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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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Dec 12

December 9, 2022

Posted on December 12, 2022 at 7:46 AM by Chad Bergo

COMMUNICATIONS AND NEWS FROM THE WEEK:  December 9, 2022

Meetings and Announcements:  

The next regular City Council Meeting will be on Monday, December 12th. We will hold a public hearing on and then approve the 2023 Budget. In addition, the Reuter Walton Project is asking for several approvals.

There will be a closed session for the City Manager Annual Performance Review at 5:45.  At 6:30 pm we will host a reception in the lobby for out-going Council member Knutson in recognition of his service to the community.

ADMINSTRATION
From EXCEL Energy
The Holiday season is upon us and I hope your Thanksgiving was memorable.

At Xcel Energy, the spirit of giving shines bright. Whether it’s delivering reliable, affordable, safe, clean energy to homes and businesses or giving back to the places we live and work, making a difference is the heartbeat of the company. We are also committed to investing in organizations that advance equity and diversity in our communities. The company’s charitable arm, the Xcel Energy Foundation, donates millions of dollars each year to support needs unique to each of the communities we serve across our eight-state footprint. The Foundation’s focus area grant program, Energizing the Future, lays the groundwork for strong community impact, is aligned with our business priorities, and reinforces our continued commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI). The Foundation invested $4.4 million in 426 nonprofits across our eight-state service footprint in 2022. 

The Foundation strategically invests our giving within three focus areas:

• STEM Career Pathways expands STEM education opportunities and connects emerging and existing talent to STEM careers.

• Environmental Sustainability minimizes environmental impacts among vulnerable populations, and protects air, water and land.

• Community Vitality builds community strength and vibrancy by advancing economic prosperity and fostering cultural expression and inclusion.

You can find additional details in our  Energizing the Future brochure or on our Foundation page.

However you celebrate, I hope the season is bright.          

Kirstin Sersland
Xcel Energy | You. Us. Together.
Community Relations Manager, MN - SE Metro 

COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT
Welcome new Director Danette Parr
Danette Parr joins Maplewood to lead Community Development
“I knew Maplewood had a number of positive attributes, including its location, proactive redevelopment efforts and plenty of parks and open spaces.  However, it wasn’t until I started talking to employees when I realized it had a strong culture that prioritized professional development, a work-life balance and other qualities that make coming to work enjoyable.” Learn more about Danette Parr

Danette’s first Council meeting includes a very robust agenda: the Adoption of the 2023 Budget and CIP as well as the votes on the Reuter Walton Project in Gladstone. You will all have a chance to meet her on Monday night. I am thrilled to have her on the team as she brings many experiences from the communities she has worked in, most recently the City of Plymouth. Danette also has had training in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion initiatives which will add value and experience to our MORE team goals and objectives.  

PARKS AND NATURAL RESOURCES
New Skating Loop at Wakefield Park
Parks and Natural Resources is trying something new this year at Wakefield park. In addition to the normal skating rinks that we manage every year, the maintenance crew has been hard at work creating a skating loop that runs through the park. Stay tuned for updates as the project progresses! 

Conservation Corps Minnesota –2022 Work at Fish Creek Wraps Up
In January of 2022, Maplewood Parks and Natural Resources applied for and received assistance from the National Park Service and Mississippi Park Connection, obtaining use of their Conservation Corps Minnesota River Crew.  This crew works exclusively within the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area (MNRRA). Because most of Fish Creek Preserve falls within the MNRRA boundaries, these crews have helped us with many of our goals at Fish Creek. 

Crews of 2 - 4 removed invasive parsnip, garlic mustard and Japanese hedge parsley in the spring, readied an oak study area for planting and removed invasive shrubs in the summer, then removed invasive black locust and hazardous ash this past week. We thank them for a job well done and look forward to partnering with them again in 2023.

PUBLIC WORKS
Highway 120 PEL Study Phase II
MnDot’s Phase II of the Highway 120 Planning and Environmental Linkages (PEL) study kicked off this week.  A PEL study is a collaborative and integrated approach to transportation decision-making that does the following:

  • Considers environmental, community, and economic goals early in the transportation planning process
  • Uses the information, analysis, and products developed during planning to inform the environmental review process.

This study is looking at that part of Highway 120 between I-94 and I-694.  The road condition is in need of repair and is scheduled to be a future project in a few years.  This study is taking a look at other issues in the corridor that could be improved as part of the future project.  Phase II work will take place throughout 2023 and includes public engagement.

For more information please see the link to MnDot’s project webpage:   https://www.dot.state.mn.us/metro/projects/hwy120study/index.html

Highway 36 Study
With the start of the New Year, MnDot will begin a study of Highway 36 from I-35W to English Street.  MnDot will be looking at this eight mile corridor to better understand the needs of people who travel along Hwy 36 or need to cross over Hwy 36.  This study will be looking at all modes of transportation to better understand the travel needs along this corridor.

For more information please see the link to MnDot’s project webpage:    https://www.dot.state.mn.us/metro/projects/hwy36maplewood-roseville/index.html

This is the news for the week. Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns with any information here or with the upcoming Council meeting.
Enjoy the weekend.
Melinda