City Detail

Background Information

City of Elk River
County: Sherburne
Population: 23231
GreenStep City category: A
Full-time equivalent city staff (approx.): 114
Participating township, county, school: City of Elk River
Elk River Municipal Utilities

GreenStep Coordinator

Amanda Bednar
City Staff
763-635-1068
City web page relating to sustainability/GreenStep activities:
GreenStep City resolution: Click here to view the file.
GreenStep City status and date: STEP 5 ( )

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: 72
1 star actions: 37
2 star actions: 24
3 star actions: 9

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:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
Information for 11 city buildings is up-to-date for gas and electric meters. Using this software, the city is able to monitor which buildings are in need of a retrofit.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
The city just finished installing new lighting and a new heating system in the ice arena and look forward to comparing the new data with past data using B3 benchmarking.

Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Amanda Bednar (City staff) | ABednar@ElkRiverMN.gov | 763-635-1068
2 star - Action 2:

Make no/low cost indoor lighting and operational changes in city-owned/school buildings to reduce energy costs.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
The City of Elk River has made many changes and upgrades to city-owned buildings over the last few years. At the city owned Northbound Liquor upgrades were made to change all metal halide lighting to induction lighting and all parking lot lighting and refrigerator lighting were changed to LED. The City applied for and received an $87,000 grant from the Federal Stimulus package (ARRA) to upgrade lighting and heating systems in the Elk River Ice Arena in 2010. In 2012, the Elk River City Hall was retro commissioned and staff are currently working on implementing recommended changes. Maintenance staff have also upgraded track and recessed lighting in conference rooms to LED, lighting systems in the garage from T-12 to T-8 and added motion sensors, and installed new door sweeps on all exterior doors to the building. Recently, maintenance staff have been installing automated paper towel and soap dispensers and switched to coreless toilet paper to reduce waste. Similar upgrades are also being done on the City’s Public Safety Building. The City replaced the City Council dais monitors last month which reduced power consumption from 3.2 amps per monitor to 0.5 amps per monitor
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Amanda Bednar (City staff) | ABednar@ElkRiverMN.gov | 763-635-1068
1 star - Action 3:

Invest in larger energy efficiency projects through performance contracting or other funding or through smaller retro-commissioning/retrofit projects in city-owned/school buildings.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
Elk River Ice Arena completed a lighting and heating retrofit in October of 2010.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
The project will have a payback in less than five years and looks to save 170,000 kwhs per year and about 4,000 therms/yr.
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Amanda Bednar (City staff) | ABednar@ElkRiverMN.gov | 763-635-1068
Pending - Action 4:

Implement information technology efforts and city employee engagement to reduce plug loads, building energy use and workflow efficiency.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
- The City frequently receives rebates from Centerpoint Energy for heating upgrades.

- The City applied for and received an $87,000 grant from the Federal Stimulus package (ARRA) to upgrade lighting and heating systems in the Elk River Ice Arena.

- Received over $10,500 in state and utility rebates for the ice arena alone.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Amanda Bednar (City staff) | ABednar@ElkRiverMN.gov | 763-635-1068
3 star - Action 5:

Document that the new construction or major remodeling of a public building has met the SB 2030 energy standard or has met or qualified under a green building or energy framework.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
The Elk River Public Library is certified LEED Gold by the USGBC.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
The library has vastly lower energy usage than other buildings of its type and size according to B3 benchmarking. (45.9% of a normal library of its size)
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Amanda Bednar (City staff) | ABednar@ElkRiverMN.gov | 763-635-1068
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:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
The Elk River public safety building features a ground source, closed loop geothermal system.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Efficiency measures in the building annually save:

22,110 gallons of water
1,472.34 gallons of oil
1867 pounds of air pollution (NOT emitted to the atmosphere)
9.73 cubic yards of landfill air space
12,964.86 Kilowatt Hours of energy!!
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Amanda Bednar (City staff) | ABednar@ElkRiverMN.gov | 763-635-1068

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:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
"Cycled AC" - A program where the consumer is paid $45 each year to allow the utility to cycle their AC in the summer at times of peak demand. This kicks in during the hottest times of the year, thus preventing Elk River Utilites from having to activate its 10.3MW Peaking Station. The program is marketed via fliers and information in the utility newsletter.

"Wait Till 8" - A voluntary program that encourages citizens to postpone their use of major appliances until after 8pm. This is also marketed via fliers and information in the utility newsletter.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Over 1088 homeowners are signed up for Cycled AC.
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Amanda Bednar (City staff) | ABednar@ElkRiverMN.gov | 763-635-1068
1 star - Action 5:

Conserve/protect drinking/groundwater resources by creating a water-wise landscaping ordinance/guidance, WaterSense purchasing program, or guidance on rainwater harvesting and home water softener use.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
The city has enacted such an ordinance with the support of Elk River Utilities. No sprinkling is allowed between 10am and 6pm. Even numbered addresses may water on even days of the month and odd numbered addresses may water on odd numbered days. This has been very successful despite limited enforcement abilities.

