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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Mar 27

March 20, 2023

Posted on March 27, 2023 at 9:31 AM by Chad Bergo


Meetings and Announcements:  
The next regular City Council Meeting will be on Monday, March 27th. There will be a brief workshop on the 27th to conduct interviews for a Planning Commission opening. There are two candidates and one opening. We will start the workshop at 6:30 pm. 

Please note- As mentioned in a previous Friday FYI, we were notified by the MN Environmental Quality Board (EQB) that a citizen petition request had been received for an Environmental Assessment Worksheet (EAW) related to the Reuter-Walton project at 1136/1160 Frost Avenue.  The item will be coming to the Council for consideration at the March 27th meeting.  The petition material is over 700 pages and as we have done from time to time when documents are quite large, we don’t print all the info out for each Councilmember’s binder (it won’t fit) but instead have them available electronically (on the city website) and have hard copies available in the Council Chambers as well as in the Council office.  We’ll also have a third copy available for public viewing.  However, if any of the Council would like a printed copy, please let us know and we will make sure to get you one.  (The majority of the petition material is made up of the Phase I and Phase II Environmental Reports that were completed as a part of the sites initial development work and land use application considerations). 

I will be setting up one on one meetings with Council members beginning the week of April 3rd. We will be facing some challenging budget issues for next year and want to discuss this with you. If you have a preferred time or day of the week that works best, could you please let me know.  Expect to hear from me or Lois on getting this meeting scheduled. Thanks

Purple Line - Well, we certainly had a big surprise with the presentation from Commissioner Reinhart at the Purple Line Meeting last night.  I want to let you know how fortunate I feel to work with a City Council that takes community engagement so seriously. The Purple Line process was messy and at times difficult and very different, but you powered through it and in the end made a profound impact on the future of the Purple Line. There will be new work to do and I think our relationships with key partners will be enhanced because of this past engagement process. Thank you all for being such great community leaders. It is my joy and honor to work with you.

PURPLE LINE ADVISORY COMMITTEE UPDATE- From Amanda Duerr written for the St. Paul Chamber Newsletter

For the past couple months, I have been serving on the Purple Line Advisory Committee that was established by the City of Maplewood to seek community input on the project. Our last meeting was scheduled for March 22, where Advisory Committee members were to share their recommendations for the City Council.

In a pleasant surprise, Ramsey County Commissioner Victoria Reinhardt read and shared a letter from the County, announcing its intent to pursue additional engagement, route analyses, and collaboration with the City of Maplewood and other stakeholders. As part of this effort, the County and the Met Council will focus on the re-evaluation of White Bear Avenue as an alternative route for the Purple Line.

The Maplewood City Council was very pleased with this news, and as an Advisory Committee member, I was as well. Transit is important to employees and employers, but so are community amenities like parks and trails.

Mayor Abrams and the City Council should be commended for their efforts to engage the public in this important conversation!

Amanda Duerr

2022-2023 Deer Management Results
Deer management activities for 2022-2023 have wrapped up. Here are the results of our deer removal efforts:

Bow Hunts:

•   Priory Preserve - 4 Deer removed

•   Spoon Lake – 9 deer removed

South Ramsey County sharp shooting, in partnership with USDA Wildlife Services had 20 deer removed. Ramsey County just completed a spring helicopter deer survey and the south Maplewood herd is now within population goals.

Equipment Purchasing Update
Supply chain issues continue to find new ways to impact our day to day operations.  In the past when we would purchase a new vehicle we would get two quotes.  One quote would be for the purchase of the vehicle chassis and other quote would be for the vehicle body/equipment buildout.  In 2022, manufactures of vehicle chassis would not take any new orders due to supply chain issues.  This prevented us from being able to move forward with ordering several new vehicles.

At the next council meeting, staff will be bringing forward several proposed equipment purchases for Council’s consideration.  This year we have been told that we are able to order chassis, but the deliver time could be 1 to 1.5 years out.  This long lead time for a chassis makes it very difficult to get a quote for vehicle body/equipment buildout as inflation and supply chain issues could drastically change the cost of the buildout by the time the chassis is delivered.   

To help control purchasing costs and equipment funding levels, staff is proposing to change how we order our equipment.  The plan is to purchase chassis and then later get quotes for the buildout once the City receives the chassis.  This will allow the City to secure a spot in line for the chassis purchase.  After the chassis is delivered, staff will then be able to receive an accurate buildout quote, review available funding, and bring the vehicle body/equipment buildout to council for approval.

This is the news for the week.  See you on Monday at the Council Workshop and Meeting. I will be out of town next Thursday and Friday to visit my Grandson and family in Washington. Mike Darrow will be Acting City Manager in my absence.