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Mar 20

March 17th, 2017

Posted to City Manager Blog by Chad Bergo

COMMUNICATIONS AND NEWS FROM THE WEEK:  3.17.17

Meetings and Announcements:  Our next City Council meeting will be held on March 27th at 7 pm. Workshop will begin at 5:30 unless otherwise noted on Agenda. Food will be available at 4:45 pm. 
Please note we will have two closed sessions on March 27th. At the workshop, we will close the session at the beginning of the meeting to hear from John Boyles, our cable Attorney, on how we will proceed with our request for Reserve Funds from the RWSCC.  The second closed session will be held at the end of the City Council meeting to discuss the City Manager’s Performance Appraisal. 

Maplewood Business Council: We be held next Wednesday, the 23rd at 7:30 am at Maplewood Mall. Registration further down in body of this document. 

From LMC: See the Signs of a Vibrant City this June
What direction is your city going? Discover tools to help you get your city where you want to go during the 2017 Annual Conference in Rochester!

During this year's conference, you will explore how any city, no matter the size, can become a more vibrant, welcoming place. This year's highlights include:
Sessions to help you plan for the future, build capacity, engage your community, and more
Two keynote speakers who will show you new skills to help you continue to be an effective city leader
Opportunities to connect with city colleagues during social events and networking roundtables
More than 120 vendors to discuss ideas with during the exhibit hall
Find out more about the conference and register:   www.lmc.org/17ac1


Updates from Staff and Council: 

EEDD:  
 
2040 Comprehensive Plan Update

At the February 27, 2017 city council meeting, a contract was approved with HKGi to provide comprehensive planning services to assist the city with its update of the comprehensive plan. To kick off this process, EEDD staff and HKGi are holding a kick-off event for internal staff to discuss the following areas:
Issues and opportunities discussion.
Review and establishment of detailed project schedule and milestones.
Brainstorming and staff input into the community engagement process and plan.
Review and establishment of communication process for information gathering and coordination/communication with relevant advisory boards and commissions and the City Council.

EEDD has formed an internal working group consisting of the various departments throughout the city to ensure all perspectives are reflected in the development of this plan.  This internal working group will meet 4-5 times throughout the duration of the plan development.  After this internal kick-off meeting, EEDD staff and HKGi will be hosting a “Comp Planning 101” meeting with the city council, planning commission and the comp plan steering committee.  As explained in the proposed work plan on February 27, members of the steering committee will consist of representatives from each of the city’s volunteer board and commissions.   Staff has set the expectation that citizen involvement will drive this plan, but we also want to ensure all city departments are utilized and allowed to contribute to the planning process. 

Business Engagement Visit Follow Up – Second Harvest Heartland 

Two weeks ago city staff met with Bob Chatmas, the COO of Second Harvest Heartland (SHH), for a Business Engagement meeting.  One of the item’s discussed at this meeting was a desire to work with the city and its partners on developing solutions for large scale organics processing.  Recently, SHH’s business model has been moving from the traditional prepackaged foodstuff to providing more fresh fruits and vegetables to their clients.  With the turn to the fresher options comes more food waste as the fruits and vegetables spoil quicker than packaged items.  As discussed in the Business Engagement interview, this has created somewhat of an issue for operations; Mr. Chatmas estimates that they have more than one million pounds of food waste a year in their Maplewood location alone.  Mr. Chatmas and his team are currently looking for options for organics collection and processing.  SHH currently hauls the organic material to Full Circle Organics in Good thunder (over a 2 hour drive) and are looking for something closer.  Environmental staff will be working with Minnesota Waste Wise and SHH to explore options to collect the organics material closer to the source.  Mr. Chatmas stated that SHH is dedicated to the people that they serve and part of that dedication is a commitment to environmental stewardship. 

Staff wanted to include this update as an example of follow up working being done on behalf of these engagement visits.        

