COMMUNICATIONS AND NEWS FROM THE WEEK: July 31st, 2020
Meetings and Announcements:
•The next City Council meeting will be held next Monday, August 10th.
•There will be a Special Council Meeting Friday, August 14th at 4:00 pm to canvass the primary election results
Here are the updates from various departments below.
Updates from Staff and Council:
PARKS AND RECREATION
July Geo Explorer’s Challenge
The July Geo Explorer’s Challenge finished up on Sunday July 26 and we had over 100 people hunting to find 8 or more of our 20 geocaches to secure their “parks and rec swag bag” or challenge medals. The average number of caches found per team was 13 and many teams succeeded in finding all 20! We had a number of great “challenge in action photos” submitted which we posted on our website. Overall we received excellent feedback from the participants with many loving the exploration of Maplewood’s parks and open spaces.
•We had a great time doing this challenge! It was so fun to find new parks and the caches! We found a total of 9. Thanks again and we look forward to the August challenge!
•Thanks for all your hard work on this. First time geocaching and we had fun.
•This was my first experience of Geocache. My friend asked me if I wanted to do this challenge with her. It was fun, and I saw so many parks that I had no idea were in the area. The second day we found all. It was going so well that we just kept going and we found ten that day. Thank you for offering this activity.
•My friend and I had a great time this week looking for caches. I was surprised to see so many small parks, especially a couple that you could never drive by but you would have to know where they are. At one park we met a former Maplewood employee who gave us a history of the park we were in and the story of the annexation of the southern part of Maplewood. I’ve lived here for 44 years and learned a lot this week! I hope more residents get out and give this a try.
•I really enjoyed the challenge. Thinking about joining the August one. I'll have to go back to these parks and walk more of the trails.
Conservation Corps at Fish Creek
On Monday, July 27, we hosted a Conservation Corps crew at Fish Creek Preserve. The crew removed invasive species and cleared vegetation around young oak trees planted by the University of Minnesota to study the effects of climate change on bur oaks. Funding for the Conservation Corps crew was provided by Mississippi Park Connection. The crew completes natural resources projects throughout the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area and will return to Fish Creek again this fall to help with invasive species removal.
Pavement Maintenance Work
As part of this year’s street reconstruction project we include fog sealing for the Manton Street/Ryan Avenue neighborhood (north of Frost Avenue), the Barclay Street/Skillman neighborhood (south of County Road B), and Kohlman Lane neighborhood (north of Keller Parkway). These streets were all reconstructed as part of past City CIP projects. A fog seal is a light application of asphalt emulsion to aged pavement surfaces. This is done to restore flexibility to the pavement and prolong the life of the road.
Prior to this work being done our Public Works crews went through these neighborhoods this week to crack seal the roads ahead of the fog sealing. Crack sealing is done to help keep water and debris out of the asphalt cracks to reduce further damage to the pavement and prolong the life of the road. A special thanks to all the Public Works staff involved in crack sealing and coordinating these activities so we can maximize the benefits of the two pavement maintenance activities.
Schaller Area Pavement Rehabilitation Update
The Schaller Area Pavement Rehabilitation project is making great progress. All damaged curb and gutter has been removed and replaced and all storm sewer repairs have been completed. The project is broken up into three phases. Northwest Asphalt, the prime contractor, has completed paving the base layer of pavement for Phase 1 and Phase 2 area streets. Next week pavement reclamation (grinding of existing pavement) will begin for Phase 3 area streets. It is anticipated the base layer of pavement for Phase 3 will be paved the following week. The contractor will then begin boulevard and driveway restoration. It is estimated that the final layer of pavement will be completed near the end of August / early September.
Xcel Gas Main Replacement Project Update
The Xcel Gas Main Replacement project on County Road B between Rice Street and White Bear Avenue is making great process. Xcel’s contractor has removed 95% of the old pipe and has installed 80% of the new gas main. Installation of the remaining pipe should be done by the end of August. The number of crews will then be minimized. During this time, about 4-6 weeks, the contractor will be testing and fine tuning the regulators. This work will take place at the regulator locations (Rice St., Edgerton, Hazelwood, and English) and should be finished around the middle of October.
Restoration work has started with paving on the west side and will continue off and on through August. Final restoration of yards and boulevards will continue through the fall with a small restoration crew. It is anticipated that final touch-up restoration work will take place in 2021, but this depends on how well the grass grows this fall.
These are the reports for this week. As always, please call if I can address any questions or concerns. I hope that you have a great weekend. Thank you.