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Photos of the progress at Veteran’s Memorial Park. (Drone photos courtesy of John Fay)

The City of Maple Plain is preparing for the future as they discuss city goals and continue the work on the Veteran’s Memorial Park project.

During the city council’s workshop on Aug. 10, the council discussed their top five goals for the next six to 12 months. According to Maple Plain Mayor Julie Maas-Kusske, the city does not typically set six-month goals; however, the council has “identified and have been working towards four strategic visionary outcomes that look ahead all the way to 2025.”

What prompted the discussion was hiring interim city administrator Frank Boyles, who was looking for direction and a starting point. Boyles asked the council for their top five priorities in order; including an anticipated completion date, an explanation including why the goal is a priority, what will happen if it’s not achieved and what actions constitute a successful achievement.

“Then, [Boyles] set up a five-by-five matrix showing each of our top five priority goals and gave them point values so our priorities could easily be identified,” Maas-Kusske said.

The top three goals include recruiting and hiring a long-term administrator, resolving key issues between the fire department and council/city staff, selecting a new chief and completing important city projects such as Meadows of Maple Plain, the 2021 budget and Gateway Blvd.

“Once one goal or priority is completed another one moves up on the list. Frank made a comment that stuck with me during this process, ‘we can do anything, we just can’t do everything’ … There are many things happening in our small but mighty city,” she said.

According to council member and Orono Rotarian John Fay, the Orono Rotary Club identified the Veteran’s Memorial Park as a service project this spring. The club presented the city a grant for $14,500 worth of improvements at the park.

According to Maas-Kusske, the grant will allow the city to add additional seating and “honor each branch of the military accordingly on the benches.” Some other improvements include adding six reflection benches, and 150 flags to be posted Memorial Day, Flag Day, Fourth of July and Veterans Day.

According to Fay, flags will be offered at no cost to the public. Flags will also be lined on both sides of the concrete walkways and names of those recognized will be read aloud and memorialized in several aluminum plaques displayed at each event.

The Rotary club brought along their partner clubs, which include Buffalo, Monticello, Plymouth and MN Veterans Rotary Clubs. The total budget is expected to be $14,800. Flags and benches cost approximately $12,750. The remaining $2,050 comprises the remaining concrete trucking, box and plaque holder construction, plaques and other hardware.

The park’s playground was recently installed and the new bandshell is next to be installed. The goal is to have a ground breaking on Veterans Day later this year.

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