Best Practice Action Detail

Best Practice Action 29.5

GreenStep City Best Practices: Resilient Economic and Community Development
Climate Adaptation and Community Resilience No. 29

Plan and prepare for extreme weather, adapt to changing climatic conditions, and foster stronger community connectedness and social and economic vitality.

Best Practice Action 5

Protect public buildings and natural/constructed infrastructure to reduce physical damage and sustain their function during extreme weather events.

  • The Storm Events Database can be searched by county for incidents from 1950 to the present; the Localized Flood Map Screening Tool from the Metropolitan Council allows users to identify potential surface flooding locations.
  • Cities can use a standard for new/renovated buildings/infrastructure: (1) Fortified Commercial, a national standard for resilient construction from The Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety; (2) RELi Resilience Standard, combining design criteria with an integrative design process for neighborhoods, buildings, homes and infrastructure, developed in MN and being synchronized with LEED.
  • Funding for Climate Resilient Mitigation Activities is available from FEMA for Aquifer Storage and Recovery, Floodplain and Stream Restoration, Flood Diversion and Storage, and Green Infrastructure.
  • The Green Infrastructure Toolkit details strategies to manage stormwater, reduce urban heat island effects, improve air quality, and promote economic development and other sustainability goals.
  • Storm Water Management Model (SWMM) models the hydrologic performance of seven specific types of green infrastructure practices for improved storm water management under different climate change scenarios. 
1 star Inventory and/or map your sanitary sewer system, gray and green stormwater infrastructure, city roads and bridges, and municipal power lines; for MS4 cities, use an asset management system to monitor and maintain this infrastructure. Report tree inventories under best practice 16.
2 star Assess city-owned buildings and sites for vulnerabilities to extreme weather, and make investments to reduce or prevent damage and sustain function. Report water and wastewater facilities under action 29.7.
3 star Modify/rebuild infrastructure to make it more resilient; make investments in green and gray infrastructure that are strategically designed to fix specific intersections, underpasses, culverts or other areas prone to flash flooding, to resolve recent occurrences of combined sewer overflow, and/or to add meaningful system capacity for extreme rainfall events.

Who's doing it

Golden Valley - 2 star
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed: 2015
Implementation details:
The Physical Development Department implements an on-call system with an emergency “red book” which provides staff with critical maps (including sanitary sewer system, gray/green stormwater infrastructure and water supply mains), procedural information, and contacts during emergency events and disasters. Information in the book is updated on a continuous basis.

The City conducted a comprehensive facility analysis in 2006 to identify the investments that would be necessary to sustain the structure and function of public buildings in the future. This assessment is incorporated into the Capital Improvement Plan each year for building improvements. Public buildings are continually assessed for vulnerability to flooding and other structural deficiencies. Additional assessment of public buildings will be performed as part of the City’s Resilience and Sustainability planning effort.

The City is cooperating with the Bassett Creek Watershed Management Commission to develop a hydrologic and hydraulic model of the watershed. Once completed, this model will be used to identify areas of the City that are at risk of flood damage to assist in planning and preparedness efforts. In partnership with the watershed, the City is engaged in an ongoing effort to stabilize streambanks for erosion control, water quality protection and flood mitigation.
As of 2015 the City had 120 miles of street, most of which had been reconstructed under the Pavement Management Plan (PMP) including subgrade correction, installation of curb and gutter, and in some cases, repair and replacement of sanitary sewer and water mains. The PMP emphasizes preservation to maximize the useful life of the street (maintenance measures result in an anticipated pavement lifespan of 50 to 60 years). Golden Valley maintains 113 miles of sanitary sewer (consisting of gravity mains, lift stations, and force mains), 75% of which is over 50 years old. The City also maintains 136 miles of water mains serving the community, 69% of which is over 50 years old. The City has 83 miles of storm sewer pipe, 33 miles of drain tile, 3,083 catch basins, and manages 54 ponds and wetlands, 29 constructed sedimentation basins, and 4 bioretention basins/rain gardens.

The City has no municipal power lines
Outcome measures/metrics:
Several sections of streets within the City have been identified as being at risk of becoming inundated during the 1% annual chance flood event (100-year flood). One utility accessory building has been identified as being at risk of flooding during the 1% annual chance flood event. The City has a flood preparation checklist that lists creek crossings, bridges, culverts and streets for City staff to monitor during large precipitation events. The 2016 FEMA Flood Insurance Study indicates that all bridges/culverts in Golden Valley have the capacity to contain discharge during the 1% annual chance flood event and all but 3 have the capacity to contain discharge during the 0.2% annual chance flood event (500 year flood).

