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. 

May 20

May 17, 2019

Posted on May 20, 2019 at 10:12 AM by Chad Bergo

Updates from Staff and Council:

Rental Housing Licensing – Tenant Focus Group Meeting
On Wednesday evening, staff hosted a tenant focus group in an effort to hear directly from residents the issues and concerns they have regarding rental housing in Maplewood. It was also an opportunity to garner feedback from residents on the proposed rental housing licensing ordinance and its goals. While staff sent out more than 800 notices to apartment units throughout the city inviting tenants to attend this meeting, which was held at the new Wakefield Park Community Building, only a small handful of individuals attended. Even with a smaller group a dynamic discussion was held regarding rental housing and the role licensing can play in providing safe housing conditions in Maplewood. Staff is working to finalize the timeline for next steps in this process which includes the council holding a public hearing and considering adoption of the ordinance. 

Proposed Senior Housing Project, County Road C East and Hazelwood Street North
Cassia, a senior housing developer, and First Evangelical Free Church are holding a Developer Open House this Tuesday, May 21, 2019 at 6:30 p.m. at First Evangelical Free Church of Maplewood located at 2696 Hazelwood Street North, in the Main Sanctuary to discuss conceptual plans to build an estimated 140-unit senior living housing project at the intersection of County Road C East and Hazelwood Street North – currently home to community gardens. First Evangelical Free Church owns this land and has long-term plans of relocating its church to this site as well.  The senior living community will be developed, owned and operated by Cassia. All property owners within 500 feet of the community garden site have been invited to this open house. The new senior living community is proposed to be one to three stories tall and have underground parking, feature studios and 1 and 2 bedroom apartments and allow older adults an option to live in independent, assisted living, memory care, skilled nursing or transitional care within the building.


Wakefield Park Playground Meeting
The next exciting phase of the Wakefield Park improvements is the replacement of the playground. The current equipment has reached the end of its life cycle and the City is working with Northland Recreation/Little Tikes to design a brand-new play area that is safe, full of play value and accessible.

Please join us on Wednesday, May 22 between 6:00pm-7:30pm to review the proposed design for the new Wakefield playground and give us your feedback.


Spot Paving:
This week Public Works crews were out doing spot pavement repairs on McKnight Road and Case Avenue north of Minnehaha Avenue.  These type of repairs will help address areas where filling potholes is no longer effective.  Additionally, these repairs will also provide relief to residents until the City address the street conditions as part of a CIP project.

Xcel County Road B Gas Main Replacement Update
County Road, B between Prosperity Road and White Bear Avenue, will be closed over the next several weeks as Xcel works on the removal and replacement of the gas main in this area.  Around the first week in July it is anticipated that work will begin on County Road B between White Bear Avenue and McKnight Road.  Over the next several weeks staff will be working with Xcel on how to handle access to City Hall and the main access point off of County Road B.  If there are any questions about this project please contact Steven Love.    

Tree Sale:
Trees are being delivered to the Public Works building this Friday.  Tree pick-up will be located up at the Public Works building and pick-up dates are as follows: Monday, May 20, 5:00-7:00 pm


Have a dry and warm weekend.  -Mike

May 13

May 10, 2019

Posted on May 13, 2019 at 10:43 AM by Chad Bergo

Meetings and Announcements:   

  • Next Council Workshop and Meeting on Monday, May 13.  Workshop start time is 5:00 pm. We are starting at 5 pm to accommodate the schedule of Attorney Bob Vose, to discuss the Comcast Franchise Renewal.
  • The Council Calendar for April and May is Attached. Most of the events included in the Council packet calendar have now been loaded on to this calendar
  • Bike Rodeo and Safety Fair- See attached flyer for details. Event is May 14th from 6-8 pm at the Gladstone Fire Station                                                                                                         

Updates from Staff and Council:


Successful Tree Sale
Maplewood’s first ever online tree sale yielded solid results, with citizens purchasing 125 trees. Based on estimates, the city initially ordered 150 trees. Despite falling just short of our goal, the representative from Tree Trust, our sales partner, says for a first-time sale this is an awesome result. The city canceled delivery of the 25 unsold trees at no cost. Tree Trust will deliver the trees next Friday, May 17th for citizens to pick up on Saturday and Monday.  With Emerald Ash Borer hitting Maplewood hard, this online tree sale gave the city an opportunity for citizens to buy trees at just $40 to help maintain our urban forest and tree canopy.


Troop 461 Adopts Wakefield Park

The most recent addition to our Adopt- A- Park program is Scout Troop 461. We received the following email from their leader about their first cleanup effort. We are so grateful to all of the wonderful people, both young and old that donate their time to help beautify Maplewood Parks!



Just wanted to inform that per our Adopt a Park agreement, Scout Troop 461 was at Wakefield Monday evening (5/6/2019) to pick up litter.  We were able to pick up around the construction area, the play equipment and the pavilion. We were unable to do the large open field closest to Frost as a group was there playing ball. We plan to go back later this month to do the area around the lake/pond and to pick up any large sticks or branches on the ground.  We were able to collect a lawn-size garbage bag worth of trash and dispose of it off site. The night ended in a little Frisbee so we all had fun! 

