City Detail

Background Information

City of Delano
County: Wright
Population: 5767
GreenStep City category: B
Full-time equivalent city staff (approx.): 37
Participating township, county, school: Delano Municipal Utilities
Delano Public Schools, ISD #897

GreenStep Coordinator

Phil Kern
City Staff
763-972-0565
City web page relating to sustainability/GreenStep activities:
GreenStep City resolution: Click here to view the file.
GreenStep City status and date: STEP 2 ( )

City Assessment Files and City Performance Metrics

City councils pass a resolution to join the GreenStep program and are recognized at Step 1. Step 2 and Step 3 recognition levels reflect completed city actions, reported and rated below with stars (1 star = good, 2 stars = better, 3 stars = best). The Assessment File below summarizes completed city actions in a short Word file. Step 4 recognition is awarded to cities who report a minimum number of core metrics for the previous calendar year. These metrics aim to show the aggregate, quantitative results of taking multiple GreenStep actions. Step 5 cities show improvement in the Step 4 metrics. See yearly data for Steps 4&5. Additional city data can be found by reviewing information on B3 Benchmarking and Regional Indicators Initiative.

Assessment File

Best Practice Actions Underway and Completed

Completed actions are denoted by stars.

Total completed actions: 20
1 star actions: 9
2 star actions: 6
3 star actions: 5

Buildings and Lighting Buildings and Lighting

Efficient Existing Public Buildings {BP no.1}

2 star - Action 1:

Enter building information into the Minnesota B3 Benchmarking database and routinely enter monthly energy, water use data for all city-owned buildings.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
In the fall of 2015, the City of Delano launched it's B3 initiative, and began to enter past utility data for City Buildings as well as streetlight infrastructure stretching back to 2013. Data was obtained from historic utility bills, and as of January 2016, all available data had been logged into B3.
City staff coordinated a process for routine entry of data on a 3-month interval, and data entry was completed by one of the City's administrative interns.
In the Spring of 2016, the City pursued a partnership with a local university, sharing B3 log-in data with economics students to advance analysis of energy consumption and cost with a focus on improving efficiency of 3 City-owned buildings and City-wide streetlight infrastructure.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
University of Saint Thomas
For more information contact:
Phil Kern (City staff) | pkern@delano.mn.us | 763-972-0565
1 star - Action 7:

Install for one or more city-owned/school buildings one of the following efficiency measures:

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
The Delano Municipal Utilities in 2010 completed the installation and activation of a closed loop geothermal system. The system provides temperature control for the main power plant building, operated by the City's electric enterprise. The power plant building contains generators used to generate emergency power for the City and houses the administrative offices of the electric and water enterprises. The installation involved retrofitting the 80+ year old facility to this new technology.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
Delano Municipal Utilities
For more information contact:
Phil Kern (City staff) | pkern@delano.mn.us | 763-972-0565

Efficient Existing Private Buildings {BP no.2}

3 star - Action 1:

Create or participate in a marketing/outreach/incentive program to promote/achieve residential energy/water use reduction and energy efficiency.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
Delano Municipal Utilities offers a conservation improvement program (CIP) to improve residential and commercial energy efficiency. The program promotes energy conservation by offering a number of conservation opportunities for property owners. First, the program establishes a rebate program for the replacement of certain appliances with those that achieve the Energy Star guidelines. Secondly, DMU distributes a number of LED light bulbs to residential property owners in the community, encouraging the use of higher-efficiency lighting technology.
Outcome measures/metrics:
In 2010, DMU reported 08 Residential appliance rebates issued resulting in a reported deemed savings of 33,355 kilowatt hours (kwh). CIP funds allocated for these rebates totaled $11,368.
In 2011, DMU reported 52 Residential Appliance rebates issued resulting in a reported deemed savings of 8,410 kilowatt hours (kwh). CIP funds allocated for these rebates totaled $4,195. Also, in 2011, 940 CFL lamps were sent to low income renters, resulting in a deemed savings of 40,150 and $3,772.56 of CIP funds were used to implement the project.
In 2014, 72 participants took advantage of the residential appliance rebate program, resulting in $2710 in energy savings through this program.
Descriptive File:
Delano Municipal Utilities
For more information contact:
Phil Kern (City staff) | pkern@delano.mn.us | 763-972-0565