As of 2016 the City has restored and stabilized 5.2 miles along shoreline of streams and drainageways.

As of 2016, the City has made investments to repair several roofs on public buildings and park shelters and install a fire suppression system in one building. The City has also made investments to ensure new buildings are built to be durable and resilient to natural hazards. Fourteen (14) of the City’s buildings are considered critical facilities. Of these, only 3 do not have back-up generated power.
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Eric Eckman (City staff) | eeckman@goldenvalleymn.gov | 763-593-8084
Partners: Bassett Creek Watershed Management Commission, Joint Water Commission (Crystal, Golden Valley, New Hope)
Hutchinson - 1 star
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
The city recently completed a multi-year project of burying all power lines located brining electricity and similar services to those within the City. This greatly increases the Community’s resilience to extreme weather events by ensuring that the power lines are not susceptible to frequent disruptions from falling trees or other disasters associate with such events. Not only does this mean increased safety during extreme weather, it also means that communication and power lines are more likely to be maintained in an emergency when they are most needed. Additionally, the City is realizing significant savings in maintenance costs from the buried power lines. Other benefits include improving the aesthetics of the City, facilitating easier maintenance of boulevard trees, and decreasing risk of injury from downed power line or pole falls from weather, vehicle, and other accidents.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
John Paulson (City staff) | jpaulson@ci.hutchinson.mn.us | 320-234-5682
Partners:
Inver Grove Heights - 1 star
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed: 1990
Implementation details:
The City of Inver Grove Heights has an inventory and/or map for the sanitary sewer system, roads, and bridges.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Ally Hillstrom (City staff) | ahillstrom@invergroveheights.org | 651-604-8511
Partners:
Maplewood - 1 star
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed: 2017
Implementation details:
All stormwater assets (basins, outlets, treatment devices, culverts, lift stations, inlets, pipes, manholes) are mapped and assigned a condition and value in the Cartegraph system. When creating new assets or updating existing assets (location or attributes) all changes get auto-updated to GIS map. Program tracks asset issues and tasks (integrated into daily operations and inspection forms on I-Pads for example). An issue can be reported internally or externally from citizens (example - citizen takes a photo of flooding on smart phone app and the correct staff person is alerted and prioritizes the task).
Outcome measures/metrics:
Knowing the value and condition of our infrastructure assets, including stormwater assets, allows the city to make prudent financial decisions based on a holistic data driven approach.

Why cities should implement asset management system:

1) Implement an asset management system that shows the location, condition, value, and other pertinent information of the city’s infrastructure assets across all departments in one user friendly system (also contains a work flow component).
2) Provides real-time reflection of citywide asset conditions and value. Accurate tracking will better inform maintenance, preservation, and replacement (life cycle) decisions.
3) Implement a system that also provides residents and business owners a mechanism to report deficient infrastructure (potholes, broken playground equipment, etc.) and receive real-time updates on progress.
Descriptive File: view file
For more information contact:
Steve Love (City staff) | steve.love@maplewoodmn.gov | 651-249-2404
Partners:
Duluth - Pending
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed: 2019
Implementation details:
Duluth has a comprehensive map of the potable water system, storm water system, sanitary sewer system, city streets and alleys, the municipal steam system, and natural gas lines. The recently completed tree inventory is going to be mapped digitally this winter.
The Duluth Lake Walk was severely damaged by storms in 2017 and 2018. During the reconstruction process, steps have been taken to ensure that future storms are not able to damage the trail as easily. The boardwalk and paved trail were rebuilt behind a new concrete barrier that was sunk 12 feet into the ground. The design of the boardwalk to make it more securely anchored to the ground. More sturdy fences are being installed where the trail runs beside the train tracks, and more durable lighting fixtures are being placed along the path (all new fixtures will be LED). The rocks that had previously protected the shoreline were mostly washed away in some areas, so larger rocks that will interlock are being placed along the shore in an effort to prevent the same kind of washout. For areas of the shore where erosion was a severe problem, solutions beyond infill and vegetation are being explored.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Alex Jackson, Energy Coordinator (City staff) | ajackson@DuluthMN.gov | 218-730-4433
Partners: