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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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Jun 06

June 3, 2022

Posted on June 6, 2022 at 10:28 AM by Chad Bergo

Meetings and Announcements:   

 

The next regular City Council Meeting will be on June 13th and will begin at 7 pm.  We will not have a workshop on the 13th but will have two items for the workshop on the 27th. The agenda will include the preliminary review of the 2023-2027 CIP and the Review of the Fire/EMS Study and Staffing Plan. We will likely need to start the workshop at 5:30 pm.

 

ADMINISTRATION

Employee Message Sent Today

Happy Friday everyone. Please check out these wonderful  videos curtesy of our amazing communications team. Watch the videos from the two great events recently- the Employee Appreciation Event and the new MAP program. I would also like to welcome our two new employees- Michael Skara and Adam Suedkamp.  You can read more about them in the info below. Please help welcome them to Maplewood.


We continue to be challenged with recruitment and hiring in many departments but we are making sure that all of new hires fit our culture and high standards for delivering the best public services. I am so proud of the great work all of you do on behalf of the city and happy to be a part of it all.

Thanks for all you do and have a great weekend.

Melinda


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Now premiering: Maplewood’s first annual trivia competition

A few weeks back, the city organized a trivia competition as part of the employee recognition event. Those being honored teamed up to see who could answer the most questions about events and facts from each of the years they joined the City.  It took communications a few weeks to get the final video version edited. Click the video link to watch and/or play along.

https://maplewoodmn.sharepoint.com/sites/NewsCenter/SitePages/Now-premiering--Maplewood%E2%80%99s-first-annual-trivia-competition.aspx

 

Screen Shot 2022-06-06 at 10.05.51 AMMichael Skara joins Maplewood Fire-EMS

Many aspects of Maplewood Fire-EMS attracted Michael Skara to the job, especially the opportunity to work for a full service fire and EMS department. He says it’s great working for a motivated and progressive department always looking towards the future. He’s intrigued at the level of public education and community outreach. 

 

Learn more about Michael: https://maplewoodmn.sharepoint.com/sites/NewsCenter/SitePages/Get-to-know-our-newest-Firefighter,-Michael-Skara.aspx

 

Screen Shot 2022-06-06 at 10.06.58 AMOfficer Suedkamp enjoying the action at Maplewood Police

Higher call volumes, more complex cases, and a chance to interact with the community attracted Officer Adam Suedkamp to the Maplewood Police Department from the Dakota County Sheriff’s Office, where he spent seven years… Officer Suedkamp  grew up in Oakdale and attended Maplewood Middle School. In his free time, he enjoys running, reading and spending time with his 12-year-old son.

 

Learn more about Adam: https://maplewoodmn.sharepoint.com/sites/NewsCenter/SitePages/Officer-Suedkamp-joins-Maplewood-Police.aspx

 

 

Screen Shot 2022-06-06 at 10.07.18 AMMaplewood Ambassadors Program begins

Maplewood recently started an ambassadors program, pairing seasoned employees with new staff to help set them up for success. There are many great benefits of working for the city so we’ve designed this program to help folks get acclimated to the city over time. In addition new employees will get a first-hand look at city budgeting and how each of the department’s operate. Doing this helps cut down on the silos of working across several buildings. 

Watch the video to learn more: youtube.com/watch?v=waa0ydPukdY

 


PARKS AND NATURAL RESOURCES

Urban Roots Pollinator in the Park Program

Four years ago Maplewood’s partner Urban Roots planted native plants at the 1.5-acre native seed garden at Harvest Park.  The plants are now mature enough to begin harvesting the seeds this fall for native plant restoration projects.  Urban Roots Youth Group offered a Pollinator in the Park program at the garden last week, May 24. Attendees were able to purchase native plants from the pop up sale and receive tips on planting and maintaining the native plants for our pollinators.  The City was also able to video tape a native planting demonstration by the Urban Roots Youth Group for future social media post.  Look for two more events at the native seed garden this year including plant identification and bird watching on July 23 and seed harvesting on September 27.  

 

Woodbury Senior High - Senior Service Day 

Woodbury Senior High holds an annual Service Learning Day for graduating seniors. Students choose from a variety of local organizations or charities and volunteer for 3 hours. This year, three seniors joined Parks and Natural Resources staff to pick up litter in and around Legacy Park in north Maplewood. Eight large garbage bags of trash were removed from around the pond and behind Birch Run Station. A huge thank you to Woodbury High seniors for their hard work and to teacher Bobby Nunn for coordinating this valuable service!

