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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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Mar 19

March 16th, 2018

Posted on March 19, 2018 at 10:43 AM by Chad Bergo

COMMUNICATIONS AND NEWS FROM THE WEEK:  3.16.18

Meetings and Announcements:    

• Our next City Council meeting and Manager Work will be held on Monday, March 26th, 2018.   Start time for Workshop is 5:45 pm. We will have presentations on the Administration and Finance Department operations.

• Maplewood Business Council will meet Thursday, March 22 from 7:30 m – 8:30 am at the Maplewood Community Center.  A strong, diversified economy in Maplewood is critical to the well-being of the businesses and residents of the City and to the fiscal strength of the City. The goal of Maplewood's 2040 Comprehensive Plan is to identify and outline the roadmap to support the ongoing growth of companies and industries while preserving and enhancing quality of life factors that make Maplewood attractive to new companies and new residents.
Please join us for a conversation! The City of Maplewood will discuss how the 2040 Comprehensive Plan has evolved since our last meeting to better promote the ongoing growth of companies and industries while preserving and enhancing quality of life.
The business perspective is important to the City of Maplewood, so this opportunity to give feedback is encouraged. Please let Lois know if you are planning on attending. 

• Afton Place Open House- April 12th 4-7 pm. Please see attached flyer for details. 

• Save the date- Maplewood Spring Clean Up, Saturday, April 21st, 8am -1 pm, Aldrich Arena

 
Updates from Staff and Council

ADMINISTRATION

Ellie checked with the owner of the Maple Ponds Townhomes, Mr.  Teasdale and he has indicated on that he would be ok with paying back the $20,000. I think his reasoning behind delaying the payment was that the size of the project had increased due to the new Federal tax regulations not being favorable to affordable housing projects. 

EEDD

Mercedes-Benz – 2780 Maplewood Drive
With the Porsche dealership moving into its new building at 2490 Maplewood Drive, Morrie’s Automotive Group (owner of the Mercedes-Benz dealership in Maplewood) moved forward and purchased Porsche’s former building and site located at 2780 Maplewood Drive. A map of the site now owned by Morrie’s is below – property outlined in red. Morrie’s is considering expanding the current building and parking lot and growing the Mercedes’s dealership on site. No plans have been submitted to the city. City staff has guided Morrie’s into holding a neighborhood/developer open house before they submit any plans so they can have a discussion directly with the neighbors about the expansion of this facility.  Morrie’s has communicated that this neighborhood meeting will be taking place on April 3.  City staff expects Morrie’s to start making formal applications to the city later in the spring.  

Feedback from Lions Park Residents- emails below:
Ms. Melinda Coleman,
As a resident of the Lions Park Neighborhood I have been very invested in the recent exchanges of information regarding the Land Use Designation reclassification for the Lions Park Neighborhood as proposed in the 2040 Comprehensive Plan. I would like to thank you, Mr. Martin, and Mr. Konewko for making time to listen to our questions and concerns. I have received the letter stating the revision to the 2040 Plan which removes the Land Use Designation change, maintaining all existing single family residences as Low Density, Residential. 
I do understand that this rescindment could well have been followed by "for now", as population growth patterns and transit oriented development are still looming in our future, and will need to be addressed at some point. I approve of the Lions Park Master Plan as explained in the letter. This seems like a much more thought out approach and allows for managing  situations as they arise (the Gold Line may not come or could be delayed). I understand the inclination to have incorporated provisions for the proposed BRT into the Comprehensive Plan, as that is what a "plan" is all about, but redesignating the entire neighborhood seemed like a blunt edged approach to me. 
I sincerely (REALLY !!) appreciate that you and the other decision makers were able to grasp the weighty cloud that years of uncertainty from the planned designation change would have cast over the residents of the Lions Park area. Thank You.
P.S. I was quite impressed by the professionalism and leadership abilities that were evident in our dealings with you, Ms. Coleman. I feel secure in knowing that our city is being managed by competent hands.
           Resident's Name withheld for privacy

From: 
Sent: Tuesday, March 13, 2018 6:38 PM
To: DuWayne Konewko <DuWayne.Konewko@maplewoodmn.gov>
Subject: Lions Park

Mr. Duwayne Konewko,
As a resident of the Lions Park Neighborhood I have been very invested in the recent exchanges of information regarding the Land Use Designation reclassification for the Lions Park Neighborhood as proposed in the 2040 Comprehensive Plan. I would like to thank you, Ms. Coleman, and Mr. Martin for making time to listen to our questions and concerns. I have received the letter stating the revision to the 2040 Plan which removes the Land Use Designation change, maintaining all existing single family residences as Low Density, Residential. 
I do understand that this rescindment could well have been followed by "for now", as population growth patterns and transit oriented development are still looming in our future, and will need to be addressed at some point. I approve of the Lions Park Master Plan as explained in the letter. This seems like a much more thought out approach and allows for managing  situations as they arise (the Gold Line may not come or could be delayed). I understand the inclination to have incorporated provisions for the proposed BRT into the Comprehensive Plan, as that is what a "plan" is all about, but redesignating the entire neighborhood seemed like a blunt edged approach to me. 
   I sincerely (REALLY !!) appreciate that you and the other decision makers were able to grasp the weighty cloud that years of uncertainty from the planned designation change would have cast over the residents of the Lions Park area. Thank You.
           Resident's Name withheld for privacy