On behalf of the Maplewood Green Team,
Happy St. Patrick’s Day (the Greenest Day of the Year!).  Enjoy this year’s edition of Working Green.  Check out updates on the Green Team and Maplewood’s sustainability initiatives.  Learn how you can help Maplewood Work Green.  


Maplewood Business Council
Below is a link to register for the upcoming Maplewood Business Council to be held on Thursday March 23 at 7:30 a.m. at the Maplewood Mall.  Also below is an image from an email sent out by the Saint Paul Area Chamber of Commerce promoting this event.   
http://web.saintpaulchamber.com/events/eventdetail.aspx?EventID=2452013

 
From Executive Staff: 
Here is a status of the Gun Range Legislation:

HF 2172:  On Wednesday, March 15, Representative Ward moved that H. F. No. 2172 be recalled from the Committee on Public Safety and Security Policy and Finance and be re-referred to the Committee on Capital Investment.  The motion prevailed.   There isn’t a time yet scheduled for the next House Capital Investment Committee.
SF 1808:  Nothing new to report.  On March 6, the bill was also referred to Senate Capital Investment Committee.  Their next meeting is Tuesday, March 28 but no agenda is available yet.

City Attorney Survey: I am attaching the results from the Survey that we did on Attorney Batty’s service. Just thought you might like to see this. Hearing his report on Monday, made me realize it should have been shared. 

From Public Works:
1) The demolition of the dilapidated Keller Lake Convenience store commences next Friday.  All necessary environmental and demo permits have been obtained and asbestos has been abated.  To save money, our Public Works crew will be dismantling the building and hauling the debris to be recycled per the Green Building Code.  The steel, copper, and other components have already been recycled and that revenue will offset the rental of the dumpsters. 
2) Both street projects are now out to public bid.  In April the staff will hold the opening of the sealed bids, and the Council will consider award of bid for both projects at the April 24th meeting.  The Assessment Hearing for both projects will also be held that same evening.  
3) Here is an overview of the Rush Line Corridor project timeline now that the Locally Preferred Alternative decision is approaching.  City staff will be meeting next week to determine what additional internal steps/outreach efforts are needed to address the valued insights shared by the Council on Monday night.
a. March 23rd 
i. PAC meeting at 2:00 p.m. at Maplewood Community Center
ii. The PAC will be voting on the LPA for public comment
iii. There will NOT be at Task Force meeting in May but Task Force members are encouraged to attend the PAC meeting to stay up to speed
b. April 24th
i. City Council Workshop on Rush Line LPA.  The RCRRA staff will be in attendance to present and answer questions.
c. April 27th
i. The PAC will host a public open house and public hearing on the draft LPA recommendation at Our Redeemer Lutheran Church, 1390 Larpenteur Avenue, St. Paul, MN
ii. Time is from 5pm – 8pm.  The first portion of the meeting will be open house style and will then transition into a presentation with public hearing.
iii. More details to follow as this is firmed up.
d. May 25th
i. PAC meeting at 2:00 p.m. at Boatworks Commons
ii. PAC will vote on the final LPA
iii. Task Force Meeting at 3:30 p.m. at Boatworks Commons
iv. Task Force will vote on the final LPA
e. June – July
i. Cities/Counties in which the main line travels through (St. Paul, Maplewood, White Bear Lake) host their own public hearings and vote on LPA

FROM CITY CLERK: 
Myth Live has approached the city with a request to hold an outdoor concert, I Love the 90’s- The Party Continues Tour at 3090 Southlawn Drive on Saturday, August 5, 2017 until 10pm.  The anticipated attendance is expected to range from 5,000 to 8,000 people.  Staff is looking for direction from council (at the March 27th meeting) on whether to move forward with the Large Assembly and Noise Waiver permits or if the event planners should find another location.

FROM COMMUNICATIONS:
Completed the April Maplewood Living, should begin arriving in homes next week.
Wrapping up work on the communications plans and social media policy, both of which will be presented to Council on March 27. 
Continuing you go through old Livings and other City newsletters to scan and create a digital library. 

