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 26

March 23rd, 2018

Posted on March 26, 2018 at 1:37 PM by Chad Bergo


Meetings and Announcements:   

Our next City Council meeting and Manager Work will be held on Monday, March 26th, 2018.   Start time for Workshop is 5:30 pm. We will have presentations on the Administration and Finance Department operations. 

Afton Place Open House- April 12th 4-7 pm. 

Council – Staff Retreat will be held on Tuesday April 17th. We will meet at the Conference Center at Manitou Station in downtown White Bear Lake. The retreat will be from 8 am to 3:30 pm.

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


Join us on as we celebrate the women in our communities who make things happen at the 3rd annual Women in Leadership Celebration.


Thursday, April 12

5:45 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.


Gulden's Restaurant

2999 North Hwy. 61

Maplewood, MN 55109


The event will include time to connect with fellow community leaders and program featuring Saint Paul City Attorney Lyndsey Olson.

White Bear Chamber Event

Thursday, March 29th
11:30am - 1:00pm
Short Elliott Hendrickson (SEH)
3535 Vadnais Center Drive, Vadnais Heights
Guest Speaker
Kurt Daudt, Minnesota Speaker of the House 



Update on Assemblies Project: from Miriam Ziven

The Assemblies Project will take place on April 27th and 28th. The entire City Council and interested staff are invited to attend on April 28th at 3:30 to 4:30. I will be attending part of the day on the 27th to discuss the functions of city government; services, challenges etc. When we get closer to the date, I will check in on who is attending. Thanks




Annual League of Minnesota Cities Conference. The conference will be held in St. Cloud on June 20-22nd at the River’s Edge Conference Center. Registration is open and is discounted if you register before April 30th.  Please let Lois know if you are planning on attending. Thanks


Updates from Staff and Council



Twin Cities news followers are starting to see the results of our work on the Rice-Larpenteur. Recently KSTP ran story on the project, and we’re told the Pioneer Press is working on an Editorial.



Shores  “Ribbon Cutting” this week. The Shores at Lake Phalen, a senior living facility, officially joined the White Bear Area Chamber of Commerce this week.

Maplewood took the opportunity to highlight the importance of partnering with our senior care facilities to help them succeed at ensuring seniors age gracefully. The Shores’ executive director praised Maplewood’s Fire/EMS Department for proactively working with the facility on emergency safety drills and best practices when adults need urgent care.


Wakefield Park Demolition

After a year of planning, community input and at least three city governing bodies weighing in, public works crews started demolition at Wakefield Park to make way for major improvements. When construction is complete late next fall (weather permitting), there will be a new community building, improvements to the lake’s water quality and upgraded athletic facilities and skating rinks. Our communications division is chronicling the developments. Look for videos and stories in Maplewood Living, Maplewood 16-TV, and they city’s social media channels.

We’ll have a fuller story early next week featuring a neighbor and Audra.




Public Hearing – 2040 Comprehensive Plan

More than 90 people gathered Tuesday night to learn about and provide feedback on Maplewood’s Draft 2040 Comprehensive Plan. Of those in attendance, 10 individuals spoke to deliver their comments to the Planning Commission. The two main areas of discussion were related to the Lion’s Park neighborhood and the vacant land north of the Connemara Condominium buildings.  Those who spoke regarding Lion’s Park were largely appreciative of the City listening to their concerns and taking a step back on the proposal to re-guide that neighborhood. Connemara residents’ concerns were with a recreational easement they hold over the vacant land to the north. At the meeting it was explained the City still needs to apply a land use designation to the vacant land and it is up to the Connemara Condominium Board and the vacant land property owner to amend the easement or leave it as it.


After the public hearing concluded, the Planning Commission voted 7-0 to recommended the City Council approve the Draft 2040 Comprehensive Plan to be distributed for review to all affected and adjacent jurisdictions.  This item will be before the City Council at its meeting on April 9 and staff will provide the council with an overview and update on the plan’s progress and development. 


Maplewood Business Council Meeting

Business, civic and educational leaders gathered this week to discuss the future of Maplewood and the development of partnerships in order to work together to achieve the City’s vision. Nearly 30 people attended the Maplewood Business Community Meeting Thursday morning at the Maplewood Community Center. The focus of the discussion was the 2040 Comprehensive Plan and its impact on the business community. In addition to the comprehensive plan conversation, the group focused on how to better link work force needs with the programs provided at local schools and how to better leverage the school districts in Maplewood as  selling points for potential residents and businesses to locate within the city. The meeting wrapped up by touching on the City’s developing urban agriculture programs and the resources that are being provided to residents.


