COMMUNICATIONS AND NEWS FROM THE WEEK
Meetings and Announcements:
• The next City Council meeting will be held virtually on Monday, February 22nd.
• At the meeting on February 22nd we will have a workshop on the Ponds Project. The consultants, Perkins and Will, will provide an update on the Engagement Process and get input from the City Council. We will have an update on the construction of the new North Fire Station at the Council meeting.
• There may be a closed legal briefing after the City Council meeting on March 8th.
• Here are this week’s updates from various departments:
Updates from Staff and Council:
Xcel Energy Update -
Dear Community and Chamber Leaders:
This past week was an “all hands on deck” scenario, as we closely monitored our electric and gas systems during the bitter cold stretch. Our electric grid in the upper midwest is resilient because we have a diverse and balanced mix of electricity generation. We are also part of Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO), a regional transmission organization. MISO plays a critical role ensuring that the energy grid is meeting our customers’ needs. The following web page provides an overview of MISO: About MISO (misoenergy.org)
In the spirit of having diverse and increasingly clean energy mix, we are pleased to have reached a significant milestone. At the end of 2020, Xcel Energy became one of the first energy providers in the United States to reach 10,000 megawatts of wind energy capacity online for our customers. The milestone is powered by the company’s 10 new wind projects in the Upper Midwest, Colorado, Texas, and New Mexico. While many projects are already completed, all the projects will be online by year’s end, completing the largest multi-state wind investment in the country. As new projects continue to come online in 2021, the company estimates about a third of the energy we provide to customers in the region will come from wind by the end of the year.
Metro Cities – Legislative Updates:
The city gets updates on the happenings in St. Paul through our membership in Metro Cities. They track bills/issues of importance to cities in the region. Check out their latest updates here:
Thanks for making 2021’s State of Maplewood a success
It was a little different, but we were able to pull off a fun, informative event. The Q and A at the end gave the community a real chance to interact with the mayor and council. Many community members have told us they didn’t realize to what scope the city was working in issues like Economic Development and police community relations.
The link below is on the intranet, but please feel free to share it again with you staff…. They will have to scroll to the 7:03 mark on the bottom time bar.
Maplewood Wins ClearGov “Govie Award” For Best Performance Dashboards
The award promotes high standards in government budgeting, reporting, and transparency between local governments and their communities.
Maplewood is excited to announce that it has received a Govie Award for Best Performance Dashboards from ClearGov, the city's government budgeting software provider. New in 2020, ClearGov launched a series of awards, called Govies, to promote high standards in government budgeting. The Govie Awards aim to recognize ClearGov customers using the company's cloud-native government budgeting solutions to improve budget process efficiency and achieve crystal-clear data transparency for their communities.
There are four categories of Govie Awards:
? Best Transparency Center
? Best Performance Dashboards
? Best Project Pages
? Best Digital Budget Book
Maplewood was awarded a Govie in the category of Best Performance Dashboard for its engaging, transparent, informative, and easy-to-navigate department dashboards. By including details about each department's strategic objectives, key performance indicators, and performance measures, the City of Maplewood showed its commitment to transparent communication with its residents.
“The City of Maplewood prides itself on providing exceptional services to its citizens. ClearGov solutions allow each department to share in-depth information with the community, including strategy, performance indicators, and budget. Thank you for recognizing our city with the ClearGov Govie Award for Best Performance Dashboards,” said Maplewood Finance Director, Ellen Paulseth.
"ClearGov's primary goal is to help local governments transform their annual budget process and improve transparency through easy-to-use, affordable, cloud-native software. It's always rewarding to see our customers using our solutions to their fullest potential. For putting its citizens first, by increasing transparency and accountability, Maplewood deserves this Govie Award. Congratulations!" said Chris Bullock, CEO and Co-Founder of ClearGov.