 

Maplewood City Hall Campus Restoration Update

Non-Profit Great River Greening hired Rock Leaf Water Environmental to work on turf conversion to Prairie Pollinator habitat and they have been busy the past two weeks.

Progress to date includes:

•           Great River Greening, Rock Leaf Water Environmental and Natural Resources Coordinator Carole Gernes met to orient contracting staff to the site on Thursday, May 26.  Educational signage was placed around the restoration areas.

•           Rock Leaf staff began herbicide treatments to begin the lawn replacement process that day.

•           Great River Greening and Carole approved the seed mix selection this week.

•           Keep your eyes open for upcoming planting activities north of the main City Hall Parking lot!

 

Maplewood Spring Clean Up Comparisons FYI

Following is a comparison of Spring Clean Ups (2022, 2021, 2019).  Components of the appliances, electronics, and mattresses, and the tires and metal get recycled.  The bikes and small engines get refurbished and reused.  The clothing is reused.  All materials that cannot be recycled or reused are brought to the Ramsey-Washington Recycling and Energy Center where it is sorted for possible recycled products (large metals) then made into fuel for energy.   

 

 

Materials Collected

2019

2021

2022

Appliances (#) 

102

126

141

Attendance (# of vehicles)

432

386

367

Bicycles Collected for Reuse (#)

64

60

38

Food Shelf Donation (lbs) 

149

243

95

Food Shelf Donation ($)

$30

$467

$645

Garbage /MSW/Construction (Tons)

28.51

37.07

32.25

Mattresses Recycled (#)

98

216

139

Metal (Tons)

6.98

8.51

7.48

Small Engines – lawn mowers, etc. (#)

55

73

61

Televisions/Monitors (#)

136

224 

194

Tires (#)

25

249 

155

Used Clothing (lbs)

573

515

350

 

Edgerton Community Garden Educational Programs 

The Edgerton Community Garden is great space to offer educational programming for gardeners and the elementary students located just next store at Edgerton Elementary School.  Three educational programs were held in May including a garden art program and a native planting/Little Library grand reopening program with Mr. Wallin’s 6th grade class.  In addition, Ramsey County Master Gardeners visited the garden and conducted a demonstration garden planting, and answered questions of the gardeners.  

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PUBLIC WORKS

MnDOT Highway 36 Project Update

There has been a change to MnDOT’s construction schedule.  There will be no weekend closing of Highway 36 until June 24th.  On the weekend of June 24th through June 26th it is anticipated that eastbound Highway 36 to I-694 will be closed.  I will provide an update later as we get closer to these dates or if the schedule changes.

For more information about the project, please see MnDOT’s project website listed below.

https://www.dot.state.mn.us/metro/projects/hwy36littlecanada-stillwater/index.html

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MCC Stair Repair

The concrete stairs that connect the MCC upper parking lot to the sidewalk along White Bear Avenue was in need of repair.  The old handrail had rusted through and the stairs had a major settlement which had created a trip hazard.  The steps have been closed for these safety reasons.

 

Public Works coordinated with a contractor to have the stairs removed and replaced and new handrails installed.  The sidewalk at the bottom and top of the stairs were also replaced to fix uneven panels.  Additionally, Public Works crews rerouted a storm roof drain away from the stairs to help keep this area from being saturated and minimize future frost settlements.  This pedestrian connection to the MCC is now back open for use.

 

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Cope Ave and Gervais Ave Update

The construction season is underway! The Cope Avenue and Gervais Area Improvement projects have begun. Curb and pavement removals have begun on the Gervais Area project, with water main replacements beginning next week. Gas main replacements are underway along Cope Avenue, with water main and storm sewer work beginning in the next couple of weeks. Most of the materials for the project have been secured and it is anticipated that the projects will be completed during this construction season.

 

The City views our commercial businesses as assets to the community. Given the amount of commercial businesses in both project areas, proactive business communication is critical for a successful project. City staff have contacted all business owners in the project areas by phone as well as by visiting each business. Things discussed during these meetings included business hours of operation, timing of deliveries, garbage and recycling pickup times, access needs, and establishing lines of contact should issues arise. We will continue to work with area property owners throughout construction to minimize the impact of the project on their business.

 

 

Have a great weekend everyone. As always, please call if you have any questions or concerns .

Melinda