January 2017 Minutes

Mahtomedi Area Green Initiative Meeting Minutes

1/2/17 – Roma Restaurant 

Christine Ahmann-Maples, Mike Brooks, Linda Countryman, Ben Creagh, Julie Drennen, Kevin Donovan, Ted Field, Mary Hoff, Paul Hoff, Jeff Ledermann, Dennis Lindeke, James Muellner, Becky Siekmeier, John Siekmeier, Paul Steinhauser, Ryan Malvey, Steve Wolgamot, Jeanne Zlonis

Quick Hits – We’ll be renewing the contract for the wind turbine reporting system. Mahtomedi Schools is paying half the cost and MAGI will pay the other half. Sustainable Stillwater meets 6:30 tomorrow night in 333 N. Main, Stillwater. John is serving as MAGI liaison, but others are welcome. The group is particularly interested in bike trails, connecting with local government.

Race to Reduce – The group recognized R2R for winning a Minnesota Environmental Initiative award in 2016. Paul S. reported DNR has said will support lake level of 922 feet vs. a historical average 924–925, which changes recreational use. Paul noted results of toilet study are now available and passed out copies; water savings could be substantial if all homes used dual-flush toilets. Mary will post the report to the MAGI website.

Partners in Energy Grant – Xcel awarded the City of Mahtomedi a Partners in Energy grant to support energy planning in our community. Xcel provides data, discussion facilitator, but community members need to do the work on the ground. The first meeting is this Friday Jan. 6 via conference call. Mary will attend for MAGI; others are welcome. Call in at 612/244-2442, passcode 93959#. For agenda details, email Paul Hoff at hoffpw@gmail.com

Mahtomedi Environment Commission Report – The city of Mahtomedi is looking at 4/22 at the District Education Center for RITE of Spring. Washington County is interested in partnering but not on that date so may change. The city is continuing with revising its comprehensive plan. A separate water plan is also under discussion. It’s not clear whether the fee structure allows for higher fees for big users.

Safe Routes to School – Paul H. reports we have not heard from school district lately. A plan has been completed; next step is to put the plan into place. John reported on planned updates to Stillwater Road – see 12/28/16 White Bear Press – including a planned stoplight for middle school entrance. Kevin reported the district is working on upgrading parking, entrances and exits at the schools along the corridor. Kevin suggested SRTS, trails, and biking should all be part of the same plan. Safe Routes to School includes both physical changes and behavioral education, and the focus is primarily on OH Anderson and Mahtomedi Middle School. John S. says the traffic light is not a done deal. Kevin said he heard no consideration of SRTS during conversations with Washington County on Stillwater Road changes. Mike noted that White Bear SRTS planning was around walking part of the way to school for one day – which could be the entirely wrong message to have it be a special day with all kinds of special support. Jim suggested that a missing piece is education; kids don’t know how to walk or bike to school. Jim shared an article from January 1 Parade magazine – discussion on “tightening neighborhoods” and bringing kindness into the picture. Mike and Steve noted that’s what Mahtomedi Go Round and Neighborways are all about. Mike passed out Steve’s Mahtomedi Go Round maps. John noted this is a huge opportunity to include sidewalks and other walk-bike friendly infrastructure in rights of way for the century to come.

Lake Links – Steve noted to get Lake Links moving again we need to do something visible. His suggestion is to designate a current best route, get it endorsed and add signs, then move on to persuading MnDOT and Washington County to clean up the dangerous spots. Steve passed out two documents – a Lake Links interim trail map and a working group proposed agenda. The main difference between the interim and eventual route is using Park Ave. in Mahtomedi to avoid one bad spot. MnDOT is surveying parts of 244 now, so things are gradually happening. See handout for Steve’s ideas on possible goals, means, organization. Steve suggested no formal organizational structure now, but emphasize representation from numerous organizations. He also suggested the ad hoc group have two chairs – one in Washington and one in Ramsey. Steve would like to be WC chair, suggested Mike for RC chair. Steve passed around a draft press release and showed a sample sign. Kevin suggested communication committee – Kevin, Mary, Mike volunteered. Linda supported sharing with Stillwater – much interest in connecting trails. Mahtomedi Trails Plan is up for consideration also. Steve distributed a draft press release – send suggestions for that and for a name for the group/initiative to Mary. Paul H. likes “working group.” Mary suggested aiming messaging to different constituencies. Steve suggested finding out how many people are using now. Christy suggested getting more active with City of Mahtomedi – has been a part of planning conversations at least since 2006, suggested having a working group rep at the Comp Plan meetings. Kevin suggested school board meeting as well – Jan. 5. John advocated for getting this on MnDOT’s list as a turnback, which can provide funding and also kicks in things like ADA. Steve noted this road has been on the turnback list for 18 years. Jeff suggested meeting w/ Reps. Fischer & Dean

Zephyr Loops – Steve passed out map for 19 1- to 2-mile routes in Mahtomedi, Willernie, Pine Springs, Dellwood.

Announcements – John passed around flyer for Feb. 3 Environmental Congress at the University of Minnesota, sponsored by the Environmental Quality Board.

Comments – Ryan expressed hope that the Lake Links go through so he and his friends can get around a lot better. Ben noted that as member of the Pine Springs road committee, he is very interested in getting Lake Links work. Jeanne suggested sharing minutes from the meeting. Mary will arrange this (probably send draft minutes to attendees for approval).

Next Meeting – Monday, February 6, 7 p.m., Roma Market (to be confirmed), Willernie.