Summer Fun and Volunteer Opportunity!

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Summer Parks and Recreation Brochure now available!
Ready for summer fun? Maple Grove Parks and Recreation offers many activities available for ages two to 102 and beyond. The brochure lists all summer offerings and is available online. Registration for some activities begins April 29 so check it out now!

Dirty Hands Wanted!
If you have a few hours to spare on Saturday, May 16, we could use your help. For more than 10 years, volunteers have spent a few hours on a Saturday morning to plant flowers in the medians of Weaver Lake Road and Elm Creek Boulevard. Plants, planting plans and safety vests are provided. Volunteers need only bring a small garden trowel for planting and a willingness to dig in the dirt. This is a great opportunity for individuals, groups and families; supervised children age 10 and up are welcome. You must register to participate. Call 763-494-5956 or email dcoss@maplegrovemn.gov to register or for more information.

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Distracted Driving Awareness

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DistractedDriving-CardCommon distractions Distracted driving is a growing problem. From 2010-2014 in Maple Grove, driver distraction contributed to 31% of all crashes.

Get your thumbs off the phone and your eyes on the road!

Extra distracted driving enforcement will be taking place statewide April 13-18.

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Firefighter Recruitment: Neighbors Helping Neighbors

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Did you know that the majority of fire departments in Minnesota are staffed by citizens who live in their community? There are more than 20,000 firefighters in Minnesota and most of them are on-call volunteers who protect their community by delivering emergency services when they are needed. These firefighters are often part-time employees of their community who typically carry a radio pager to alert them when their help is needed. For over 40 years, Maple Grove has depended on part-time firefighters to respond to fires and other emergencies. This summer we will be looking for additional people interested in serving their community by joining the Maple Grove Fire Department.
There are many reasons why people become a Maple Grove firefighter. The ability to help their community is right at the top of the list and being a firefighter provides the chance to assist their neighbors in times of trouble. Although this is true any time of day, it is especially true during the day. Maple Grove needs people that are available and interested in serving their community as firefighters. Best of all, new firefighters don’t require any experience in firefighting, because all needed training is provided after being hired.

Firefighter Blog 4-15 Firefighter Blog2 4-15
Becoming a Maple Grove firefighter is a job that comes with many rewards. Maple Grove firefighters are paid when they respond to emergency calls and also when they attend training. Initial training includes certification as a Minnesota Firefighter and Emergency Responder. After completing initial firefighter training, Maple Grove firefighters attend regular training drills on the 2nd and 3rd Wednesday of each month. Ultimately, being a firefighter provides a chance to be part of a team that provides a vital community service to the citizens of Maple Grove.
The window for Firefighter applications will open this May, with interviews scheduled for this summer in August.

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2015 Local Board of Appeal and Equalization Process

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If a property owner believes the 2015 estimated market value and/or classification of their property has been determined incorrectly, they have the right to make an appeal.  Inquiries concerning valuation or property class should first be directed to the City of Maple Grove Assessor’s Office.  This is an important first step in the appeals process.

If you believe your value or classification is incorrect and you are not satisfied with the resolution offered by the Assessing Department, you may bring your case to the Maple Grove Local Board of Appeal and Equalization.  You may appear in person, by letter, or be represented by an authorized agent.  It is required that you first attend the Local Board of Appeal and Equalization prior to attending the County Board of Appeal and Equalization.

Maple Grove Local Board of Appeal and Equalization

  • Date: Tuesday, April 7, 2015
  • Time: 7:00 P.M.
  • Location: Maple Grove Government Center – City Council Chambers, 12800 Arbor Lakes Parkway, Maple Grove, MN 55369

If you would like to formally appeal your value and/or classification, applications are requested no later than Friday, April 3, 2015.  To submit an application, click on the following link:

2015 Local Board of Appeal and Equalization Application

Any questions, please contact the City of Maple Grove Assessor’s Office at (763) 494-6265 or by e-mail at assess@maplegrovemn.gov.

Tim Mitchell, City Assessor

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Boundary Creek Burglaries

Boundary Creek Burglaries

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2015 Valuation and Classification Notice Mailing

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On March 17th the City of Maple Grove will begin mailing the “2015 Valuation and Classification Notice” to property owners.

The notice provides information regarding the estimated market value and property classification for property taxes payable in 2016.

Minnesota law requires that all property be appraised at an estimated market value for property tax purposes. The market value represents a reasonable estimate of what your property may sell for on the open market.

If a property owner believes the 2015 estimated market value and/or classification of their property has been determined incorrectly, they have the right to make an appeal. Inquiries concerning valuation or property class should first be directed to the City of Maple Grove Assessor’s Office. This is an important first step in the appeals process.

Please contact the Maple Grove Assessor’s Office at (763) 494-6265 or by e-mail at assess@maplegrovemn.gov if you have any questions or concerns related to the 2015 assessed value or the classification of your property. The valuation notice and the city’s website contain specific instructions for formal appeal options.

Tim Mitchell, City Assessor

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Neighborhood Traffic, Part 2

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The speed of traffic in our neighborhoods, where we and our families drive, walk and play, is a recurring topic of discussion, especially over the non-winter months when the roads are clear and neighbors and children are out walking or enjoying some fresh air in the front yard. It is certainly an issue that warrants consideration, and every situation is different in its own way. This post is the second of two on this topic (see blog post on 6/13/14), and will discuss possible courses of action if you feel there is a speeding problem in your neighborhood.

