What's New in '22?

Pre-COVID: A term used when discussing the period before the world was hit with the COVID-19 pandemic. 

I don't think any of us had any idea how good we really had it "Pre-Covid". It was a world without face masks and vaccination cards. This past summer, we saw life slowly crawl back to our City. We are reminded that things will get better but our expectation of what is "normal" has changed. The ability to adapt will keep us moving on the road to recovery. 
Let's keep moving forward! The City of Maryland Heights has some really spectacular things cooking on the burner. We had conversations with each department to get an update on what is new in 2022. Onward and upward!

Police Department
The MHPD continues to provide professional law enforcement to our community. One event already in the works is an open house planned for springtime. "The last time we held an open house, we drew hundreds of community members" stated Public Relations Officer Mancusi. "Stay tuned to future newsletters and social media pages for the latest updates." 
Last summer, the MHPD piloted the Youth Academy program where teens, ages 13-17, were provided a hands-on experience of a career in law enforcement. New in 2022, the MHPD plans on organizing two sessions (rather than last summer's single session) of the Youth Academy during the summer so keep an eye out for details leading up to summertime. 

Another item that made the 2022 budget is a second police K-9 unit. Bax, the current MHPD K-9 is approaching retirement age and the department will be purchasing a new K-9 to join the MHPD family in 2022!

Community Development
Starting in 2022, the City’s Department of Community Development will provide all residential mechanical, electrical, and plumbing permitting and inspections services. In previous years, the City contracted with St. Louis County to provide these services. "Bringing this program in-house will provide convenience and more responsive service to our residents" stated Mike Zeek, Director of Community Development. "Residents and their contractors will no longer have to go to the County’s office in Clayton to apply for permits or worry about City and County inspections for larger projects." The City of Maryland Heights will now be a one-stop shop for residential permits. Permits and inspections are important to ensure safety and protect your investment. So, what kind of electrical mechanical, and plumbing work requires a permit? 

Electrical – A permit is required to install, alter, repair, replace, or remove equipment, panels, material, wiring, fixtures or any other component of an electrical system.  Typical projects include replacing a breaker panel, adding new circuits, or adding new wiring or fixtures.

Mechanical – A permit is required to install, alter, repair, replace, or remove equipment, ductwork, or any other component of a mechanical system.  Examples of projects requiring a permit include replacing a furnace or air conditioning equipment, adding or replacing ductwork, installing a bathroom fan, installing a gas fireplace, or installing gas piping.

Plumbing – A permit is required to install, alter, repair, replace, or remove water supply and distribution piping, fixtures, traps, vents, drains, sewers, or any other component of a plumbing system.  Examples include replacing or relocating plumbing fixtures and sinks, repairing drains or waste piping, replacing a water heater or dishwasher, and installing backflow devices for irrigation.

A new Home Improvement Guide will be designed with all the new permitting information. City staff is always available to help you plan and execute your project. Contact the Permits Coordinator, Alyssa White at 314-738-2235 or awhite@marylandheights.com.

Economic Development
There are several development projects to keep an eye on for 2022:

  • Bamboo Dorsett, LLC at 11737 Dorsett Rd. wishes to construct an 11,000 sq. ft. office/warehouse building. Bamboo's prospective tenants include contractors, wholesalers, beverage manufacturing and other retail uses. 

  • KBG, Inc. wishes to develop retail and multi-family residential properties located at 3205 - 3257 and 12000 Creve Coeur Mill Road and 1 Golfport Dr. Their conceptual development plan was approved by the Planning Commission in November of 2021. The next step of the process is consideration of a Preliminary Development Plan, including a public hearing. Stay tuned!

  • Precision Vehicle Holding on River Valley and Hog Hollow wishes to develop property to distribute new vehicles by rail and car carriers. A public hearing will be planned for the consideration of a Preliminary Development Plan. 

  • Bastian Solutions on Forte Court wishes to expand operations to construct a 140,000 square foot building. 

