Maple Grove looking for funding for Fernbrook/Territorial intersection project | Government

At its Tuesday, Feb. 16, meeting, the Maple Grove City Council supported a grant application for funding to improve the Fernbrook Lane and Territorial Road intersection, which has become more congested with recent developments in Maple Grove and Dayton.

The council also accepted public comment on the draft policy for the Maple Grove Police Department’s body-worn cameras. It also allocated where the 2021 Community Development Block Grant funds would be distributed.

FERNBROOK LANE/TERRITORIAL ROAD

Last year, the City Council created the Fernbrook Lane/Territorial Road project and ordered the plans and specifications.

The project would consist of constructing a mini-roundabout at the intersection of Fernbrook Lane and Territorial Road. Fernbrook Lane north of County Road 81 would also be reconfigured to make room for an additional southbound left-turn lane. According to city staff, “The proposed improvements will improve the traffic operations and safety of the Fernbrook Lane/Territorial Road intersection and better accommodate increased traffic volumes caused by current and future development with the cities of Maple Grove and Dayton.”

The cost for constructing the project is estimated to be $550,000. City staff plans to pursue $550,000 in grant funds from MnDOT’s Local Road Improvement Program next month. The road improvement program provides cities with funding assistance to help construct or reconstruct local roads.

The council supported the city’s Local Road Improvement Program grant application for funding of the Fernbrook Lane and Territorial Road project.

The council also approved ordering the project, approving plans and specifications and authorized advertisement for bids for the project.

POLICE BODY CAMERA POLICY

The council accepted public comment before the Maple Grove Police Department implements the Axon body-worn camera system.

On Jan. 19, the council approved an agreement with Axon Enterprises to purchase body-worn cameras for the police department.

Police Chief Eric Werner said, “The police department opened up public comment for the draft policy for its body-worn camera program [on Feb. 2.]”

The department received emailed comments and some on its Facebook page. One emailed comment read, “As a resident of Maple Grove, I firmly agree that all officers should have a BWC that would record at all times and not be turned off.”

A Facebook comment stated, “Long overdue! Glad we are finally catching up in some area with other cities.”

The council also provided time for public comment during the council meeting. There were no comments.

Brett Angell, Economic Development Manager, presented the council with the 2021 Community Development Block Grant funding allocation plan. The grant program provides funding to cities to help address certain challenges related to providing housing and employment options for people of low- and moderate-income levels. At least 70% of the funds must be used for items helping low-income people, such as affordable housing. No more than 15% of the funds can be used for social service items.

“It is anticipated this year that allocation for the city of Maple Grove will be at approximately $190,000,” he said. “That’s consistent with last year’s allocation.”

Angell said the city’s proposed usage of the funds will focus on three main areas as the city has done in previous years. The areas include West Hennepin Affordable Land Trust (acquires single-family homes to create affordable homeownership options), Hennepin County Rehabilitation Loan Program (offers forgivable home repair and maintenance loans to those who qualify), and Scattered Site Housing Rehabilitation (funding for rehabilitation and repairs of the city’s scattered site housing units).

The proposed amounts to be distributed would be $70,000 for the Land Trust, $45,000 for the county rehab program and $74,731 for the city’s scattered site housing rehabilitation.

The council approved the 2021 Community Development Block Grant funds allocation plan.

In other action, the council:

APPROVED amending city code related to loitering. The amendment changes the code to not just include public buildings, but to all buildings in the city including private residences. The amended code now reads: “No person shall, without consent of the owner or occupant, unreasonably block, obstruct, or hinder free access to the entrance of any building or part of a building.

ADOPTED its support for the city’s Local Road Improvement Program grant applications for funding for the County Road 101 Improvement Project, between 74th Avenue and 82nd Avenue.

ENTERED into an agreement with Hammel Green Abrahamson to provide consultant services for the Maple Grove Community Center predesign. A predesign submittal is needed as part of the formal state bonding process.

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