The suggested course of action is to get in touch with the City’s Transportation Operations Engineer (763.494.6364). Please be prepared to discuss specifics of what you have observed, including location where you feel the issue is at its worst. Generally, curves or hills in the road tend to slow traffic, but that is not always the case. Also, try to be realistic about how often you observe high speeds, or if there is a specific time of day that seems to be the “prime time”. One note: if you feel the violator is a specific individual, or if the traffic in question is a result of a single house or business, then the best course of action is to approach them directly to discuss in a non-accusatory manner. That will be, without doubt, the most effective deterrent. If you are uncomfortable doing so or have tried it without success, then a discussion with the Maple Grove police may be in order.

Once the City is alerted to the issue, we will perform a traffic count and speed study using our own personnel and equipment. Data is generally taken from midday Monday to midday Friday, but that can be adjusted if necessary. The City will be happy to share the results with you, and discuss the extent of the problem. Please refer to Part 1 of this blog series to prepare yourself for likely outcomes of the data.

So, let’s assume that we have done our research and we determine there is a speeding problem. What do we do next? Be honest: your first thought was, “Put in a stop sign.” Am I right? Unfortunately, this is almost always the request that accompanies a speeding problem. Let’s start by stating that stop signs are a form of intersection control, similar to a signal or roundabout. They are meant to control turn movements at intersections that have too many turns and through vehicles to operate safely. They are NOT speed control devices. In fact, many studies have shown that they often cause more dangerous driver activity, including higher speeds, than were occurring prior to install. Think about it: if a driver is willing to ignore posted speeds in the first place, are they going to come to a complete stop? They are more likely to slow down on approach to the stop sign to make sure there isn’t approaching traffic from the side (which there won’t be 90% of the time), then jam down the accelerator to quickly get back up to their high speed. Each time they approach the intersection, and don’t see any side street traffic, they curb their speed even less. Now we have created a situation where drivers from the side street have a right to expect that this vehicle will stop, and they don’t. Is the speeding driver in the wrong if an accident occurs? Yes. But the stop sign wasn’t about assigning blame, it was about improving safety, which we haven’t done. In fact, we very likely made it worse.

There are a handful of other, more effective, speed control devices at our disposal. I won’t promise that they will be fully effective, as any type of traffic control or traffic calming always relies on drivers to do their part. Police patrols are effective, but non-sustainable in terms of staffing enough police to monitor all the neighborhoods that have reported speeding problems.

We hope this series has been informative and helpful in terms of clearing up some unknowns about traffic speeds and means to address. The best way to have safe neighborhood streets is to drive the posted speed limit and be on alert for surprises like the opening of car doors or children darting into the street. That approach to driving will always, always be better than signs or police.

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Community Development News

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What’s going on in Community Development? As we say goodbye to winter and hello to free-spring-clipart-bannerspring, development traditionally begins to pick up. We see work continuing in spite of the snowy landscape on a number of http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-photos-dog-under-construction-image25649288projects including the senior residential community named SilverCreek on Main, the City’s new Central Park and the Skye at Arbor Lakes Apartment community. The second phase of the Skye project is anticipated to begin this Spring.

Here are a few new commercial developments/activities recently approved:apartment_clipart_7_k

• Skye at Arbor Lakes – Phase 2: This is a proposal to construct the second phase (208 units) apartment building that will bring a project total of 467 units.
• Red Rock Business Park – Phase 2: This is a proposal to develop the property into a 47,520 s.f. office/warehouse building.warehouse-building-isometric
Ordinances were recently adopted to allow brewery taprooms in Maple Grove.

Residential development will continue to grow and we will keep you apprised of new developments.

Also keep apprised of new retailers coming to town in this blog or on the City’s main web page!

A good resource to get information directly e-mailed to you about the different Residential and Commercial projects that are going forward to the Planning Commission and City Council is to E-Subscribe to our Agendas and Minutes. Our Agendas/Minutes are e-mailed out twice a month. Click here to sign up. There are other topics to sign-up for as well.

Dick Edwards, Community Development Director

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Captain Promotion

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At their February 2, 2015 meeting, council approved the promotion of Sgt. Adam Lindquist to the rank of Captain. Captain Lindquist was formally introduced at the February 17, 2015 council meeting. Congratulations!Capt Lindquist 026 Capt Lindquist 018 Capt Lindquist 016 Capt Lindquist 010

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eUtilityBilling

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eUtilityBilling is a convenient online service the City offers to its utility customers.

eUtilityBilling allows utility customers who sign up for this application to view their water consumption history, review electronic billing statements, and pay their utility bills online.

With access to this online service customers can compare their current quarterly water consumption to a similar quarter in the past 10 years. They can also compare their quarterly water consumption to the average usage of their neighborhood or the average usage of the entire city.

Customers can also sign up to receive their bills electronically, which allows them to view thier current bill and compare that bill to a previous quarter.

Over 5,600 (25% of our residential households) customers have already signed up for eUtilityBilling. Customers can go to the city website at www.maplegrovemn.gov and click on Utilities under the Services menu to begin the registration process.

If you have any utility billing questions you can always call (763) 494-6330 and a customer service representative will assist you.

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