New Panera Bread Location and Building

Panera Bread is planning to make a significant investment in Maplewood and build its own building to improve the services and products the restaurant provides to residents of the City. This week staff received an application from Panera Bread which intends to demo the existing Bremer Bank building and construct a new 4,960 square foot store.  This property is owned by Washington Prime Group – owner of the Maplewood Mall. Staff is working to confirm the future of the Maplewood Bremer Bank branch and if there are plans to relocate elsewhere within Maplewood. It is also expected that Panera is relocating its existing location at the Maple Ridge Shopping Center – 2515 White Bear Avenue – to this new building.  The new building is attractively designed and will be reviewed by the CDRB at its meeting on April 17.  Below are renderings of the proposed building.





Transit Project Updates - Rush Line Update

Following the three year Evaluation Process, which included an extensive public engagement campaign, phase 1 of the project ended with the selection of a Locally Preferred Alternative (LPA).  The next phase of the project is the Environmental Analysis (see Rush Line project timeline).  The Environmental Analysis will identify ways to maximize mobility, accessibility and economic development opportunities while avoiding, minimizing and mitigating negative impacts.

City staff are serving on the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) and the Maplewood Issue Resolution Team (IRT) as part of the Environmental Analysis work.  The first meeting of the Policy Advisory Committee (PAC) for the Environmental Analysis will meet on Thursday, March 29th.  Work on phase 2 of the project is anticipated to take place over the next two years.

Gold Line Update

Much like the Rush Line project the Gold Line project has entered the Environmental Analysis phase following the completion of the Evaluation Process and the selection of the Locally Preferred Alternative (LPA).  This phase of the project is anticipated to take place over the next two years (see Gold Line project timeline).  City staff are serving on the Technical Advisory committee (TAC), the Stormwater Issue Resolution Team (IRT), the Maplewood IRT, and the Stationary Planning group. 


Gladstone Phase 3

Last Friday the design team for Gladstone Phase 3 meet out at Wakefield Park to kick off work on the feasibility study. 

Representatives from Ramsey Washington Metro Watershed District (RWMWD), RWMWD’s consultant engineers (Barr Engineering), Maplewood Parks and Recreation Department, Maplewood Public Works Department, and Maplewood’s engineering consultants (Kimley-Horn).  

A neighborhood meeting is being planned for early April to meet with residents, introduce the proposed project, and gather feedback on issue, concerns, and design ideas.



Representatives from the Minnesota Food Association /The Food Group attended the March 21 Parks and Recreation Commission Meeting to present the site design for the Harvest Park Educational Farm, provide updates on what has been accomplished so far and share what they have planned for the upcoming year.

Accomplishments for 2017:

•       Maplewood Parks and Rec Department removed the baseball fields and  graded the site

•       Analyzed the soil and developed a soil profiles map

•       Spread 9 semi-loads of compost from Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community Organics  Recycling Facility

•       Tilled the site

•       Planted 300  lbs. of winter rye seed  (winter cover crop)

•       Secured a mini-grant from Ramsey County Statewide Health Improvement Partnership

•       Built partnership with the Harvest Community Gardens

•       Site design


Next Steps for 2018: 

  • Get electric and water quotes
  • Install fence (48”-52”) Seed cover crops
  • Plant pollinators
  • Plant perennial veggies
  • Install signage
  • Community Engagement
  • Plan classes/field days
  • Fundraise!


Who is the Minnesota Food Association /The Food Group?

The Minnesota Food Association (MFA) is a nonprofit organization with a mission to build a sustainable food system based on social, economic and environmental justice. MFA provides an array of land-based educational opportunities about sustainable organic agriculture for farmers, youth, and the community. 

In April of 2017, the City Council approved an 18 month MOU between the City and The Food Group MN/Minnesota Food Association to establish the Harvest Park Educational Farm with the potential for a more permanent agreement.

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News From local sources and agencies :

 https://metrocouncil.org/News-Events/Communities/Newsletters/Maplewood’s-sustainability-efforts-strengthen-city.aspx- Sustainability Programs in Maplewood acknowledged in Met Council newsletter.

 https://www.twincities.com/2018/03/21/bill-would-resolve-maplewood-firefighters-severance-battle-in-citys-favor/  Reference:  Melinda Coleman



League Events & Training

Go Beyond Compromise with New Conflict Management Skills

What do you do when emotions run high and conversations turn into disagreements at city hall? 

Don't miss these free workshops this spring that will help you find ways to de-escalate conflicts in your city, discover how to manage high emotions, create conversations instead of confrontations, identify situations that lead to conflict, and more!

Conflict management skills covered include:

  • De-escalation and dealing with strong emotions
  • Ways to increase mutual understanding
  • How to build consensus
  • Effective communication techniques for difficult situations

April 26—St. Paul

 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.

WorkshopBridging 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. Staff continues to work on the challenging legal and legislative issues associated with the Fire Relief Association. I will continue to keep you informed of on-going concerns. Expect a report from Attorney Batty early next week.  Please call or email any time for updates or if you have questions about the Council packet.  Melinda

Melinda Coleman | 651-249-2055