Update on 2494 Harvester
Staff has decided to move forward with the option of using a realtor for the sale of 2494 Harvester Ave.  Staff will work directly with an area realtor to market and sell the property as is.  Staff believes a real estate professional will  be better able to market and get a higher final price for the home because of their broader knowledge of the local housing market. 

Staff has reached out to Mike Brass, who has represented the city in commercial sales in the past, and he has provided a recommended residential realtor.   In the coming days staff will be working towards taking the next steps to proceed with this process which includes meeting with the realtor to walk through the house so they can get a better feel for the property.  Part of the discussion with the realtor is ensuring it is know what the city wants from this process and sale which focuses on the following: purchase price, renderings or drawings illustrating plans for the dwelling, timeline for project completion, owner-occupied vs. rental, references, and qualifications. Under this option, the City Council will have the authority to reject any and all proposals. 

Staff will keep the Council and neighborhood informed as this project proceeds.  If there are additional questions or comments please do not hesitate to call Chris Swanson at 651-249-2305 or by email at Chris.Swanson@maplewoodMN.gov.


Holiday Light Collection a Success!
This past holiday season, the City of Maplewood once again participated in the Recycle Your Holiday’s campaign.  This campaign is an effort by ProAct to remove holiday lights from the waste stream, promote the conversion of old holiday lights to energy efficient LED lights, and to employ individuals with disabilities at vocational centers throughout the state.  

ProAct just notified the City of the results of our two month collection efforts - over 1,091 pounds of holiday lights were collected at the Community Center, Public Works building, and City Hall!  For those who are more visual thinkers, imagine two city code trucks filled to the brim with holiday lights.  All parts of the holiday lights were dismantled and properly recycled by a local facility that employs adults with disabilities.

If you still need to recycle holiday lights, visit Ramsey County’s year-round household hazardous waste facility at 5 Empire Drive in St. Paul (651-633-3279).  You can also drop off holiday lights at the City’s annual Spring Clean Up event scheduled for April 21 from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m. at Aldrich Arena.  For more year round drop off locations please visit RAM’s website at www.recycleminnesota.org  or the City’s recycling announcements webpage http://www.maplewoodmn.gov/1020/Recycling-Clean-Up-Announcements.



Maplewood Collected over 1,000 Pounds of 
Broken or Unused Holiday Lights
During the Recycle Your Holidays Campaign


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News From local sources and agencies : 

Here is the news today:  (editorial)    https://www.twincities.com/2018/03/14/editorial-the-sound-of-community-participation-in-maplewood/  Reference:  Mayor Nora Slawik

Link below to an article regarding the Hazelwood Medical Office Building for your weekly FYI to council.

http://www.startribune.com/medical-office-construction-is-changing-but-not-slowing-down-in-twin-cities/477013953/

Here's another link below regarding an article on the Hillcrest Golf Course in the Pioneer Press for your weekly FYI to council.

https://www.twincities.com/2018/03/16/hillcrest-golf-course-110-gorgeous-acres-could-soon-be-for-sale/


League Events & Training
MARCH SPOTLIGHT!
2018 Legislative Conference for Cities
March 21-22—St. Paul
Once the 2018 legislative session is in full swing, join your city colleagues in St. Paul for the 2018 Legislative Conference for Cities. Focus on how city priorities are faring at the Capitol, get tips on how to advocate for cities, and more!


Co-Sponsored Events & Other Training

Minnesota Mayors Association 2018 Annual Conference
April 27-28—Perham
Join mayors from across Minnesota for the Minnesota Mayor’s Association 2018 Annual Conference as together we explore how to be the leaders our communities require in times that can be challenging.

Workshop—Bridging Divides: What to do When People Disagree
April-June—Various Dates & Locations
Join local government officials for these free workshops in a city near you to discover how to de-escalate difficult situations and move from confrontation and conflict to effective problem solving
                             
Thanks for reading. We continue to work on the challenging legal and legislative issues associated with the Fire Relief Association. I appreciate your support and will continue to keep you informed of on-going concerns. Key date is March 23rd when we will hear MVFRA response to our lawsuit.  Please call or email any time for updates. Melinda


  Melinda Coleman | 651-249-2055