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.
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.
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.
Michael 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
Officer 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
Maplewood 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.
Attendance (# of vehicles)
Bicycles Collected for Reuse (#)
Food Shelf Donation (lbs)
Food Shelf Donation ($)
Garbage /MSW/Construction (Tons)
Mattresses Recycled (#)
Small Engines – lawn mowers, etc. (#)
Used Clothing (lbs)
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.
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.
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.
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 .