COMMUNICATIONS AND NEWS FROM THE WEEK: January 13th, 2023
Meetings and Announcements:
The next regular City Council Meeting will be on Monday, January 23rd. We will have commission interviews for the Environmental and Natural Resource opening at a workshop pre-council meeting. There is one opening and nine applicants. Watch your Council packet next week for start time for workshop.
Sound mitigation at Wakefield Community Building
Lois, Audra and I met with an interior designer today at Wakefield and developed a plan that we believe will be attractive and hopefully completely mitigate the sound issues we are experiencing. The designer prepared several options for our consideration and we are starting with adding acoustical baffles and tiles on the walls and up near the lighting. We believe this will greatly improve the sound quality and if we need to add a few more tiles or others items, they can be added in the future. I think you will be pleased to see the results as it adds some visual interest but doesn’t detract from the vaulted ceiling and windows. We are waiting for final cost estimates before we start on the project.
Labor Contract Negotiations
Mike and I have reached tentative agreements on four contracts and hope to bring them to you at the first meeting in February. With the Implementation of the new Compensation Plan, things have taken a bit longer but for the most part we have 3 year contracts so that is a big plus for everyone.
MCC Emergency Generator Replacement
Replacement of the emergency generator for the MCC was approved in 2022. However, do to material shortages and supply chain issues the delivery timeline ended up being over a year out. We currently are expecting deliver to take place near the end of March or early April.
As part of the project the existing transfer switch and electrical panel need to be upgraded. We recently received the new transfer switch and are moving forward with its installation. Installation of the new transfer switch requires power to be shut off once to hook up temporary power and again the following day to move it back to the new transfer switch.
Staff has worked with Robert Blick, District Building Engineer for the YMCA, and our electrical contractor, Muska, to coordinate this work to take place at 4:00 a.m. next Wednesday and Thursday. The time was chosen to minimize the impact on the YMCA’s daily operations and avoid their 5:00 a.m. opening time. Each shut down is expected to last less than 30 minutes. Additional updates will be provide once we receive the new emergency generator.
PARKS AND NATURAL RESOURCES
AmeriCorps ClimateCorps Forestry Member
The Parks and Natural Resources Department applied for and was approved to receive a January – July term AmeriCorps ClimateCorps Forestry member to assist with forestry initiatives for the City of Maplewood.
Our member, Dani LeMire, will assist with tree inventories, inspections, events, tree sale, plantings, education and outreach. Her first day with the city is Tuesday, January 17. Dani will be working with our department at the Maplewood Nature Center. Stop by and say hello or look for her at our next tree event!
Deer Management Activities Planned for Southeast Ramsey County
Maplewood, Saint Paul and Ramsey County are partnering on deer management south of I-94 this winter, pursuant to the 2022 Ramsey County Deer Management Program. In this area, which includes Carver Preserve, the current deer population exceeds the amount of sustainable deer habitat, which may result in an unhealthy, stressed herd. This area falls within the MN DNR’s Chronic Wasting Disease Surveillance Zone. Overpopulation of deer also results in damage to ornamental and garden plants, high rates of deer/vehicle collisions, and damage or excessive browsing to native trees, shrubs and plants.
During the winter of 2022/2023 deer management activities will be accomplished in partnership with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Wildlife Services division. All deer removed in this program will be donated to predetermined underserved residents of Ramsey County in coordination with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.
Wakefield Skating Loop - A note from Mike Martin(Assistant CD Director) on his family experience at Wakefield’s new skating loop.
Meant to share this earlier this week, I brought my kids to the new Wakefield path last weekend. They skated 50 laps - that was their goal - and loved it. I struck up conversation with a few other park users and they all unprompted stated they thought it was cool the city tried something new. Just wanted to share. Thanks!
This is the news for the week. I look forward to the year ahead and the great work we will do together. As always, please call with any questions or concerns.