FROM PUBLIC WORKS: 
1) The demolition of the dilapidated Keller Lake Convenience store commences next Friday.  All necessary environmental and demo permits have been obtained and asbestos has been abated.  To save money, our Public Works crew will be dismantling the building and hauling the debris to be recycled per the Green Building Code.  The steel, copper, and other components have already been recycled and that revenue will offset the rental of the dumpsters. 
2) Both street projects are now out to public bid.  In April the staff will hold the opening of the sealed bids, and the Council will consider award of bid for both projects at the April 24th meeting.  The Assessment Hearing for both projects will also be held that same evening.  
3) Here is an overview of the Rush Line Corridor project timeline now that the Locally Preferred Alternative decision is approaching.  City staff will be meeting next week to determine what additional internal steps/outreach efforts are needed to address the valued insights shared by the Council on Monday night.
a. March 23rd 
i. PAC meeting at 2:00 p.m. at Maplewood Community Center
ii. The PAC will be voting on the LPA for public comment
iii. There will NOT be at Task Force meeting in May but Task Force members are encouraged to attend the PAC meeting to stay up to speed
b. April 24th
i. City Council Workshop on Rush Line LPA.  The RCRRA staff will be in attendance to present and answer questions.
c. April 27th
i. The PAC will host a public open house and public hearing on the draft LPA recommendation at Our Redeemer Lutheran Church, 1390 Larpenteur Avenue, St. Paul, MN
ii. Time is from 5pm – 8pm.  The first portion of the meeting will be open house style and will then transition into a presentation with public hearing.
iii. More details to follow as this is firmed up.
d. May 25th
i. PAC meeting at 2:00 p.m. at Boatworks Commons
ii. PAC will vote on the final LPA
iii. Task Force Meeting at 3:30 p.m. at Boatworks Commons
iv. Task Force will vote on the final LPA
e. June – July
i. Cities/Counties in which the main line travels through (St. Paul, Maplewood, White Bear Lake) host their own public hearings and vote on LPA


________________________________________
 
News From local sources and agencies 
                                    
March 13, 2017
METRO CITIES ACTION ALERT

Special Service District Authority Repeal Bill to be Heard Monday, March 20

Contact the House Property Tax chairman and members of the committee to voice your concerns with a bill (HF 2412) that would repeal the statute authorizing Special Service District authority. 

Special service districts (SSDs) are established at the request of those who will pay for the increased level of service. This is an opt-in assessment for business properties that will be subject to the service charge. Metro Cities’ policies support existing authority of a city to establish a special service district. 

SSDs are commonly used in areas with a concentration of retail stores. Since the early 1980s, individual cities have been authorized to set up these districts. Since 1996, cities have had general law authority to create SSDs. Metro Cities and the League of Minnesota Cities secured a 15-year extension for cities to authorize special service districts for businesses in 2013.

An SSD may be established anywhere in a city but only business property (i.e., commercial, industrial, utility, or land zoned for commercial or industrial use) will be subject to the service charge. 

Metro Cities is aware of a number of cities which have special service districts as well as cities which are aware of the tool and will respond to businesses that wish to move forward establishing a special service district in the future. 

Contact your legislator and members of the House Property Tax committee.

Questions? Contact Charlie Vander Aarde at 651-215-4001 or charlie@metrocitiesmn.org. 

Legislative Update March 13, 2017

This week will bring a high degree of legislative activity as the Legislature moves toward its second policy committee deadline this Friday, March 17, following the first deadline last Friday. Several bills have been introduced and are being heard that affect local control and decision making authority on several policy fronts. Metro Cities’ policies support local decision making authority and the organization has and will continue to provide testimony on bills and initiatives this session that would affect local control.  …click for full newsletter

Bill Requires Housing-Related Rulemaking to Receive Legislative Review

A proposal that would allow the legislature to review and approve any rule that may increase the cost of a housing unit received House and Senate hearings last week. SF 745/HF 1001 is a proposal supported by the Builders Association of the Twin Cities.  …click for full newsletter

