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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 16

November 13, 2020

Posted on November 16, 2020 at 10:40 AM by Chad Bergo

COMMUNICATIONS AND NEWS FROM THE WEEK: November 13th, 2020

 

Meetings and Announcements:  

• The next City Council meeting will be held Monday, November 23rd.   We do not have a workshop scheduled on this evening.

• Our current plan is to have one more Council meeting after the 23rd. Our final meeting is scheduled for December 14th. We will hold the public hearing on the 2021 Budget and CIP. We will also need to have an EDA meeting before year end. Jeff and I are hoping to get this scheduled for December 14th but we may need to schedule a separate meeting.

 

Updates from Staff and Council:

ADMINISTRATION

Community Survey Update

Maplewood is in the process of wrapping up our community survey, which helps city leaders and councilmembers better understand our community’s overall perception of the services we’re providing. This year, we were able to ask additional questions around COVID Response and Police Community Relations. In using a national survey tool, we’re able to benchmark Maplewood’s responses to norms throughout the nation.

If you haven’t had a chance to view or take it, here is a link to the survey: https://bit.ly/maplewood2020community

 

Task Force Updates

The Nature Center and Parks and Recreation Task Forces continue to meet. The sessions have been productive and the teams are generating a lot of really good ideas. Thanks to Mike, Audra and Neil for their work in staffing the groups and providing the details needed. To learn more or to view the meetings you can go here:

  • https://maplewoodmn.gov/2038/Nature-Center-Task-Force
  • https://maplewoodmn.gov/2039/Park-and-Recreation-Task-Force

There are 2 meetings left before a report comes to the City Council. However, after 4 meetings the groups have identified the following categories to focus their recommendations:

 

Physical Assets & Infrastructure

The buildings, nature areas, and parklands are valuable and offer residents the most opportunities. It’s also the scarcest resource.

Defining Partnerships 

Who is our best partner in the short- and long-term in each area?

YMCA, schools, Athletic Associations, other non-profits, etc… will be a key area of focus for both.

Regional / cooperative models

Thinking about how our services match up with other cities can benefit everyone and expand our service area

Business / Service Model

Nature Center has Environmental Education

Parks and Recreation has Youth Athletics, Youth Programming, Adult Athletics, Adult Programming, and Virtual Programs

Financial Sustainability 

Fees, Sponsorships, Fundraising, Foundations, Capital Investments

Values / Philosophy / Strategic Alignment

How does this service fit with the City’s Strategic Plan and direction?

 

The other question that groups are looking at is timing for when to implement recommendations.

Here’s a rough time horizon:

Immediate: 3 months

Short-term: 18 months

Long-term: 36 months

We’ll continue to update you as we get closer.

 

New Council Orientation

I have reached out to our newly elected Council members, Nikki Vilavicencio and Rebecca Cave, to set up orientation meetings prior to their swearing in on January 11th. I will also start sending them the link to the City Council meeting packets and other documents and information. Staff will do our best to prepare them for undertaking the responsibilities on City Council.

 

PUBLIC WORKS

White Bear and Larpenteur Intersection Project

Ramsey County is leading a reconstruction project for the intersection of White Bear Avenue and Larpenteur Avenue (see project layout below).  The project includes the reconstruction of Larpenteur Avenue from Flandrau Street to Hazel Street, the reconstruction of North Saint Paul Road from White Bear Avenue to Ripley Avenue, and concrete pavement rehabilitation of White Bear Avenue from Larpenteur Avenue to Frost Avenue.  The project includes signal replacements, pedestrian improvements (such as new sidewalks/trails), and connections to Ramsey County Parks facilities.

 

Ramsey County had their kickoff Project Management Team (PMT) meeting on November 6, 2020.  The project team includes Ramsey County staff, the county’s engineering consultant (Kimley-Horn), North Saint Paul staff, Saint Paul staff, and Maplewood staff.  This kickoff meeting represents the start of design work on this project.  Design work will continue through 2021 and into the early summer of 2022.  It is anticipated that the project will go out for bid and start construction in August of 2022.

 

Dennis-McClelland Project Update

The Dennis-McClelland Area Street Improvements, City Project 19-10 has been completed. Currently, the contractor is working on minor punch list items on the project. City Staff will inspect the project area in 2021 for any necessary warranty repairs. These repairs would be completed under the Contractor’s 1 year warranty agreement. Area residents will be notified in advance if it is anticipated that any warranty repairs would cause a major disruption. The Engineering Department is absolutely thrilled this project was able to be completed on time amidst a word wide pandemic. I want to extend a huge thank you to all the City & Contractor Staff who were involved in the project helping to see it to its completion.

 

NEWS FROM LOCAL AND REGIONAL PARTNERS

https://www.einnews.com/pr_news/530284470/david-a-singleton-of-maplewood-mn-launches-new-website - Mr. Singleton was a Council candidate this year but was eliminated in the primary.

 

These are the reports for this week.  As always, please call if I can address any questions or concerns. Thank you.

Melinda