The City also maintains a water rate structure as follows: $1.50 per 1000 gallons up to 9000 gallons, $3.50 per 1000 gallons from 9000-15000 gallons, and $4.00 per 1000 gallons after 15000 gallons.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Amanda Bednar (City staff) | ABednar@ElkRiverMN.gov | 763-635-1068

Efficient Outdoor Lighting and Signals {BP no.4}

1 star - Action 5:

Use LED/solar-powered lighting for a flashing sign or in a street, parking lot or park project.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
The intersection of the Great Northern Trail and 221st Avenue has been enhanced with solar powered
street lights and flashing warning devices to warn the oncoming vehicle traffic of the presence of trail users. This intersection is also actuated by approaching trail users through the use of motion sensors on both
sides of the trail.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File: view file
Department of Natural Resources
For more information contact:
Amanda Bednar (City staff) | ABednar@ElkRiverMN.gov | 763-635-1068
3 star - Action 8:

Replace the city's existing traffic signals with LEDs.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
All of Elk River's traffic lights are LEDs and we were the first city in Minnesota to do so.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
The lights last much longer and represent a 90% reduction in energy consumption versus normal traffic lights.
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Amanda Bednar (City staff) | ABednar@ElkRiverMN.gov | 763-635-1068

Building Redevelopment {BP no.5}

2 star - Action 2:

Implement the Minnesota Main Street model for commercial revitalization.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
With the help of our economic development team, the River's Edge Business Association joined Minnesota Main Street as an associate member on July 7th, 2010. The River's Edge Business Association is an organization formed by the business owners in Elk River's downtown district.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File: view file
For more information contact:
Amanda Bednar (City staff) | ABednar@ElkRiverMN.gov | 763-635-1068

Land Use Land Use

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

1 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:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
The city's latest Comprehensive Plan was approved in May of 2014. The vision consists of maintaining a distinct identity for Elk River, creating and maintaining strong neighborhoods, keeping Elk River a safe place, preserving and maintaining the environment, making Elk River a complete place, and working to achieve the vision.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Chapter 9 includes Environmental Resources as the city seeks a sustainable balance between manmade and natural systems. The city has identified a number of trail and sidewalks improvements, continues to plan sustainable neighborhoods, works with the Elk River Municipal Utilities on conservation education, has implemented an updated SWPPP and developed a surface water management plan among others.
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Amanda Bednar (City staff) | ABednar@ElkRiverMN.gov | 763-635-1068
1 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:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
This is a requirement for our city government and is implied with the adoption of the comprehensive plan. It is specifically stated in the Citys Municipal Code: Sec. 30-654. Standards for issuance, Sec. 30-658. Interim uses, Sec. 30-1564. PUD planned unit development district, Sec. 30-1583. CRT commercial reserve transitional district, Sec. 30-1837. AT antenna tower overlay district, Sec. 30-1914. Conditional uses, etc.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:

Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Amanda Bednar (City staff) | ABednar@ElkRiverMN.gov | 763-635-1068

Resilient City Growth {BP no.7}

2 star - Action 1:

Limit barriers to higher density housing by including in the city zoning ordinance and zoning map:

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
We allow up to 8 units per acre for an urban neighborhood and up to 20 units per acre adjacent to a commercial zoning district or transit center.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Amanda Bednar (City staff) | ABednar@ElkRiverMN.gov | 763-635-1068
2 star - Action 2:

Achieve higher density housing through at least two of the following strategies:

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
A) The City has established a PUD process that provides flexibility from strict zoning requirements in an effort to more efficiently use city services and infrastructure.

C) The City has also established a cluster development process which is intended to cluster rural residential in an area to preserve natural resources. Windsor Park, Meadow Woods Village, and Ridges of Rice Lake are examples of our cluster developments. This is mentioned in various sections of the Comprehensive Plan.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Amanda Bednar (City staff) | ABednar@ElkRiverMN.gov | 763-635-1068
1 star - Action 3:

Achieve higher intensity commercial/industrial land uses through at least one of the following strategies:

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
C1 Districts in the City Zoning Ordinance (Section 30-1041) allows zero setbacks and maximum lot coverage of 100% and a higher maximum height.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Amanda Bednar (City staff) | ABednar@ElkRiverMN.gov | 763-635-1068

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:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
The City allowed, under a Conditional Use Permit, for Spectrum High School to locate their classrooms within an industrial circle adjacent to existing employment and near high density housing. The school is just one mile from the Elk River Train Station with sidewalks along the way.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Spectrum has nearly doubled in size since moving to this location.
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Amanda Bednar (City staff) | ABednar@ElkRiverMN.gov | 763-635-1068
1 star - Action 3:

Modify a planned unit development ordinance to emphasize mixed use development, to limit residential PUDs to areas adjacent to commercial development, and/or to add sustainability features.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
This is described in Section 30-1584 in the Municipal City Code. The purpose of the mixed use Elk River Plaza district is to codify the planned unit development into a single zoning district with three subsections: Commercial, single-family, and multiple-family.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Amanda Bednar (City staff) | ABednar@ElkRiverMN.gov | 763-635-1068
1 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:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
Sec 30  1026 of the municipal code allows for multiple-family dwellings provided that business commercial uses at street level occupy the floor. Traditional and single family dwellings are also permitted provided that they have appropriate exterior building finishes and follow architectural standards and guidelines set for the downtown area.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Amanda Bednar (City staff) | ABednar@ElkRiverMN.gov | 763-635-1068
2 star - Action 7:

Create incentives for vertical mixed-use development in appropriate locations (downtown, commercial districts near colleges or universities, historic commercial districts).