Local Government Aid Bills Heard

The House Property Tax Division heard several bills related to Local Government Aid Program and distribution (LGA) today, including bills to increase LGA as well as several bills introduced by Property Tax Division Chair Drazkowski that would reduce LGA for cities due to various criteria, including eliminating aid for cities defined as a ‘sanctuary’ city, reducing aid for cities or towns making a payment to a world fair, and reducing aid for the amount of lobbying expenditures paid by a city. …click for full newsletter

SAC Outdoor Seating Bill Heard

Legislation that would exempt outdoor restaurant seating from the Sewer Availability Charge (SAC) was heard in the House Transportation and Regional Governance Policy Committee last week. The bill is similar to one considered last year that resulted in a task force of city and business officials, along with Met Council Environment Services (MCES) staff and chaired by Met Council Chair Wendy Wulff to consider the issue of SAC for outdoor seating. The task force is still meeting, but the recommendation of the task force was to maintain the 75 percent discount currently allowed for outdoor seating. …click for full newsletter

Minnesota Housing’s Challenge Fund Appropriation Debated

The Senate Housing Finance committee discussed two bills related to Minnesota Housing’s Challenge Program last week. SF 908 (Westrom) would authorize a $6.6 million carveout from the Challenge Fund for market rate workforce housing in greater Minnesota. Metro Cities testified against the geographic designation in the bill, arguing that flexibility of the statewide Challenge Program allows Minnesota Housing to support multifamily and single family affordable projects in all areas of the state. The House companion is scheduled to be heard later this week. SF 1540 (Abeler) would increase the appropriation for the Challenge Fund, which has supported a range of housing projects in the metro region. The bill would also fund homeownership counseling, home ownership assistance and family homeless prevention and assistance. Metro Cities testified in support of the bill. …click for full newsletter

Metropolitan Governance Bills Heard

Bills to make up the Metropolitan Council of all local officials, to expand the Council from 17 to 27 members, and would eliminate the Transportation Advisory Board (TAB), were heard in the Senate Local Government Committee (SF 1490-Osmek) and House Government Operations Committee (HF 1866-Albright) respectively last Tuesday evening.  …click for full newsletter

Senate Omnibus Capital Investment Bill Passed to Floor

The Senate omnibus capital investment bill passed the Finance committee last week and now awaits action by the full Senate. SF 210 (Senjem) is essentially the bill that was considered on the last night of the 2016 legislative session. The bill includes a range of projects and funds Metro Cities’ inflow and infiltration mitigation initiative for $2.5 million. The bill also contains $45 million for housing. A bill spreadsheet can be found on the Senate website. The House has not yet passed an omnibus capital investment bill.  …click for full newsletter

Emerald Ash Border/Shade Tree Bills Heard 

Three bills related to managing the effects of the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) were heard in the House last week. The bills, HF 2031 (Pierson), HF 2032 (Pierson), and HF 1621 (Hanson), were heard in the House Agriculture Finance Committee. HF 2031 allocates a $10 million capital appropriation to cities for the removal and replacement of shade trees that are damaged or lost to pest or disease. HF 2032 allocates $5 million from the general fund for the removal and replacement of shade trees damaged or lost to pest or disease. This bill was passed and moved to the Capital Investment Committee. …click for full newsletter

CTIB Passes Resolution to Dissolve

The Counties Transit Improvement Board (CTIB) held a special meeting last Wednesday to finalize details of a resolution to dissolve and take a formal vote of the Board on that resolution. The resolution was passed, with Dakota County as the lone dissenting vote. The assumption of the passed resolution is that all five counties would agree to the terms of the resolution and pass subsequent county resolutions to put the agreement into effect. CTIB will hold its regularly scheduled meeting on Wednesday, March 15.  …click for full newsletter

