COMMUNICATIONS AND NEWS FROM THE WEEK: September 15, 2023
Meetings and Announcements:
Our next Council meeting will be on Monday, September 25th. We do not have a workshop planned for the 25th.
From City Clerk Sindt
The Office of Cannabis Management held a session on Aug 16 to provide a general overview of the early work to establish the OCM, an update on the temporary regulations for hemp-derived cannabinoid products, and information about upcoming OCM rulemaking. View the session recording here. Following are a couple slides regarding licensing and the rulemaking timeline from the session. Staff will continue to share updates and information as it is received.
Proposed Metro Transit G Line – Public Engagement Kicking Off
Starting September 25, Metro Transit will kick off a six-week public engagement period. A virtual open house will be held on October 10 at 6:30 p.m. City staff will send the City Council the link to this event closer to the October 10th date. In addition to the open house, project staff will collect feedback via survey, email, phone, and in-person interviews. Postcards will be sent to all properties within a quarter mile of the corridor. A door-knocking effort will occur for all properties neighboring the proposed station locations.
The Metro Transit G Line is a planned bus rapid transit line, like the A Line and C Line, that will provide faster and more reliable transit service in the Rice/Robert corridor. It will travel from Little Canada through Maplewood and downtown St. Paul to West St. Paul. Proposed Maplewood stations include County Road B, Roselawn Avenue and Larpetneur Avenue. More information on this project can be found at https://www.metrotransit.org/g-line-project. Project staff has also offered to present to the City Council, so if there is interest, please let Melinda Coleman know.
Metro Transit has offered to present this information at a Council meeting. Please let me know if you would like them to come out to present.
PARK AND NATURAL RESOURCES
TOUCH A TRUCK 2023
Maplewood Parks and Natural Resources hosted the rescheduled Touch A Truck event on Wednesday, September 13th at the YMCA/MCC and we could not have asked for a more perfect weather day!
We had numerous vehicles on display from Parks, Public Safety, and Public Works, along with a school bus, trash and recycle trucks and a semi-truck. Another crowd favorite was getting up close and personal to a K9 officer!
Families were able to refuel with free grilled hotdogs, chips, and water! The Maplewood-North Lions volunteered to work at the food tent and was a huge help! Guests also had the option to buy ice cream from the Milk Mart Ice cream truck and 10% of proceeds will go to the Maplewood Youth Scholarship fund.
Other activity stations offered temporary tattoos, Krazy Hair spray, bounce castle, yard games, 3M Wizards Science on the Go and the Hasse Family Petting Zoo.
In addition, we had booths from Ramsey County Public Health, Ramsey County 4H, City and County Credit Union, Maplewood YMCA and more all providing free activities, prizes and information about their services.
Thanks to the Parks and Natural Resources Commission members that hosted a booth and gave out construction hats, stickers and candy to attendees and shared information about upcoming city happenings.
Parks and Natural Resources wants to give a huge thank you to staff from other departments, partners, and sponsors for helping make the event a success and it was great having City Council members and the Mayor on hand to be a part of the fun!
City EAB Update
Due to the large amount of ash trees being removed in the metro area, disposal of the trees and brush material has become increasingly difficult. Both RAMCO Workhouse and Environmental Wood Supply are no longer accepting brush and logs at this time. Environmental Wood is still accepting woodchips. For the City to be able to continue removing ash trees the best course of action is to stockpile removed trees and brush material in the Public Works yard area. Once there is a significant stockpile of trees and brush material, the plan will be to grind the material onsite in the public works year and haul it to Environmental Wood Supply for disposal.
We have been working with the Dakota Wood company for several years to rent screeners for our sweepings each year. We have contacted Dakota Wood and they confirmed that they will provide a tub grinder and loader to do the grinding. Environmental Wood Services will provide the trucks to haul woodchip material from the Public Works yard to their facilities. This plan will allow City crews to continue with tree removals throughout the fall and into early winter while keeping the operational costs relatively low.
Ramsey County EAB Work
At the last council meeting it was asked that staff reach out to Ramey County to see how they are managing EAB on County right-of-ways and park lands. Their process is very similar to how Maplewood is managing ash tree removals. When someone contacts the County regarding EAB in the county right-of-ways or park land the County dispatches staff to inspect the trees. If EAB is found and the tree is on County right-of-ways or park land, and is a hazard, the County schedules the tree to be removed. If the tree is out in the middle of a wooded area, where it is not a hazard, the tree is not removed.
The County has received grant money for removal and plantings work. They are planning to continue pursuing available grant opportunities moving forward.
Note from Director Love on detour for Gold Line Project
The gold line project team has been coordinating with 3M for a revised detour plan (see attached). Staring on Monday the following ramps will be closed at Century and I-94 (see red lines on attachment):
West bound I-94 to Century Avenue
Century Avenue to West Bound I-94
North bound and south bound traffic on Century Avenue will remain open to traffic. These closure and detour plan will be in place approximately for the next 2 month through the end of the 2023 construction season.
3M is aware and has agreed with this detour plan. The previous detour plan used Minnehaha and Upper Afton. Both are more residential in nature and there is a school on Upper Afton.
If you have any questions please let me know. Map of detour is attached.
Good afternoon, Mayor and City Council. I want to share a note of thanks to Lois, Mike Darrow and department heads for assisting me in keeping things running smoothly as I balance rest and work. They have been a great help to me.
Please reach out if you have any questions or concerns with any of this content or other matters.