Efficient Outdoor Lighting and Signals {BP no.4}

1 star - Action 7:

Replace city-owned parking lot/ramp lighting with Dark-Sky compliant, energy efficient, automatic dimming lighting technologies.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
In the spring of 2016, Delano Municipal Utilities replaced the parking lot lighting outside City Hall with LED, dark-sky compliant fixtures. The fixtures were installed as a demo for future streetlight replacement projects throughout the City.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
Delano Municipal Utilities
For more information contact:
Phil Kern (City staff) | pkern@delano.mn.us | 763-972-0565
3 star - Action 8:

Replace the city's existing traffic signals with LEDs.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
The City, working in conjunction with MnDOT, Wright County, and Delano Municipal Utility, completed a project to replace all of the traffic signals in the community with energy-efficient LED lighting. The project was initiated in 2008 and completed by the fall of 2009.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
Delano Municipal Utilities, Wright County, MnDOT
For more information contact:
Phil Kern (City staff) | pkern@delano.mn.us | 763-972-0565

Land Use Land Use

Comprehensive, Climate and Energy Plans {BP no.6}

2 star - Action 1:

Adopt a comprehensive plan or (for Category B & C cities) adopt a future land use plan that was adopted by the county or a regional entity.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
Delano adopted a new comprehensive plan in January 2013 after significant community input and review of the City's goals and objectives. Sustainability-focused goals are integrated into a number of sections. Under the development framework, a "Natural Environment" chapter outlines goals such as:
- managing stormwater drainage to improve water quality
- preserve and protect significant tree cover
- implement as many GreenStep practices as possible
- promote participation in community recycling programs and facilities
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Phil Kern (City staff) | pkern@delano.mn.us | 763-972-0565
2 star - Action 2:

Demonstrate that regulatory ordinances comply with the comprehensive plan including but not limited to having the zoning ordinance explicitly reference the comprehensive plan as the foundational document for decision making.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
The City's Comprehensive plan is referenced in both the Zoning and Land Use Code, as well as the Subdivision code. Under the Zoning and Land Use Code, the plan is referenced in Subd. J under Planned Unit Development, where it explains "The PUD...is intended to encourage a development pattern in harmony with the objectives of the Comprehensive Plan." It discusses the Comprehensive Plan in relation to density, and allows a density bonus of up to 20 percent if the increased number of dwelling units is consistent with the Comprehensive Plan.

In the Subdivision Code, the Comprehensive Plan is referenced in Section 7-8 under Design Standards for alleys and streets, and for 7-9 for public utilities. The Code requires that all subdivisions incorporating streets and public utilities identified in the Comprehensive Plan must comply with the design standards.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Phil Kern (City staff) | pkern@delano.mn.us | 763-972-0565

Mixed Uses {BP no.8}

1 star - Action 2:

Locate or lease a school, city building or other government facility that has at least two of these attributes:

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
In 2003, the City opened a new facility in downtown Delano that housed City Hall offices and the Delano Area Senior Center under one roof. The downtown site was selected for a variety of reasons and is vitally important to the City. As its historic business district, the downtown has been the commercial hub for the community for well over a century. While today's business climate has shifted some of the business interests out to the highway corridor, many businesses continue to thrive in the downtown. For these reasons, it was important to maintain the cornerstone of City function in the heart of downtown employment and commerce.
The downtown area also represents the City's most densely developed area of town. With many older, more densely spaced single family homes, as well as second level apartments in the mixed use-style Central Business District, locating the City Hall/Senior Center in this area provided a viable opportunity to be an easily accessed hub for the many community services it offers.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Phil Kern (City staff) | pkern@delano.mn.us | 763-972-0565
2 star - Action 5:

Have a downtown zoning district that allows residential and compatible commercial development.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
The City of Delano has a Central Business District that is zoned so as to allow for commercial activity as well as siting of residential units. The Central Business District is also home to civic buildings including City Hall, a fire station and a public library. Delano's Comprehensive Plan calls for the promotion of medium and high desnity residential redevelopment on sites at the periphery of the commercial core to increase the local customer base. Additionally, the CBD currently allows, and the comprehensive plan guides the City to continue to allow second story apartments above commercial buildings in the downtown district, further promoting density and mixing of uses in the same building.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Phil Kern (City staff) | pkern@delano.mn.us | 763-972-0565

Transportation Transportation

Mobility Options {BP no.12}

1 star - Action 1:

Increase walking, biking and transit use by one or more of the following means:

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
In 2011, the City completed work on a comprehensive project to educate and promote the use of the City's trail systems for walking, running, and biking. The City received funding from the Live Wright Grant (administered by Wright County) to do a two-part project.

