement. You will likely remember at the first meeting where the representative from HyVee stated the store would create 100 Full time jobs. We have verified with other metro stores that the job numbers typically are 115 FT jobs and 255 PT jobs. We feel confident that the Maplewood store will create this approximate number of jobs although this store will be smaller. HyVee and Slate have agreed to the number of 60 FTE’s. We have checked with a couple of cities, one did not do a TIF agreement (Oakdale) and Robbinsdale did a TIF agreement on the HyVee project but it did not contain a job’s requirement. The project did get some assistance from DEED and that had a job requirement and in that case the numbers were met in the first year. It is staff’s recommendation that we except this revision. Staff also agrees with the remainder of the agreement. Please call if you have questions or would like to discuss before the meeting on Monday.

 

Metro Cities –Policy Committees Update:

The Association of Metropolitan Cities (Metro Cities) has wrapped up its 2020-2021 Legislative Policies for the year. Maplewood staff sat on the Municipal Revenues and Metropolitan Agencies committees.

The policy committees annually develop policy recommendations based on input from member city representatives and advocates for changes to state law(s) to benefit cities in the region. You can learn more here: https://www.metrocitiesmn.org/policy-committees

One significant change this year was a new policy on Race Equity:

NEW POLICY: RACE EQUITY (forwarded to General Government Committee)

In the seven-county metropolitan region, people of color represent 29% of the population, and this percentage is expected to grow to 40% by 2040, according to the current population forecast from the Metropolitan Council. As racial and ethnic diversity increases in the region, people of color continue to experience significant barriers in housing, employment, criminal justice, public infrastructure, health, and education, and disparities are becoming more apparent with the COVID-19 pandemic and civil unrest that is occurring in many communities.

 

Across the metropolitan region, many cities are working to examine local policies and systems, to revise the delivery of public services, and to allocate resources to help advance race equity. All levels of government as well as the nonprofit and business sectors have roles to play in addressing race inequities and must work collaboratively to ensure that services and resources are considered, designed and implemented in a comprehensive, purposeful, informed and inclusive way to achieve race equity.

 

Metro Cities supports:

• An examination and revision of existing state, regional, county and city laws, ordinances and policies to address racial disparities;

• State, regional, county and city resources to assist with comprehensive data collection, disaggregation and sharing to ensure informed policy and funding decisions at all levels of government;

• Funding to assist in the development of tools and resources that advance racially equitable outcomes;

• Activating partnerships among state, regional, and local governmental institutions and other entities to advance race equity.

 

This new policy helps inform the Maplewood Organization Race Equity (MORE) team’s work and gives us more access to resources, including access to the League of Minnesota Cities https://www.lmc.org/about/race-equity-statement/ data and information. This effort is aligned with the City Council Strategic Plan for Community Inclusiveness.

 

Nature Center and Parks and Recreation Task Forces

The Parks and Recreation Task Force met on Tuesday, September 22nd.

Residents and representatives from the Athletic Associations from around the East Metro reviewed their charge as well as some budget history/background. Audra Robbins and Neil Brenneman are going to provide a history of Recreation programs at their next meeting.

The group followed a similar agenda to the Nature Center Task Force. Thanks to Council Members Juenemann and Knutson for their participation.

 

There is a webpage set up for those interested in learning more, including agendas, handouts, and video recordings of the Zoom calls.

 

https://maplewoodmn.gov/2038/Nature-Center-Task-Force

https://maplewoodmn.gov/2039/Park-and-Recreation-Task-Force

 

 

COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT

Neighborhood Code Enforcement

As a follow-up to the council discussion at the last meeting, the city’s code enforcement staff have reviewed and inspected multiple properties in the Carver Avenue neighborhood. All properties with complaints have been inspected in the past two weeks. Attached is a full report of the properties, inspections, and violations. The next step is city staff will send compliance orders to all property owners with a date required for addressing and removing code violations.

 

Fall Clean Up Campaign

Use of the curbside bulky item collection offered through the City’s trash system has increased.  There is a pent up demand for this service because people are home cleaning out their garages and basements during the shut downs, and the City’s Spring Clean Up was cancelled.  Residents can contact Republic Services at 651-455-8634 to schedule curbside bulky item collection at a reduced cost during the month of October. Under the new contract with Republic Services there is a 20 percent reduction in the bulky item collection costs during the Fall Clean Up Campaign with items reduced in cost from $8 to $28.  Other opportunities to reduce/reuse/recycle will be outlined in the Fall edition of Seasons, which will be published in October.

 

For the first time this year the City will also be offering a free shredding event on Saturday, October 10 from 9 to noon at the 1902 Building.  Residents can shred confidential paper documents (up to six boxes weighing no more than 30 pounds each).  ShrednGo will have their shredding truck on site.  A 95 gallon cart will be placed in front of the truck.  Residents are asked to unload their items into the cart.  There will be staff available for residents who have physical challenges unloading the boxes.  When the cart is full, the ShrednGo driver pulls the cart to the truck, tips it, where the materials are shredded in the truck on site.  Staff has received several calls from residents inquiring if they can physically see the items getting shredded.  For residents with those concerns we would ask them to pull their car to the side once they dispose of their materials and watch for the cart with their materials to be shredded.

 

NEWS FROM PARTNERS AND LOCAL NEWS SOURCES

https://www.twincities.com/2020/09/21/family-seeks-justice-for-26-year-old-killed-by-hit-run-driver-in-maplewood-offers-25k-reward/  Reference:  Sgt. Joe Steiner

 

https://www.twincities.com/2020/09/22/investigators-call-on-driver-in-fatal-maplewood-hit-and-run-to-come-forward/  Updated  Reference:  Sgt. Joe Steiner

https://www.startribune.com/maplewood-hit-run-victim-s-family-offers-reward-for-information/572498831/  Star Trib Article

 

https://www.twincities.com/2020/09/24/with-new-shops-street-improvements-in-mind-saturdays-rice-and-larpentour-showcases-three-cities/   -  Rice & LarpenTOUR

 

https://www.twincities.com/2020/09/24/maplewood-area-historical-society-will-host-open-house/    - Bruentrup Farm open house

 

These are the reports for this week.  As always, please call if I can address any questions or concerns. Enjoy this first weekend of the fall season. Thank you.

Melinda