COMMUNICATIONS AND NEWS FROM THE WEEK: February 14th, 2020
Meetings and Announcements:
The next City Council meeting and workshop will be held on February 24th. Reminder that the Council will have a work session beginning at 5:30 pm. Workshop items include a presentation on the Pedestrian Safety Plan and an update on the Rental Licensing Program.
City Council Staff Retreat date has been set for April 29th. We will meet at the Wakefield Park Building and will start at 8 am and be finished by 4 pm.
Updates from Staff and Council:
The Minnesota City/County Management Association – Women in the Profession Committee hosts a monthly East Metro event to encourage and support women in leadership in local government.
The City of Maplewood is proud to be the new host community for these monthly conversations. This is the start of a broader regional discussion on how to build and strengthen the role of women in the profession of local government managers. This is an important conversation in cities and counties and we’re excited to be the host community. Stay tuned for updates in the future.
Hillcrest Master Plan Community Meeting
More than 250 people gathered Wednesday night to learn more about the Hillcrest Master Plan and how it will guide the redevelopment of the former golf course. About a third of the attendees were Maplewood residents. The first half of the meeting consisted of Saint Paul Mayor Melvin Carter and Councilmember Nelsie Yang welcoming the attendees and then Saint Paul city staff outlining the master planning process. The second half of the meeting allowed attendees to split into smaller groups to discuss aspirations and concerns for the redevelopment project. Moving forward there will be at least two more community meetings over the next 10 months as Saint Paul develops this master plan. There are Maplewood residents serving on the Community Advisory Committee and Maplewood city staff also are represented on the technical advisory committee.
The 2019 Maplewood Police Department Enforcement action report.
This is a comprehensive document of stops, arrests, enforcement, and use of force by Maplewood Police in 2019. We add important context to the data so it is more easily understood and this year included a section about where we are having crime and calls for service by property type. Report is attached. If you would like a paper copy, please let me know.
CenturyLink to Discontinue Prism TV Product
We received formal notice that CenturyLink will discontinue offering their Prism TV product. In the letter they state that “Over the next few months, we will share our exit timetable and communications plan for transitioning customers to other video products.” CenturyLink had very few subscribers of their Prism TV product in Maplewood so the impact to our residents should be minimal. However, if you hear any questions from residents please have them contact Mychal Fowlds.
EAB Tree Removal
Public Works crews have been hard at work utilizing the new bucket truck to remove ash trees within the public boulevard. Since last week crews have removed 29 ash trees that were marked for removal. The bucket truck provides a safe stable platform for crews to do their work. The image below shows our staff utilizing the bucket truck to cut off tree limbs as part of the removal process.
2020 Street Improvement Projects Update
Schaller Area Pavement Rehabilitation
A neighborhood meeting is scheduled for Friday, February 21, 2020 from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. at the Maplewood Community Center. Staff will be giving an information presentation about the project, an estimated project schedule, follow-up on questions from the first neighborhood meeting, assessment information, and an overview of the construction process. The public hearing is scheduled for the February 24th City Council meeting.
North St. Paul Wellhead Protection Plan
City staff has completed the review of North St. Paul’s draft Wellhead Protection Plan. This plan covers North St. Paul’s five municipal wells and the source aquifers that supply groundwater pumped by the wells. The map below shows the Drinking Water Supply Management Area (DWSMA) which is covered by the proposed plan. The goal of the plan is to reduce the potential contamination of the source water aquifer.
The plan notes that there are no know groundwater contamination of the aquifers affecting the North St. Paul municipal wells. Additionally, groundwater samples from North St. Paul municipal wells tested negative for PFAS. The proposed plan calls for coordination with neighboring cities, including Maplewood, on providing education to the public and tracking of private wells, storage tanks, and shallow disposal wells.
NEWS FROM MAPLEWOOD OR OTHER PARTNERS.
Marylee Abrams: St. Paul tried to bail on fire agreement all of a sudden -- and with inaccurate assertions- From Pioneer Press, February 14th, 2020
I couldn’t be prouder of the dedicated service, professionalism, and expertise of all 30 of our Maplewood Fire/EMS professionals. As a city council, we have made a significant investment in training, equipment and facilities for our fire and emergency medical services, who are all full-time. They are led by a superior team who always has them ready and prepared to respond. They are proactive in community risk reduction, and work closely with vulnerable communities to help prevent critical incident calls.
That’s why I was so disturbed by the St. Paul fire chief’s remarks last week in a Pioneer Press article, "Rethinking suburban fire coverage." Chief Butch Inks wants to pull out of a successful automatic aid response program, saying St. Paul is carrying too much of the load.
This program has recently been recognized with a Local Government Innovation Award by the Humphrey School of Public Policy. It has yielded positive benefits for all parties involved— which include the Ramsey County communities with fire departments. It ensures that the closest unit, regardless of jurisdiction, is dispatched first in calls for structure fires, cardiac arrests and water emergencies.
In the article, Chief Inks cites inaccurate, anecdotal information in making his case for pulling out of the agreement.
To set the record straight, Maplewood crews arrived to the basement fire he mentioned two and a half minutes after St. Paul’s arrival, not five, with a four-person engine company, not two.
Maplewood has responded to St. Paul 33 times (23 medical and 10 fire responses). St. Paul fire has responded to Maplewood 26 times (19 medical and 7 fire responses).
Frankly, it’s appalling to have our department’s stellar reputation put into question with misleading assertions to create the false perception of a delayed or inadequate emergency response. To further assure our community, Maplewood’s police department is also cross-trained to provide emergency medical care if they are the first on scene at any incident.
I question the timeline of the St. Paul Fire Department’s decision. The desire to pull out of the agreement was mentioned to the Ramsey County Chiefs Association, yet there was no follow-up meeting scheduled.
Suddenly, a letter arrived saying St. Paul was out.
We felt abandoned by our partner with no real warning or ability to find a workable remedy for their concerns.
In the spirit of Minnesota-style cooperation, I’d like to thank the St. Paul City Council for their Wednesday vote to delay withdrawing from the agreement and their willingness to see if there is a workable solution to their fire department’s concerns. As a region, we’ll always be stronger and more efficient public servants when we’re working collaboratively.
Marylee Abrams is the mayor of Maplewood.
http://www.startribune.com/roseville-police-release-detailed-traffic-stop-data-for-2019/567877622/ Maplewood Public Safety Annual Report and Director Nadeau mentioned.