Visit Maplewood, Minnesota’s award-winning Performance Dashboards here: https://www.cleargov.com/minnesota/ramsey/city/maplewood/dashboards
2023 MnDOT Project in Maplewood
MnDOT is planning a repaving project in 2023. The project includes work on Highway 5 and Stillwater Road between Highway 61 and Century Avenue (show in orange on map below). MnDOT’s project team is beginning their public engagement process. The attached pdf shows the postcard that will be mailed out to property owners about two planed, identical, virtual public open houses for the Minnehaha Avenue/Stillwater Road project. The meetings are being planned for the following dates:
• March 18, 12:00 – 1:30
• March 23, 5:00 – 6:30
MnDot will also be advertising these meetings through social media, digital ads, and newsletter content.
Maplewood Tree Sale
Maplewood is teaming up with Tree Trust, a local non-profit, so that residents can purchase trees at a discount. With Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) gaining a foothold in Maplewood, we are encouraging and incentivizing tree planting on residential property to retain their aesthetic, environmental, and health benefits.
While the City replaces diseased or dying boulevard trees, residential property trees make up a considerable portion of our urban forest and hold the greatest potential to maintain our tree canopy.
To help protect our community’s long-term forest health, Maplewood is subsidizing the cost of trees for residents to plant on their property.
· $40/tree (Normally retail for $120-$140)
· 7 species, including a pair of fruit trees
· In #10 containers; at 4’-6’ tall, will fit in most vehicles
· Maplewood residents may order up to 2 trees
Order on-line: https://mw-tree-sale.myshopify.com/
March 8 - May 5 (trees may sell out before the deadline so order early for best selection)
Order via mail: Pick up a form at City Hall or call 651-249-2416 to request a form by mail. Forms must be received by May 5.
Tree pick up:
Saturday, May 15 (9:00am - noon) or Monday, May 17 (5:00-7:00 pm) at the Public Works Building.
For more details or to order a tree, visit: www.maplewoodmn.gov/treesale
Edgerton Community Garden 2021
Maplewood continues to offer garden plots supporting local growth of healthy, organic food! The City provides water spigots and renters agree to use organic (chemical-free) methods, and abide by COVID-19 protocols.
Plot rental is $25 for the season. Gardeners can choose from 12-foot by 15-foot in-ground, 4-foot by 8-foot raised beds and 3-foot by 5-foot Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) accessible raised beds (reserved for people using canes, walkers, or wheelchairs). The gardening season begins April 30 and ends October 18.
Registration begins for returning gardeners on Wednesday, March 3 at 8am and on Wednesday, March 17 at 8am for new gardeners.
Register online: bit.ly/mwgardens2021 or by phone: 651-249-2111.
The $25 fee per plot is due at time of registration
Visit the Edgerton Community Garden webpage for full community garden information including COVID-19 information, gardening tips, usage policies, overall updates and any future program schedule changes! www.maplewoodmn.gov/communitygarden
Emerald Ash Borer - Biocontrol Release Request at Joy Park
The Minnesota Department of Agriculture’s Plant Protection Division recently contacted the city requesting permission to release Emerald Ash Borer Biocontrol agents at Joy Park Neighborhood Preserve. The goal of Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) biocontrol is to reduce EAB populations through the use of natural enemies. Biocontrol is the only management option for EAB that can be applied at the forestry level.
Three stingless parasitoid wasp species have been released in Minnesota since 2011. Two species attack the larval stage of EAB that tunnel under the ash bark. The other species kills EAB eggs that have been laid in bark crevices. These wasps are small like gnats and do not harm humans.
The US Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Health Inspection Service (APHIS) and Forest Service selected and extensively tested these insects to ensure that they would not negatively impact other species or the environment. The first releases were in Michigan in 2007.
The closest releases to the City of Maplewood thus far have been in St. Paul, at Battle Creek Regional Park and along Wheelock Parkway. To see a map showing locations of Minnesota EAB Biological Control see https://www.mda.state.mn.us/plants/pestmanagement/eab/eabbiocontrol.
Information obtained from the Minnesota Department of Agriculture and USDA Forest Service.
NEWS FROM OUR PARTNERS/PAPERS
There has been a spike in thefts of catalytic converters in cars across the metro. Here are two recent stories in the news:
These are the reports for this week., please call if I can address any questions or concerns.