The first component of the project was developing an overall Parks and Trails Master Plan. The master planning process involved surveying community members, meeting with focus groups, establishing a plan development committee, and preparing a City-wide plan. This plan was adopted in the fall of 2011 and serves as the guide for the City to expand and increase the use of its parks and trails systems.

The second part of the grant involved increasing signage and communicating options for residents regarding park and trail options. The City installed 10 signs at strategic locations around the community. The signs included large maps that display the City's entire trail system, and also show the related parks and facilities.

Further, the City was able to expand mapping on its website of the parks and trail systems. A link to this document is included.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File: view file
Wright County
For more information contact:
Phil Kern (City staff) | pkern@delano.mn.us | 763-972-0565
1 star - Action 2:

Conduct an Active Living campaign such as a Safe Routes to School program.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
The City of Delano applied and received a grant from the Safe Routes to School program in 2013. With this money the City and Delano Public Schools are in the process of creating bike and pedestrian trails and paths and updating existing ones to better connect the Delano Public Schools to areas of interest around the community. The new paths will connect to collector and arterial streets to allow students and residents of Delano to access the Public Schools and surrounding amenities with ease by bicycle or walking.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Phil Kern (City staff) | pkern@delano.mn.us | 763-972-0565
2 star - Action 3:

Prominently identify mobility options: transit; paratransit/Dial-A-Ride; ridesharing/cab services; rental cars; bikes; airports.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
Delano's City website provides a link to the Trailblazer Transit website (City Services>Transportation). The website also provides a link to the brochure published by Wright County outlining other area transportation resources.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
Wright County; Trailblazer Transit
For more information contact:
Phil Kern (City staff) | pkern@delano.mn.us | 763-972-0565

Environmental Management Environmental Management

Sustainable Purchasing {BP no.15}

1 star - Action 1:

Adopt a sustainable purchasing policy or administrative guidelines/practices directing that the city purchase at least:

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
The City and Delano Municipal Utilities have adopted administrative practices to purchase only EnergyStar certified equipment and appliances and to purchase paper containing at least 30% post-consumer recycled content.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Phil Kern (City staff) | pkern@delano.mn.us | 763-972-0565

Urban Forests and Soils {BP no.16}

1 star - Action 4:

Maximize tree planting along your main downtown street or throughout the city.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
The City of Delano recently approved the reconstruction of two thoroughfares in downtown. The reconstruction designs ensure that the sidewalks will be expanded to allow for street trees to be planted.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Phil Kern (City staff) | pkern@delano.mn.us | 763-972-0565
3 star - Action 5:

Adopt a tree preservation or native landscaping ordinance.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
The City of Delano’s Subdivision Code provides a section for the preservation and enhancement of the city’s trees. Delano requires that a tree preservation plan be submitted and approved by the City before any development begins. The plan must include a tree inventory, designated tree saving zones, measures proposed to protect significant trees and a plan for tree replacement for any damaged or destroyed trees at a 2:1 ratio.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Phil Kern (City staff) | pkern@delano.mn.us | 763-972-0565

Parks and Trails {BP no.18}

2 star - Action 2:

Plan and budget for a network of parks, green spaces, water features and trails for areas where new development is planned.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
The City's subdivision code (Section 8, "Public Land Dedication") requires developers to dedicate either land or cash in proportion to the anticipated effect of the subdivision on the park and trail system. Actual amount due is determined by formulas that are made public in the subdivision code. Park dedication is a prerequisite to approval of the subdivision.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Phil Kern (City staff) | pkern@delano.mn.us | 763-972-0565
3 star - Action 3:

Achieve minimum levels of city green space and maximize the percent within a ten-minute walk of community members.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
The City meets all three of the performance measures under this Best Practice Action. First, the City of Delano has a population of 5464 residents. To meet the 1-star criteria, the City would need at least 42 acres of municipal park land. The city has 14 municipal parks, the largest of which is Central Park at 135 acres. In total, the City's 14 municipal parks include over 164 acres of land.
Second, all residentially zoned properties within the City are located within 1/2 mile of a park or protected green space. Additionally, over 90% of the residential land area is located within 1/4 mile of these green spaces. Delano is known regionally for its parks and trails systems, and as a river community, has a number of beautiful riverfront green space protection areas.
Lastly, the City also meets the threshold of 20% of its total city land area in protected green infrastructure. In 2010, the City conducted this analysis and determined that 22% of the total land area was located within a park or protected, City-owned, green space. The City will work to update this calculation and add it to the Green Steps database in the near future.
Outcome measures/metrics:
100% of residential-zoned land within 1/2 mile of park or protected green space.
Descriptive File: view file
For more information contact:
Phil Kern (City staff) | pkern@delano.mn.us | 763-972-0565

Efficient Water and Wastewater Systems {BP no.20}

3 star - Action 3:

Establish an on-going budget and program for decreasing inflow and infiltration into sewer lines and losses in drinking water systems.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
As part of the 2016 Street Improvement Project, the City implemented an ordinance (attached) requiring the inspection of private sewer lines. The City provides private sewer line inspections free of charge to homeowners to help residents meet the inspection requirement. Property owners that would rather use an alternative inspector have the option to do so, but must provide materials that prove inspection was completed by a certified plumber or inspector.
If the inspection results in a sewer line in satisfactory condition, no further action is required from the homeowner until the next street project affecting the local sewer main. If the inspection finds that the sewer line is in need of repair because of cracks, sags, and other sources of I & I, the homeowner must have the line repaired during the street project. The City helps facilitate repairs by offering financing options to help manage the costs of repairs.
Outcome measures/metrics:
In 2016, 135 private sewer lines were inspected as part of the project. Inspections exposed failures in 33 sewer lines, and repairs will be completed in conjunction with the street project.
Descriptive File: view file
For more information contact:
Phil Kern (City staff) | pkern@delano.mn.us | 763-972-0565

Sustainable Consumption and Waste {BP no.22}

1 star - Action 5:

Arrange for a residential and/or business/institutional source-separated organics collection/management program.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
In August 2011, the City and Randy's Environmental Services (contracted solid waste hauler) launched a collaborative project to provide a separated organics collection program within the City. The program is labeled the Blue Bag Program by Randy's.

The Blue Bag Program is different from previous organics collection programs offered by Randy's and other waste haulers in the area. This program allows residents to still throw all refuse in one waste container, but by separating organics wasted into a separate "blue bag", it allows the waste hauler to separate the organics from the waste stream later. The advantages to this method are convenience for the resident and the same waste collection process for the hauler. A second organics collection truck is not needed - a process previously required in other organics collection processes.

The first phase of the program was launched with a small, 40-household pilot group, to test the product and its deliver. Some modifications with the program were made over the past 6 months.

In June 2012, Randy's is expected to complete the expansion of its existing waste collection site in Delano, allowing for more space to separate the organics from the waste stream. The construction project began in the fall of 2011 and is progressing as planned.

Randy's and the City have collaborated on a date for launching the program City-wide. This effort is currently planned for August 1, 2012.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
Randy's Environmental Services
For more information contact:
Phil Kern (City staff) | pkern@delano.mn.us | 763-972-0565

Resilient Economic & Community Development Resilient Economic and Community Development

Local Food {BP no.27}

1 star - Action 3:

Create, assist with and promote local food production/distribution within the city:

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
The City of Delano is home to a community market, farmers market and a community garden. The Delano Community Market operates during the summer months and sells different types of local food, art and crafts made by local residents, showcasing local talent. The Delano Farmers Market helps connect residents to locally grown food and is open May through October. The Delano Area Community Garden was founded in 2009 to allow those wishing to plant fruits and vegetables in a public space to do so.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Phil Kern (City staff) | pkern@delano.mn.us | 763-972-0565