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. 

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Aug 05

August 2, 2019

Posted on August 5, 2019 at 8:04 AM by Chad Bergo


Meetings and Announcements:  

The next Council Meeting is August 12. The Workshop will start at 5:30 pm and there will be department presentations from Public Works, Public Safety, Community Development; and the 2020 Budget.


National Night Out, Tuesday August 6

City Staff will email a revised map to you on Monday.  As of today, the party list has been updated to reflect the latest changes.  On Monday, you can communicate through Lois on which parties you’re planning to attend. Lois, in turn, will assist in coordinating where all the council members will be.


Parks And Recreation Commission(PRC) Parks Tour

The PRC and staff will be taking a parks tour on August 19 from 4:30pm – 7:00pm to check out recent improvements as well as areas/facilities that pose challenges in our parks system. We will be boarding the bus at 4:15pm at City Hall, and returning to City Hall around 7:00pm. The tour will include a stop at the Wakefield Community Building for dinner.


We would love to have the Mayor and Council join us and if interested, please contact Audra Robbins by email: audra.robbins@maplwoodmn.gov or by phone: 651-249-2125.


Updates from Staff and Council:


Strategic Plan - As previously reported, Mike Funk and Lois Knutson participated in a webinar that showcased the city’s strategic plan.  There were nearly 200 attendees that watched the presentation and heard about our success story to construct a high functioning strategic plan.  Additionally, we have been highlighted in a case study – which has given Maplewood broader exposure.  See attached. 



County Road B/Xcel Update - Xcel will be working on the restoration of County Road B next week between Van Dyke Street and Ariel Street.  They are anticipating their work will be completed to the point where they will be able to open up County Road B from White Bear Avenue to Hazel Street, at a minimum, following this work.  This will restore access to City Hall from White Bear Avenue on County Road B.


Ramsey County is planning on doing a mill and overlay of that part of County Road B that Xcel has been working between Prosperity Road and Henry Street in North St. Paul.  They are anticipating that this work will take place towards the end of September or early October.  This will be dependent on Xcel’s schedule and the weather.



Farrell-Ferndale – Gas Service Replacement - Jon Jarosch and I met with a representative of Xcel Energy this week regarding the work Xcel Energy did in the Farrell-Ferndale neighborhood while the City’s street project was being constructed.  Xcel Energy was notified by their pipe supplier that there has been a recall on some of the gas service pipe material that was utilized on this project.  There are about 21 gas services in this neighborhood which are affected by this recall.  In September Xcel Energy will be replacing the affected gas services.  They will be notifying the residents by mail prior to the work taking place.  This letter will explain the reason the work will be taking place and provide residents with contact information if they have any questions or concerns.  This work will take place in the boulevard and yard areas.  The street will not need to be disturbed as part of the project.


Street Sweeping - The MPCA has guidelines on how to properly dispose of street sweeping.  To meet the MPCA disposal guidelines the Public Works Department rents a screener to separate the sand from dirt and organics.  The sand is taken to a quarry where they use it as fill material in their operations and the dirt, organics, and other materials are disposed of at an industrial waste site per MPCA requirements.  This process also save the City money as the cost of disposal at the industrial waste site is significantly higher than the cost of the sand disposal at the quarry site.



Nature Center Junior Volunteers - The Maplewood Nature Center Junior Volunteers program is coming to a close for the summer – what an awesome group of young people!  These 10-14 year olds helped clear the trail at the Nature Center, plant native plants in the demonstration gardens, take care of the Nature Play Yard, and more, all while learning, spending time in nature, and making fun nature discoveries together.




Maple Pond Apartments Community Outreach Event - On 7/30/19 Maplewood Police conducted a Community Outreach event at the Maple Pond Apartments on Beebe Road.  Maple Pond is a large complex of mostly subsidized housing.  The Police partnered with Fire, Recreation, Metro Transit, the Census Bureau, the YMCA, Ramsey County Sheriff, Public Works and other partners in an event that helped to build relationships with both adults and kids in the complex.  There were about 150 residents that attended and it was a great night to hear the thoughts and concerns of residents and give them information that could both assist them, and inform them about the great things happening in Maplewood.  Our next public safety community outreach event (other than National Night Out) is scheduled for the Mississippi Street Apartments on 8/13/19 where we will be spending some time with our Karen community members.



Trash and Recycling Contract Negotiations - Staff has been meeting frequently with Republic Services and Tennis Sanitation to negotiate new hauling contracts which are slated to begin in January 2020. These two companies were the preferred companies selected by the city’s solid waste RFP selection committee - Republic Services for trash and Tennis Sanitation for recycling. Council then directed staff to negotiate contracts with the two haulers. In order to stay within a timeline that ensures new contracts are in place before year end staff intends to bring the proposed contracts to council in September for approval.


Staff is satisfied with the progress being made in negotiations with both haulers at this point. If in the next week staff feels progress has stalled and we will not be able to move forward with either of the haulers we will discuss options - including selecting another hauler - with the council at its workshop on August 12.


2040 Comprehensive Plan - Metropolitan Council staff is recommending approval of Maplewood’s 2040 Comprehensive Plan. The Metropolitan Council begins its formal review of the plan on Monday, August 5 at its Community Development Committee. The full Metropolitan Council is expected to approve Maplewood’s plan on August 28. Assuming this schedule, Maplewood staff will bring the 2040 Comprehensive Plan to the city council in September for final adoption which will complete the plan update process and officially put the plan in effect. Once the plan is finally adopted, staff will begin the process of making all required zoning amendments to ensure consistency between the city’s zoning code and comprehensive plan.


North End Vision Plan - Staff will be bringing the draft North End Vision Plan to the planning commission on August 20 for its final review and recommendation. After this meeting, the city council will be asked to consider final adoption of the plan in September. Staff will then work on the implementation process of this vision which will include zoning amendments and discussions with the EDA.


Have a great weekend. –Mike