COMMUNICATIONS AND NEWS FROM THE WEEK: May 27th, 2021
Meetings and Announcements:
The next City Council meeting will be held virtually on Monday, June 14th, with start time of 7 pm. There will also be a Council Manager Workshop at 6 pm to review the Ponds at Battle Creek Development Plan. Perkins and Will, the planning consultants will give an update on the process and staff will be seeking guidance as to how to proceed with next steps. Ramsey County does have a webpage dedicated to the project which can be accessed here: https://www.ramseycounty.us/your-government/projects-initiatives/economic-development-initiatives/maplewood-properties-site-planning
2021 LMC Conference: Please let me or Lois know if you would like to attend. I would encourage you all to consider attending this virtual conference. It always provides valuable info and presentations geared towards Elected officials. I am planning on attending. I look forward to when we can attend conference in person again.
Updates from Staff and Council:
Friends of Maplewood Nature Center Letter:
The Friends of the Maplewood Nature Center sent a letter to the Mayor and Council Members (via email) regarding the Century Avenue Redevelopment Properties and seeking a complete ecological assessment of the area(s) in question.
Interview for Public Safety Director
First round interviews for Public Safety Director were held on Thursday afternoon. Second round interviews will be conducted in early June. A tentative timeline for decision-making is June 11, 2021.
League of MN Cities – Criminal and Juvenile Justice Information Advisory Group volunteers:
The League of MN Cities is now accepting applications for an open seat on the state’s Criminal and Juvenile Justice Information Advisory Group. The deadline to apply has been extended to June 11.
Applicants must be elected or appointed city officials from Greater Minnesota (outside of the seven-county metropolitan area).
About the advisory group:
The Criminal and Juvenile Justice Information Advisory Group meets quarterly or as needed. It makes recommendations to the governor, the Supreme Court, and the Legislature on criminal justice information funding and policy issues.
Topics the advisory group deals with include:
Data practices related to criminal justice information.
Individual privacy rights.
Data on race and ethnicity.
Information-sharing at the local, state, and federal levels.
Technology education and innovation.
The impact of proposed legislation on the criminal justice system related to information systems and business processes.
Data and identification standards.
Trout Brook Storm Sewer Interceptor Study
Engineering staff attended the kick-off meeting for the Trout Brook Storm Sewer (TBSS) Interceptor Study project. This study is being led by Barr Engineering and is being prepared for the Capital Regions Watershed District (CRWD). The TBSS Interceptor is a large system of pipes and tunnels that conveys stormwater runoff from 8,150 acres encompassing portions of five metro cities, including a small portion of Maplewood mostly lying west of 35E. The Interceptor is owned and operated by Capital Regions Watershed District. Attached is a map showing the drainage area that is served by the TBSS Interceptor. The portion within Maplewood is shaded pink.
The study is being performed to better detail the drainage patterns within the area that drains to the TBSS Interceptor to evaluate storm sewer capacity issues, areas of flooding and flood mitigation opportunities, pollutant loading and water quality opportunities, and capital improvement needs. Initially the project was proposed to included cost participation from municipalities within the drainage area feeding the TBSS Interceptor line. However, a grant was obtained by CRWD to cover these costs. Cities, including Maplewood, will be contributing staff time to help collect requested data and attend stakeholder meetings, as part of the study, over the course of the next year.
After the study is completed the City will receive a copy of the report, which would identify areas of flood risk, areas with undersized storm sewer pipes, and opportunities to get the best ‘bang-for-the-buck’ when installing water quality practices. The City will also receive detailed GIS information that we can add into our Public Works and Cartegraph maps.
Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) Biocontrol Release at Joy Neighborhood Preserve
The Minnesota Department of Agriculture’s Plant Protection Division contacted the City in February of 2021, requesting permission to release Emerald Ash Borer biocontrol agents at Joy Neighborhood Preserve. The goal of Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) biocontrol is to reduce EAB populations using the beetle’s natural enemies. Biocontrol is the only management option for EAB that can be applied at the forestry level.
Three stingless parasitoid wasp species have been released in Minnesota since 2011. Two species attack the larval stage of EAB that tunnel under the ash bark. The other species kills EAB eggs, which are laid in bark crevices. These wasps are small like gnats and do not harm humans.
The US Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Health Inspection Service (APHIS) and Forest Service selected and extensively tested these insects to ensure that they would not negatively impact other species or the environment. The first releases were in Michigan in 2007.
The first of several releases in Joy Neighborhood Preserve is scheduled for Wednesday, June 2, at 11:00 AM. Our Communications Department will be present to document this momentous occasion.
For photos of the biocontrol insects and more information, see this publication by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture: http://mdawebdev.prod.acquia-sites.com/sites/default/files/inline-files/biocontroleab.pdf
These are the reports for this week. Please call if I can address any questions or concerns.
Assistant City Manager | HR Director
City of Maplewood
1830 East County Road B
Maplewood, MN 55109
Strategic | Ideation | Communication | Maximizer | Activator