Storm Water Reuse Bills Heard

A bill that would remove a need for a permit to construct storm water reuse projects was heard in committees in the House and Senate. HF 2028 (Fischer) and SF 1731 (Ruud) would allow for the construction of storm water management facilities that use storm water for irrigation or other purposes without the need for a permit from the Department of Natural Resources. Under current law, this is the only type of storm water management facility that requires a permit from the DNR. HF 2028 was laid over in the Environment and Natural Resources Committee for possible inclusion in an omnibus bill. SF 1731 was heard in Environment and Natural Resources Committee and was also laid over possible inclusion in an omnibus bill. Metro Cities supports this legislation.  …click for full newsletter

Transit Bills Heard 

Several bills related to transit in the metropolitan area were heard in House and Senate committees last week. HF 1990 (Albright) was heard in the House Transportation and Regional Governance Policy committee. This bill proposes an increase to the proportion of state funding designated for suburban transit providers. This bill was laid over for possible inclusion in an omnibus bill.  …click for full newsletter

Livable Communities Work Group Informs 2017 Fund Distribution Plan

The Metropolitan Council convened a work group of city officials in February to examine aspects of the Livable Communities program. Metro Cities suggested city officials for participation in the group and participated in this work. Council staff identified six areas for review and feedback which will be incorporated into the 2017 Fund Distribution Plan (FDP).  …click for full newsletter

Introduced Bills of Note:  Week of March 6-10

H. F. 2107, Bill calls for aid reductions for cities imposing labor regulations. 
HF 2110 – Establishes an energy sector jobs initiative focusing on maximizing job opportunities in the energy sector.
HF 2112/SF 1789 – Changes the state’s housing project bonding authority allocations.
HF 2134/SF 2063 – Creates the Minnesota Research and Development Authority which will administer a strategic research and development enhancement and investment program to maximize the economic growth of the state and create and retain jobs in key sectors of the state's economic and industrial base.  …click for full newsletter

Happy St. Patrick’s day to my Irish friends or friends of the Irish!  Melinda


Melinda Coleman | 651-249-2055

Mar 01

The New Guy - Bryan Smith

Posted to Council Account by Chad Bergo

When I got the assignment to write an article for this month’s Maplewood Living, I really didn’t want to write “the new guy” article. The reality is, however, that I have now been sworn in for about six weeks, I have attended 3 council meetings, and have been working hard to learn the ins and outs of Maplewood operations and how to be the best councilmember I can. It feels strange to be writing this so early; I am the new guy after all…

We have all been the new person: new kid at school, new person at work, or the new family on the block. It can be a tough time of uncertainty and anxiety, but it is also a time of opportunity for new friends, new skills, and new knowledge. I have felt all of these feelings since being sworn in. In fact, I am not only the new guy here, but also am the new guy on the Gateway Corridor Commission and a number of other groups for which I now represent the city.

As I have begun this journey, there are a number of life lessons I reflect on and hold in my heart:
1. Be grateful: I am deeply grateful for this opportunity to serve our city, and also for my colleagues on the council, the mayor, and many leaders from the city staff who have all been generous and patient while teaching me and answering all my rookie questions.

2. More elephants and fewer hippos: Picture it: elephants have huge ears and small mouths while hippos have huge mouths and small ears. I know I can tend to be more of a hippo, more apt to speak than I am to listen carefully. I am doing my best to be more of an elephant, and it takes a great deal of energy for me to slow down, shut my mouth, and listen. I am doing my best, and when I am successful, I find it serves me quite well.

3. Be kind: I have never regretted being kind to someone – I have, however, regretted being unkind almost every time. My wife and I have always expected our son to show kindness to others, and at 7 years old, he is now my role model. I hope I can grow up to be as kind and empathetic as him.

While I really didn’t want to write the new guy article, I think that I just did. One thing I have learned in my career is that people typically feel “new” a lot longer than they are seen as “new” by others. Hopefully you still see me as “new” – I know I still feel it. I am looking forward to the challenge ahead, to getting to know you all better, and to working to make our city the best it can be.



Tag(s): Bryan Smith