Parks and Recreation
Community input will be needed in 2022 to guide the use of grant funding for playground equipment replacement. Look for opportunities to provide feedback at the Community Center, online, and in-person at events through the summer.
Parks and Recreation is looking forward to several new events for 2022:

  • Bring the whole family out for a night of fun on Thursday, February 10 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the Community Center to play Valentines-themed Family Bingo. Prizes, pizza, and refreshments will be included. Price is per person and cost varies from $5-$7. Register by calling (314) 738-2599
  • Lace up your skates and bundle up for ice skating in the outdoor rink at the Ice Center on Saturday, February 12 from 2:30-4:00 p.m. for the Sweetheart Skate. Price includes skate rental, photos with Harmony the Dancing Hippo and a Valentine treat. Cost to attend is $15 and you can register at www.marylandheights.com/tickets.
  • Another new event in 2022 is the Winter Princess Ball on Saturday, February 19 from 10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. at the Community Center. This event for ages 2-10, little princesses can dress the part and participate in sing-a-longs, enjoy sweet treats and other activities. There will also be meet and greets with some very special royalty with photo opportunities. Cost to attend is $25/child and you can register at www.marylandheights.com/tickets
  • Kids can’t have all the fun, right? Moms, on Saturday, March 26 from 7:00-10:00 p.m. gather your girlfriends at the Community Center for the Mom Prom! Dust off your wedding gowns, bridesmaid’s dresses or even old prom dresses and dance the night away. A DJ will provide the tunes for the evening. Beer, wine, soda and snacks will be provided. Register at www.marylandheights.com/tickets.
The Parks Department is even keeping your four legged friend in mind in the new year. On Wednesday evenings beginning in April, Certified Dog Trainer Adam Striebel will be instructing puppy/beginner and intermediate obedience training at Dogport. For more information, contact Tracey Whitaker at twhitaker@marylandheights.com. Dogs must be current on their vaccinations in order to attend class. Cost varies from $140-$165.

Public Works
The most notable Capital Improvement Projects occurring in 2022 are:

  • Fee Fee Road (Westport Plaza Drive to Schuetz Road) Pavement Rehabilitation - will involve select pavement replacement/repairs of the concrete pavement, mill and overlay of the asphalt section, bridge deck repairs and diamond grinding of the concrete pavement to improve the ride.
  • Glenridge Drive/Glengrove Drive Sidewalk Project - New sidewalks will be constructed along the south side of both streets.
  • Fee Fee Greenway Extension - Funds are available in the 2022 budget to hire a consultant to determine a potential route for an extension of the Fee Fee Greenway to the east of I-270. Construction will take place in a future year.
Administration
Survey says - Maryland Heights loves their newsletters! We would like to thank everyone who sent back responses (885 total!). 

The Communications Division is currently reviewing data and it's clear that our residents love what we do but want more! "Unfortunately, with the limited eight pages in a monthly time frame, there's only so much we can do" said Communications Manager, Trisha Hall. "We are going to be exploring several options to present to council which will allow us to have an updated newsletter layout with several new features. The last time the newsletter design was updated was in 2008. We will also be discussing the cost efficiency of returning to a bimonthly delivery." More information about changes to the newsletter design or delivery will be forthcoming in 2022. Mature Matters, the bimonthly senior newsletter will continue to be produced bimonthly. Residents ages 55 and older are welcome to sign up to receive this publication by contacting Nancy Whitener at (314) 738-2552 of nwhitener@marylandheights.com.

A mass notification system is budgeted for 2022. This system would be able to call landlines, cell phones, and send text messages within a specific geographic location. "Our goal is to improve our crisis communication with the community and to do that, we have to make sure it is accessible to everyone," explains Hall. 

Also in current development with the Communications Division is a free podcast that would be available on popular hosting sites. "We've gone through this period where municipal government communication is so much more than print material. The wave of technology has taken over and we are doing what we can to remain relevant and active," says Hall. All updates on the podcast, official city social media platforms and opportunities to sign up for digital updates can be found at www.marylandheights.com/mhlife.