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
In the downtown area, the City provided tax-increment financing for condominium and apartment projects where businesses were housed on the street level. In addition, the City has identified other areas where multi-level housing and services are appropriate, particularly near the Elk River Train Station.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Amanda Bednar (City staff) | ABednar@ElkRiverMN.gov | 763-635-1068

Efficient Highway- and Auto-Oriented Development {BP no.9}

1 star - Action 4:

Adopt development policies for large-format developments, zoning for auto-oriented commercial districts at the sub-urban edge and/or in tightly defined and smaller urban development corridors/nodes that have some bike/walk/transit access.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
The City of Elk River has adopted a highway commercial district. It is described in section 30-1024 of the city code. The purpose of the C-3 highway commercial district is to recognize the need for commercial establishments on or serving with immediate access to major highways. Permitted land uses should take advantage of the highway access in a manner which other business districts are not afforded. It closely follows D-F of the model ordinance.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Amanda Bednar (City staff) | ABednar@ElkRiverMN.gov | 763-635-1068

Design for Natural Resource Conservation {BP no.10}

1 star - Action 1:

Conduct a Natural Resource Inventory or Assessment (NRI or NRA); incorporate protection of priority natural systems or resources such as groundwater through the subdivision or development process.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
Bonestroo conducted a natural resource inventory and assessment in September of 2004 and finished in December.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
The Wetland Buffer Ordinance was adopted as a result of the NRI in 2005. It is outlined in section 30-1850 of the city code.
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Amanda Bednar (City staff) | ABednar@ElkRiverMN.gov | 763-635-1068
1 star - Action 5:

Preserve environmentally sensitive, community-valued land by placing a conservation easement on city lands, and by encouraging/funding private landowners to place land in conservation easements.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
The William H. Houlton Conservation Area is a 347-acre property and has been restored into high-quality wildlife habitat. The city owns the property through a partnership with the Friends of the Mississippi River, Trust for Public Land and Outdoor Heritage Fund and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. A Natural Resources Management Plan was created to return farmfields to prairie habitat, restore floodplain forest and allow for public hunting and fishing.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Amanda Bednar (City staff) | ABednar@ElkRiverMN.gov | 763-635-1068

Transportation Transportation

Living Streets {BP no.11}

1 star - Action 1:

Adopt a complete streets policy, or a living streets policy, which addresses landscaping and stormwater.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
The City’s Comprehensive Plan states that a transportation system that supports non-vehicular movement is an important element in the future vision of Elk River. Sidewalk, trails, bike lanes and other improvements that provide for non-vehicular movement should be viewed as integral components of the transportation system. The plan promotes these improvements in several ways:
• Developers are encouraged to provide sidewalks, trails, and bike lanes in new subdivisions
• Sidewalks, trails, and bike lanes should be included in the plans for improvements to collector and arterial streets in Elk River
• Other street improvement projects consider options for enhancing non-vehicular movement
The Plan also outlines a well-defined system of sidewalks and trails to encourage pedestrian and other non-vehicular movement within the Old Town area of Elk River. These connections are designed to link downtown, the school campus, Loin’s Park, the River, Handke School and the Library.

More recently, in 2010, the City Council adopted a Focused Area Study (FAST) on the 171st Avenue area of Elk River. The FAST outlines a course for change responding to both the near and long term development and transportation realities impacting the site. The area of which the study focuses on encompasses land surrounding major routes of transportation including HWY 10/169 and the Northstar Commuter Rail Station. The FAST stresses that creating a pedestrian environment and trail/sidewalk links will be critical for development of this area. The attached maps diagram planned transportation and green infrastructure including trees and stormwater for the area.

Comprehensive Plan
http://www.elkrivermn.gov/vertical/sites/%7B18493844-E9A7-4BC5-BA1B-5149BB77ECC4%7D/uploads/%7B54AB0630-8AE6-439B-B479-6EBE534B43AC%7D.PDF

Focused Area Study- 171st Ave
http://www.elkrivermn.gov/vertical/Sites/%7B18493844-E9A7-4BC5-BA1B-5149BB77ECC4%7D/uploads/FAST_Final_Plan_6-24-10.pdf
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File: view file
For more information contact:
Amanda Bednar (City staff) | ABednar@ElkRiverMN.gov | 763-635-1068
1 star - Action 4:

Identify, prioritize and remedy complete streets gaps and lack of connectivity/safety within your road network by, for example, adding a bike route/lane, truck route, sidewalk or mid-block alley.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
The Irving Avenue Project in 2007 added a new sidewalk along the reconstructed city street. The Highland Road project added a trail along a reconstructed street.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Amanda Bednar (City staff) | ABednar@ElkRiverMN.gov | 763-635-1068
1 star - Action 5:

Identify and remedy street-trail gaps between city streets and off-road trails/bike trails to better facilitate walking and biking.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
The City is currently working on the Eastern Area Trail and Mobility Improvement project. The City is adding trail segments to complete missing gaps and adding pedestrian facilities to better serve the commuter rail station, this will increase residential connectivity to the Northstar Rail.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Amanda Bednar (City staff) | ABednar@ElkRiverMN.gov | 763-635-1068
1 star - Action 6:

Implement traffic calming policy/measures, including lane conversions (road diets), roundabouts, shared space and depaving, in at least one street redevelopment project.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
Traffic calming in the Trott Brook Parkway redevelopment was completed by narrowing the driving lanes in 2008. The driving lanes were narrowed from 20 feet to 12 feet by striping along the side of the road to clearly mark an 8 foot side lane for parking/biking. The City is currently drafting a traffic calming policy to be adopted by the city council.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
The Trott Brook Pkwy redevelopment succeeded in lowering the average speed by 6mph without reducing the speed limit.
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Amanda Bednar (City staff) | ABednar@ElkRiverMN.gov | 763-635-1068

Mobility Options {BP no.12}

2 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:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
The City of Elk River Comprehensive Plan was approved in 2014 and includes a study and map of city trails and sidewalks as well as plan for future trails and sidewalks.

The majority of city owned buildings provide bike parking and shower facilities for employees.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Amanda Bednar (City staff) | ABednar@ElkRiverMN.gov | 763-635-1068
1 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:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
The Elk River Areas Chamber of Commerce site links information about the NorthStar Commuter Rail and Tri-Cab community based bus service.

Links to rail, bus and air transportation options are provided on the City's website. They can be found by clicking on Community and selecting Transportation Options.

All information is linked to the main websites which include costs, routes, and hours of operation.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Ridership on the NorthStar Commuter Rail has been steady since the start of operation in 2009.
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Amanda Bednar (City staff) | ABednar@ElkRiverMN.gov | 763-635-1068
1 star - Action 4:

Promote carpooling or ridesharing among community members, city employees, businesses, high schools and institutions of higher education.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
The City promotes carpooling/ride sharing through its Project Conserve Program. Residents receive information about carpooling during our fall workshop and were encouraged to join a ride share program in our May Project Conserve Newsletter to promote environmentally friendly actions in the workplace.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File: view file
For more information contact:
Amanda Bednar (City staff) | ABednar@ElkRiverMN.gov | 763-635-1068

Environmental Management Environmental Management

Sustainable Purchasing {BP no.15}

2 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:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
An EPP policy directing that the city purchase 30% recycled printer paper and only Energy Star products (when available) was passed by the City Council on June 6th, 2011.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File: view file
For more information contact:
Amanda Bednar (City staff) | ABednar@ElkRiverMN.gov | 763-635-1068
2 star - Action 2:

Purchase energy used by city government - via the municipal utility, green tags, community solar garden, 3rd party - with a higher renewable percentage than required by Minnesota law.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
The city government receives its power from our Municipal Utility. 11% comes from our landfill gas plant, 1.5% comes from wind, and the remaining renewables come from hydropower in Manitoba and GRE's refuse-derived-fuel facility. Altogether, renewables account for about 20% of our energy needs.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Amanda Bednar (City staff) | ABednar@ElkRiverMN.gov | 763-635-1068
1 star - Action 7:

Lower the environmental footprint of meetings and events in the city.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
We distribute educational materials with energy-saving tips at our annual Energy Expo. Each year we distribute reusable compostable bags at Fright Night around Halloween with information about reducing solid waste.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Amanda Bednar (City staff) | ABednar@ElkRiverMN.gov | 763-635-1068

Community 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:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
The City’s downtown redevelopment plan identifies street embellishments, including planting containers, trees, benches, lights and banners along its main street and major downtown corridors.

The City has developed a plan to improve the major boulevards throughout the city with the introduction of trees. The first of these improvements was completed in 2012, with the planting of Orono Parkway, in front of the civic campus, where over story and ornamental trees were added to the existing prairie grasses, and wildflowers. Groupings of 2-3 trees linearly spaced were planted approximately 50 feet apart along the median totaling around 40 trees.

The City has developed a plan to improve the appearance of major intersections throughout the community. The first intersection was completed in 2012, with the improvements to the Highway 169 and Main Street intersection.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Amanda Bednar (City staff) | ABednar@ElkRiverMN.gov | 763-635-1068
2 star - Action 5:

Adopt a tree preservation or native landscaping ordinance.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
The City has an ordinance on the preservation of trees and other vegetation for new subdivisions. It requires existing healthy trees and native vegetation on the site to be preserved to the maximum extent feasible and be protected by adequate means during construction. For new construction or expansion of an existing use a tree preservation plan should be submitted to the city prior to removing trees or commencing construction. Landscaping requirements for multifamily districts and nonresidential uses in residential districts state that the number of trees on the lot, tract, or parcel shall not be less than three plus the perimeter of the described area as measured in feet divided by 40. The total number of required trees may be offset by the provision of native grasses and wildflowers. Planting or preservation of native planting communities will receive credit for one tree per 500 square feet of native grass area.