Anne Retzloff


Sci Girls Program at the Nature Center

Sci Girls and ELPIS teamed up with nature center staff to build bat houses and learn about all about bats. Sci Girls is based on the PBS TV show “Sci Girls”; – a program showcasing girls learning about science; and supported with curriculum and activities for any who want to have their own group at home.  ELPIS is a local non-profit that provides job and work training for young adults through several social enterprises, including wood working workshops such as building bat houses. 


Sixteen Sci Girls ages 9-13 years old spent the day learning about homesteading and Minnesota bats and then built bat houses out of reclaimed cedar fencing with ELPIS leaders, Nature Center staff and volunteers.



County Road B and I-35E Road Closure

Ramsey County is closing down County Road be just west of the I-35E bridge due to flooding over the road.  The county will be pumping the water over the weekend and anticipates being able to open the road on Monday.

https://www.twincities.com/2019/05/07/tired-of-potholes-one-maplewood-resident-went-to-menards-and-fixed-them-himself/  Reference:  Bryan Smith, Steve Love


Xcel County Road B Gas Main Replacement

County Road B between Prosperity Road and White Bear Avenue was closed this week as Xcel starts their gas main replacement project.  One of the methods that Xcel is using to keep residents informed about the project is a door hanger.  Approximately one week prior work beginning in an area Xcel will distribute this door hanger.


From the Pioneer Press. https://www.twincities.com/2019/05/07/tired-of-potholes-one-maplewood-resident-went-to-menards-and-fixed-them-himself/   Reference:  Bryan Smith, Steve Love (Both Mayor Abrams and Steve Love had follow up conversations with the residents in this article).

May 06

May 3rd, 2019

Posted on May 6, 2019 at 10:39 AM by Chad Bergo


Meetings and Announcements:   


Next Council Workshop and Meeting on Monday, May 13.  Workshop start time is TBD.

The Council Calendar for April and May . Most of the events included in the Council packet calendar have now been loaded on to this calendar as well.

Maplewood Spring Clean Up FYI

The City’s annual Spring Clean Up will be held on Saturday, May 11, 2019, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Aldrich Arena.  The event provides residents with the opportunity to properly dispose of and recycle items that are not typically accepted through their curbside trash and recycling service

Residents are encouraged to bring a food or cash donation to support Second Harvest Heartland, a local food shelf.  For a full list of items accepted and fees, visit the Maplewood’s website.

City Council and Environmental and Natural Resources Commission volunteers are needed to assist with
checking in residents at the entry gate.  This is a great opportunity to meet and greet Maplewood residents, all while helping the environment.  


League of Minnesota Cities Annual Conference - Please contact Lois if you would like her to register for the conference. It is asked that if you are planning on attending that you let Lois know by April 29th for the lower price for the conference. Picture1

Updates from Staff and Council:



Tenant Focus Group Meeting – Rental Housing Licensing Program

This week staff sent letters to more than 800 apartment units throughout the City inviting tenants to a focus group meeting to be held on May 15 at 5:30 p.m. This focus group meeting will be held in the new Wakefield Park Community Building and will be an opportunity for renters to provide feedback to the City on what issues they feel are important to housing in Maplewood and what their initial thoughts are on a licensing requirement. Staff intends to bring the rental housing licensing program back to Council for its consideration in June. 

North End Open House 

On May 29 the public is being invited to review and provide feedback on the vision plan for the North End. This open house will take place at the Ramsey County Library branch in Maplewood from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. and the public will be able to see every step the Working Group took in developing the vision plan. The project team will take the feedback gathered at this open house to make refinements to the final, draft vision plan document. The project team is tentatively scheduled to make stops at a City Council Workshop on June 10 and the Planning Commission on June 18 to provide an update on the project. The final Working Group meeting is scheduled to take place on June 26 and the plan will then be brought back to the City Council in July to consider adoption. 


Summer Nature Walks (see attachment)

The Nature Center is offering 3 translated nature hikes this summer - June 7 in Hmong, July 19 in Somali and August 9 in Spanish.  Everyone is welcome to attend all sessions.

The translations were done by volunteers who are also helping us advertise within their communities.  A big thank you to Konnie Her, Kayd Ahmed, and Arturo Leyva, for their help translating and creating the flyers!


News From Print and Other Partners


Bergeron Memorial

·       Fox9 - Reference:  Mike Shortreed   Ashley Bergeron

·       KSTP - Reference:  Ashley Bergeron   Scott Nadeau  -  Includes Video

Myth Related

·       East Sider Review News - Reference:  Kathleen Juenemann, Scott Nadeau, Bryan Smith, Marylee Abrams

·       East Sider Review News - Reference:  City Council, Kathleen Juenemann


 Have a great weekend.   –Mike