The Maple Grove City Council talked about the state of the city at its Jan. 3 meeting.

The council also considered the plans for the rehabilitation of a portion of Main Street, along with authorizing of bids for the project.

STATE OF THE CITY

At the beginning of the meeting, the mayor and council members each took time to look back at what happened in the city in 2021 and what is coming in 2022.

Mayor Mark Steffenson said: “I think it’s another exciting and eventful year we have passed. Obviously, it has been challenging in great many parts because of COVID. But I think our city is coming through it strong and we’re going to be stronger going forward.”

Steffenson mentioned completed development projects, including the expansion of the Upsher-Smith headquarters, the expansion of Boston Scientific, as well as Arbor Lakes Business Park’s move forward and the opening of the new Amazon facility.

“In the upcoming year, we going to have a lot of wonderful development,” Steffenson said. “Hopefully, we’re going to see the beginning of the expansion of the hospital. The hospital expects to double in size.”

He hopes the final portion of Highway 610 is completed this year. The community will soon be asked for improvement ideas for the community center.

Councilor Karen Jaeger added the council had done its best to keep city taxes low for residents.

“Looking back at 2021, it was nice to see the return of some of our annual events,” Councilor Phil Leith. He mentioned Maple Grove Days, National Night Out, the Concert on the Lawn and Angel of Hope Memorial Service, which all returned. He added the North Metro Range expanded in 2021.

Leith said there are some projects coming before the council that would be located in the northwest portion of the city.

Councilor Judy Hanson said the city did a great job providing services to its residents during the past year, even with some restrictions in place due to the pandemic.

“In addition to the work that we do to make this city the way it is and keep it running, at the heart of our city is all of the residents who continue to help each other,” Councilor Kristy Barnett said. “Together, we have made a very unique place. I’m really proud to call it my home.”

MAIN STREET PROJECT

In other matters, the council approved the plans and specifications for the Main Street Rehabilitation project. It also authorized the advertisement for bids.

The city will be making improvements along Main Street between Elm Creek Boulevard and Arbor Lakes Parkway.

The project consists of reconstruction of the street with bituminous pavement, utility improvements, curbs with updated ADA facilities, sidewalks and streetscape elements. The utility improvements include rehabilitating existing hydrants and gate valves, sanitary sewer and storm sewer casting replacement, and minor sewer improvements due to the realignment of the curb and gutters.

As part of the streetscape improvements, there will be expanded gathering spaces and an increase in the number of trees. An expanded gathering space is proposed mid-block on the north block (next to Arbor Lakes Parkway) with a larger pergola structure with additional seating and dining areas. The existing plaza space on the southwest corner of the north block would be expanded for more seating and event space.

Jeff Feulner, with design and consulting firm WSB, said the crosswalks would be treated with a treatment that will better hold up over time.

“A maple leaf will be stamped in the intersections,” he said. The manhole covers in the area will also be replaced with a Maple Grove logo on them.

The benches throughout the corridor will be reused. “We are going to reuse the existing light posts, but we will add conduits for potential future lighting upgrades,” Feulner added. He said the fixtures would be repainted as a cost-effective solution.

The project is estimated to cost $2.82 million. The city will fund improvements to the road surface and some public art elements, while the property owners along this portion of Main Street will share in the costs of the sidewalk area improvements.

The council was able to ask questions about the plans.

Jaeger asked if the maple leaf design in the middle of the intersections would be ruined by snowplows. Assistant Public Works Director/Assistant City Engineer Jupe Hale said the design would be inlaid into the roadway and flush with the pavement.

Jaeger also questioned a part of the project. “Do we really need monogrammed sewer covers?” she asked. Hale said they were proposed for the theming of the project, but they weren’t needed.

Barnett asked why light peach-colored areas at the curbs were chosen for the project area. Feulner said those were at the pedestrian ramps and were ADA required to be a contrasting color.

Bids will be opened in February with the project awarded to a contractor in March.

Construction is anticipated to begin after Maple Grove Days and will be constructed in phases. Access to the businesses will remain open during the project, which is anticipated to be complete by the end of November.

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