COMMUNICATIONS AND NEWS FROM THE WEEK: October 1, 2021
Meetings and Announcements:
•The next City Council meeting will be held on Monday, October 11th
•5:30 PM Workshop – Boards and Commission Interviews. We have openings on the ENR and HPC
•7:00 PM – City Council Meeting
•Please note that the City Council staff retreat will be held next Thursday, October 7th, 8:30 to 4:30. Location will be Wakefield.
•Save the Date: Fire prevention week is October 3-9, 2021. The fire department will be hosting an open house on Saturday October 9th from 11am-2pm. There will be fire prevention demonstrations, food and activities for all ages. A flyer with additional information will be distributed in the next week, but we wanted to get the event on everyone’s calendar.
Assistant City Manager/Human Resource Director Position
On Thursday two panels of 5 staff/department heads and myself interviewed 5 candidates for this position. The panels agreed on the top two candidates and we will be doing second interviews the week of October 11th. I will have updates for you after the interviews are conducted.
PARKS AND NATURAL RESOURCES
Fall Natural Resources Volunteer Projects
In September, volunteer groups completed projects at Fish Creek Natural Area, and Maplewood raingardens.
A corporate service group, coordinated by Mississippi Park Connection and the National Park Service, planted 100 pollinator-supporting native shrubs at Fish Creek. A small mesh cage protects each shrub from browsing animals.
Mississippi Park Connection volunteers planting shrubs at Fish Creek
Century College’s Ecology class is back on board, helping with six natural resources projects this fall. Instructor Jeff Korpik incorporates service-learning projects into lab sessions for hands-on learning. Two rain garden clean-ups have already been completed. Rain Gardens capture rainwater, allowing it to percolate slowly into the soil, filtering out sediment and pollutants. Students will also remove buckthorn, collect native prairie seed, clear trails and put Edgerton Community Garden to bed.
Fall 2021 Century College Ecology Volunteers
Century College students at Wakefield Park rain gardens
A huge shout-out to these volunteers for helping improve Maplewood’s natural resources!
Sanitary Sewer Lift Station Maintenance
The City owns and operates nine sanitary sewer lift stations. In order to keep the lift stations operating efficiently the sanitary utility crew must perform annual pump maintenance and cleaning at each station. This annual maintenance occurs in the fall, starting in mid-September and finishing in mid-October.
The annual maintenance consists of changing oil in each pump, checking all electrical components, inspecting each pump, and cleaning of the wet well. The pumps are lifted to the surface for maintenance using a truck with a mounted crane.
Six of the lift stations can be cleaned from the surface with our Jet/Vac machine. Three of the stations require a utility worker to be lowered into the wet well and manually shovel grease and debris to the Jet/Vac suction tubes.
The attached pictures show the annual pump maintenance being performed on lift station #6 at 1035 Lakewood Dr N. This is the largest volume sanitary sewer lift station in the city. The 40 horsepower pumps weigh about 900 pounds each and are over four feet tall. This station pumps over 5,625 gallons of sewage each hour.
This critical maintenance work helps deliver a reliable service to the property owners of Maplewood. A big thank you to the sewer crew for all the work they do.
Last Spot Paving of the Year
The section of VanDyke Street that lies between Larpenteur Avenue and North Saint Paul Road is roughly 980 feet long and is four lanes wide. The most recent Pavement Condition Index (PCI) rating is 25 out of 100 (with 100 being a brand new road). While having a very low PCI rating this street currently lies outside of the City’s proposed 5 year Capital Improvement Plan. This made it an ideal candidate for spot paving.
The first picture below shows that the crews have finished paving the two outside lanes. This picture also gives you a good idea of what the condition of VanDyke Street was. The second picture shows the final product after our crews did a great job with the last spot paving project of the year.
While spot paving does not fix the underlying issues of the existing pavement, it provides relief for motorists that travel on VanDyke Street. Additionally, the spot paving work improves the challenges of performing winter maintenance, reduces the amount of time spent filling potholes throughout the year, and frees up time for the crew to perform other needed maintenance work on our streets and storm sewer system.
This is the news for the week. Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns. I will be attending the ICMA Conference that is in Portland, Oregon virtually, Monday through Wednesday next week. I look forward to the Council/Staff retreat on Thursday.
Have a great weekend.