Sec. 30-415. - Preservation of trees and other vegetation; tree planting requirements
Sec. 30-934. - Landscaping
Sec. 30-936. - Tree preservation plan
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Amanda Bednar (City staff) | ABednar@ElkRiverMN.gov | 763-635-1068

Stormwater Management {BP no.17}

3 star - Action 1:

Adopt and use Minnesota's Minimal Impact Design Standards (MIDS).

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed: 2015
Implementation details:
The City of Elk River adopted Minnesota's Minimal Impact Design Standards into city ordinance on March 16, 2015.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Amanda Bednar (City staff) | ABednar@ElkRiverMN.gov | 763-635-1068
2 star - Action 2:

Complete the GreenStep Municipal Stormwater Management Assessment.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed: 2016
Implementation details:
The City of Elk River was presented the Blue Star City award in July 2016 and continues to participate in the program.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Amanda Bednar (City staff) | ABednar@ElkRiverMN.gov | 763-635-1068
3 star - Action 4:

Create a stormwater utility that uses variable fees to incentivize stormwater infiltration, minimize the volume of and pollutants in runoff, and educate property owners.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
There are variable impact fees which must be paid by contractors for developing certain areas. The fees vary depending upon the area and impact. These fees, along with property taxes, fund stormwater maintenance, public education, as well as provide $30,000 to install rain gardens.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Amanda Bednar (City staff) | ABednar@ElkRiverMN.gov | 763-635-1068
2 star - Action 5:

Adopt and implement guidelines or design standards/incentives for at least one of the following stormwater infiltration/reuse practices:

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed: 2016
Implementation details:
Based on the existence of sandy and gravel soils in Elk River, the city requires infiltration practices when deemed appropriate. These design standards are evaluated case by case given the area and project. The City's Stormwater Coordinator reviews such projects.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Amanda Bednar (City staff) | ABednar@ElkRiverMN.gov | 763-635-1068
Not rated - Action 6:

Reduce de-icing and dust suppressant salt use to prevent permanent surfacewater and groundwater pollution.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
Our ordinance is outlined in Chapter 30, Article 7 of our municipal city code.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Amanda Bednar (City staff) | ABednar@ElkRiverMN.gov | 763-635-1068

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:
Year action initially completed: 2015
Implementation details:
Any newly created lot (residential, commercial or industrial) is subject to park dedication as part of the city's Park & Recreation Master Plan. The amount of land/money to be dedicated for parks is dependent on where in the city the land is located (either more dense urban or larger properties in the rural areas). This land or funding is then used to create trails, parks, green space and other recreation areas for the entire city.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Amanda Bednar (City staff) | ABednar@ElkRiverMN.gov | 763-635-1068
1 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:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
The City of Elk River is the proud home of 44 parks totaling almost 900 acres. We are well known for our parks regionally. With a population of around 23,000 residents, this amounts to 39 acres of park land per 1000 residents.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Amanda Bednar (City staff) | ABednar@ElkRiverMN.gov | 763-635-1068
2 star - Action 5:

Create park/city land management standards/practices that maximize at least one of the following:

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
City staff has adopted management standards to reduce the amount of mowing in city parks including low mow areas, native plants and turf management strategies to reduce the amount of fuel and time required for management. The majority of city parks also have recycling collection including larger athletic complexes and smaller neighborhood parks.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Amanda Bednar (City staff) | ABednar@ElkRiverMN.gov | 763-635-1068
1 star - Action 8:

Develop a program to involve community members in hands-on land restoration, invasive species management and stewardship projects.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
The City has an Adopt a Park volunteer program that enables groups and individuals to assist in the general care and maintenance of neighborhood parks, green spaces, trails and athletic fields. Elk River Parks and Recreation welcomes many different organizations, including neighborhood associations, school groups, community groups, seniors, religious groups, businesses, youth groups and individuals to join our efforts to clean up and maintain our Elk River Parks system.



Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Amanda Bednar (City staff) | ABednar@ElkRiverMN.gov | 763-635-1068

Surface Water {BP no.19}

2 star - Action 2:

Conduct or support multi-party community conversations, assessments, plans around improving local water quality and quantity.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed: 2016
Implementation details:
The Lake Orono Improvement Association actively works to improve water quality, manage vegetation and educate the community about water quality concerns on Lake Orono. They have completed a Lake Orono Management Plan for long term improvements and actively seek grant funding. They meet monthly with other homeowners, city and county staff, elected officials and the broader public.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
Lake Orono Improvement Association
For more information contact:
Amanda Bednar (City staff) | ABednar@ElkRiverMN.gov | 763-635-1068
1 star - Action 3:

Adopt and report on measurable, publicly announced surface water improvement targets for water bodies, including the percent of lake, river, wetland and ditch shoreline with at least a 50-foot vegetation buffer.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
The City of Elk River works extensively with the Lake Orono Improvement Association on events, shoreland and water management, and citizen education. Elk River's "Environment Bound" television show has featured episodes about improving Lake Orono's water quality.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Amanda Bednar (City staff) | ABednar@ElkRiverMN.gov | 763-635-1068
1 star - Action 4:

Adopt a shoreland ordinance for all river and lake shoreland areas; reduce flooding and costs through The National Flood Insurance Program's Community Rating System.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
The City of Elk River has an extensive ordinance that covers the use of land within 1,000 feet of public waters within city limits. It includes size and shape of lots; the use, size, type and location of structures on lots; the installation and maintenance of water supply and waste treatment systems; the grading and filling of any shoreland area; the cutting of shoreland vegetation; and the subdivision of land. It is outlined in section 30-1963 of the city code.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Amanda Bednar (City staff) | ABednar@ElkRiverMN.gov | 763-635-1068

Efficient Water and Wastewater Systems {BP no.20}

1 star - Action 1:

Compare the energy use and financial performance of your facilities with other peer plants using standardized, free tools.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
The City has just started tracking the Elk River Wastewater Treatment Plant on Energy Star Portfolio manager. Staff hopes to receive metric data soon.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Amanda Bednar (City staff) | ABednar@ElkRiverMN.gov | 763-635-1068
1 star - Action 2:

Plan and budget for motor maintenance and upgrades so as to assure the most energy efficient, durable and appropriate equipment is available when upgrades or break downs occur.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
The wastewater treatment plant employees undertake an extensive maintenance and upgrade program to ensure that the facility is running smoothly and efficiently at all times. Some of the parts and machinery even have weekly maintenance requirements while others are checked bi-weekly or monthly.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Amanda Bednar (City staff) | ABednar@ElkRiverMN.gov | 763-635-1068

Septic Systems {BP no.21}

2 star - Action 1:

Report to landowners suspected noncompliant or failing septic systems as part of an educational, informational and financial assistance and outreach program designed to trigger voluntary landowner action to improve septic systems.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
The citys quarterly newsletter, The Current, and Sherburne Countys Environmental Educator frequently features articles about septic maintenance and other septic-related issues, the purpose of which is to trigger landowner action to improve their systems. When properties are being sold the County requires septic compliance inspections. If systems are failing, they must be brought into compliance. In the city, if a permit is pulled along a shoreland area, a septic system compliance inspection is required and if the system is failing, it must be brought into compliance.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Amanda Bednar (City staff) | ABednar@ElkRiverMN.gov | 763-635-1068
1 star - Action 6:

Work with homeowners and businesses in environmentally sensitive areas and areas where standard septic systems are not the least-cost option to promote innovative waste water systems, including central sewer extensions.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
In Elk River there are several homes along the shores of Lake Orono and near wetlands where property owners have been required to install special systems such as mounds, at-grade systems, and pressure beds. There are also some developments in the City with cluster systems. The City requires yearly monitoring reports on the effectiveness of the septic systems. Most cities rely on the County to manage the septic systems but due to the size of Elk River, the city chose to administer the MPCA Individual Sewage Treatment System program.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Amanda Bednar (City staff) | ABednar@ElkRiverMN.gov | 763-635-1068

Sustainable Consumption and Waste {BP no.22}

1 star - Action 3:

Improve profitability, legal compliance and conserve resources through adoption of ordinance language, licensing and resource management contracts.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
The city has contracted with Randy's Environmental Services for our public facilities. They offer the city trash service, recycling, and organics recycling.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File: view file
For more information contact:
Amanda Bednar (City staff) | ABednar@ElkRiverMN.gov | 763-635-1068
3 star - Action 4:

Publicize, promote and use the varied businesses/services collecting and marketing used, repaired and rental consumer goods, especially electronics, in the city/county.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
The City of Elk River's website features an updated disposal/recycling guide as well as a link to Earth911.com which provides further information for recycling.
The City of Elk River hosted their first Fix-It Clinic in the fall of 2014 and plan to host two clinics annually.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
The Fix-It Clinic had a wildly successful inaugural event with a 92% success rate by weight, or 325.8 pounds saved from the landfill.
Descriptive File: view file
Sherburne County SCORE Grant
For more information contact:
Amanda Bednar (City staff) | ABednar@ElkRiverMN.gov | 763-635-1068
2 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:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
Randys Environmental Services offers residential organics collection. This program is extensively promoted by the City of Elk River Environmental Division and by Elk River Municipal Utilities. Despite the fact that we have two waste haulers that share Elk River, Randys Environmental Services is allowed to conduct organics pick-ups citywide.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
There are currently 471 households participating in residential organics collection. Last year, participating homes diverted almost 90 tons of organic material from the waste stream. The material is taken to the composting facility in Rosemount.
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Amanda Bednar (City staff) | ABednar@ElkRiverMN.gov | 763-635-1068
3 star - Action 6:

Improve recycling services and expand to multi-unit housing and commercial businesses.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
The City contracts with both Allied Waste and Randys in order to: decrease the number of garbage trucks on the roads, ensure waste is being processed at the RDF facility, to save the residents money the city enters into five-year agreements, and the city stipulates recycling opportunities such as single-stream and organics.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Amanda Bednar (City staff) | ABednar@ElkRiverMN.gov | 763-635-1068
1 star - Action 7:

Improve/organize residential trash, recycling and organics collection by private and/or public operations and offer significant volume-based pricing on residential garbage and/or incentives for recycling.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
Residents can save $19 a year by switching from a 90 gallon trash can to a 60 gallon can plus a 32 gallon organics collection can. Thus, they receive more waste producing potential at a cheaper price provided they join the organics program. The City also offers a $25 yearly rebate for normal recycling and a $40 yearly rebate for normal & organics recycling.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Amanda Bednar (City staff) | ABednar@ElkRiverMN.gov | 763-635-1068

Local Air Quality {BP no.23}

2 star - Action 5:

Install, assist with and promote publicly available EV charging stations or public fueling stations for alternative fuel vehicles. 

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed: 2017
Implementation details:
Elk River Municipal Utilities installed two public charging stations in Elk River on two different major corridors in the city. One charger is a level 2 in our downtown area and the other is a DC fast charger in a Coborn's parking lot. The City helped promote the use of these chargers and assisted with the ERMU's kick off event at the downtown charging locations.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Our Elk River Municipal Utilities continues to monitor the use of both charging stations.
Descriptive File:
Elk River Municipal Utilities
For more information contact:
Amanda Bednar (City staff) | ABednar@ElkRiverMN.gov | 763-635-1068

Resilient Economic & Community Development Resilient Economic and Community Development

Benchmarks and Community Engagement {BP no.24}

1 star - Action 1:

Use a city commission, or committee to lead, coordinate, and report to and engage community members on implementation of sustainability best practices.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
The City produces an annual report detailing the events and progess of the past year. The 2011 report contains information on the implementation of GreenStep City best practices and is posted on the City's website for residents to view.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Amanda Bednar (City staff) | ABednar@ElkRiverMN.gov | 763-635-1068
2 star - Action 2:

Organize goals/outcome measures from all city plans and report to community members data that show progress toward meeting these goals.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
The City creates a report detailing its goals for the upcoming year. Staff from all departments are assigned tasks and the report is updated regularly to reflect current progress towards accomplishing these goals. This report is available to residents by visiting our website and viewing the Powered by our Vision and Goals
webpage.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File: view file
For more information contact:
Amanda Bednar (City staff) | ABednar@ElkRiverMN.gov | 763-635-1068
1 star - Action 4:

Conduct or support a broad sustainability education and action campaign involving:

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
Project Conserve was started last year as a pilot and has won numerous awards. This year, the program has been opened to all homeowners and currently has over 300 participants. Project Conserve teaches homeowners that they can reduce their carbon footprint and save money through utilizing simple methods and gaining knowledge.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
In the first year, some members reduced their energy usage by 25% and saved up to $500 a year in expenses.
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Amanda Bednar (City staff) | ABednar@ElkRiverMN.gov | 763-635-1068

Green Business Development {BP no.25}

1 star - Action 1:

Grow new/emerging green businesses and green jobs through targeted assistance and new workforce development.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
Cymbet developed a thin-film battery that is infinitely rechargeable and also can be used in solar systems. The Elk River economic development division offered the company low cost business financing to assist in the development of new technology, product research, and building construction
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Today, Cymbet still operates out of Elk River and is a terrific success.
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Amanda Bednar (City staff) | ABednar@ElkRiverMN.gov | 763-635-1068
2 star - Action 3:

Promote sustainable tourism in your city, and green tourism resources to tourism and hospitality businesses in/around the city.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
The City of Elk River is known as "Energy City," a designation given by the state of Minnesota in 1996 to promote energy efficiency and renewable energy and act as a demonstration site for the state. As a part of this, city and Elk River Municipal Utilities staff host on average 20 tours a year to students, organizations, businesses, politicians, and even international participants. The tours include area businesses, power plants, etc.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
In 2014 alone, over 500 participants took part in Energy City Tours.
Descriptive File:
Elk River Municipal Utilities
For more information contact:
Amanda Bednar (City staff) | ABednar@ElkRiverMN.gov | 763-635-1068
2 star - Action 4:

Strengthen value-added businesses utilizing local "waste" material.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
The Economic Development division conducts business retention and expansion visits with Supermats, a company that creates mats out of recycled tires. In addition, the City partners with Great River Energy to use their refuse-derived fuel facility for all residential and municipal waste. GRE is also a partner on the Energy City Commission.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Amanda Bednar (City staff) | ABednar@ElkRiverMN.gov | 763-635-1068
1 star - Action 6:

Promote green businesses that are recognized under a local, regional or national program.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
The City has had the Energy City High Five award program in place for over a year. Businesses that win these High Fives are promoted by the city on websites and at various events. We are planning on offering new, more exclusive High Five program to local businesses with even better rewards and recognition.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
The first generation Energy City High Five has currently been awarded to 41 individuals and businesses. They were recognized for attending Energy City Events, participating in Recycle Your Holidays, or for other unique accomplishments.
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Amanda Bednar (City staff) | ABednar@ElkRiverMN.gov | 763-635-1068
3 star - Action 7:

Conduct or participate in a buy local campaign for community members and local businesses.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
The Elk River economic development team actively works with the Chamber of Conference and Two Rivers Referral Networking group to promote local businesses; the buy local campaign is one of their goals. Economic Development is actively involved with the Downtown River's Edge group and business education series events and sends special mailings to businesses, lenders, brokers, and realtors on new local businesses. They also work with the U of M Extension Service. When a new business opens, it is actively promoted by the Elk River economic development team via informational campaigns through Facebook, Twitter, bi-yearly newsletters and through Business Retention Expansion visits. The Farmers market is actively promoted on the city website and located at the Westbound Liquor Store parking lot which is a city building. There is no charge for the use of the parking lot.

A list of locally owned businesses is provided by the Elk River Area Chamber of Commerce and promoted by the City of Elk River EDA.

The Elk River Area Chamber of Commerce has created a local currency called "Chamber Bucks" to use at any Chamber member business - There are hundreds to choose from! The City of Elk River and Elk River Municipal Utilities actively uses the Chamber Bucks as incentive to community residents and businesses in various programs.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
Elk River Area Chamber of Commerce
For more information contact:
Amanda Bednar (City staff) | ABednar@ElkRiverMN.gov | 763-635-1068

Renewable Energy {BP no.26}

1 star - Action 1:

Adopt wind energy and/or biomass ordinances that allow, enable, or encourage appropriate renewable energy installations.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed: 2016
Implementation details:
The City Code allows for solar panels to be integrated into any building system for renewable energy generation. The ordinance includes design standards to ensure proper installation and function. Wind turbines are also allowed via conditional use permits throughout the city.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Amanda Bednar (City staff) | ABednar@ElkRiverMN.gov | 763-635-1068
2 star - Action 2:

Promote resident/business purchases and/or generation of clean energy by:

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
Elk River Municipal utilities has a Wind Power purchasing program where residents may purchase blocks of 100kwhs of wind power by adding $1 per block to their utility bills each month. It is currently promoted via fliers, through the ERMU newsletter, and via Project Conserve.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
The most recent data shows that 269 customers purchased 632,000 kWhs of wind power in 2009.
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Amanda Bednar (City staff) | ABednar@ElkRiverMN.gov | 763-635-1068
2 star - Action 5:

Install a public sector/municipally-owned renewable energy technology, such as solar electric (PV), wind, biomass, solar hot water/air, or micro-hydro.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
The City has installed a Vestas 660kW wind turbine on the outskirts of town. It is used both as a power source and as a demonstration site for Energy City.

Elk River Municipal Utilities also owns and operates a Landfill Gas-to-Electricity Power Plant at the Elk River Landfill. The facility harvests the methane produced by the decomposing waste to produce 3.2 MegaWatts of electricity, or enough power for over 2000 Elk River homes.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
The Vestas wind generator puts out about 950,000 kWhs per year, or about 0.38% of Elk River's energy usage.

The Landfill Gas Power Plant puts out about 27,000,000 kWhs power year, or about 11% of Elk River's energy usage.
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Amanda Bednar (City staff) | ABednar@ElkRiverMN.gov | 763-635-1068
3 star - Action 6:

Report installed private sector-owned renewable energy/energy efficient generation capacity with at least one of the following attributes:

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
The Elk River Utilities and Waste Management Landfill Gas-to-Energy plant creates 3.2MW of electricity using landfill generated methane gas. The plant uses the methane created by the trash at the Waste Management Landfill outside of Elk River to create electricity.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
The Landfill gas-to-Energy Plant creates enough energy to power 2,400 Elk River homes annually. Plans are being discussed to double the plant.
Descriptive File:
Elk River Municipal Utiltiles; Waste Management
For more information contact:
Amanda Bednar (City staff) | ABednar@ElkRiverMN.gov | 763-635-1068

Local Food {BP no.27}

1 star - Action 2:

Facilitate creation of home/community gardens, chicken & bee keeping, and incorporation of food growing areas/access in multifamily residential developments.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
Common gardens are permitted as conditional uses of preserved and open land in residential districts. This is detailed in section 30-991 in the city code.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Amanda Bednar (City staff) | ABednar@ElkRiverMN.gov | 763-635-1068
2 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:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
The City of Elk River farmer's market was created in 2007 and is held every Thursday from late June until the end of September. This farmer's market was moved to a city-owned parking lot in Downtown Elk River to coincide with the Downtown concert series which promotes shopping at the Farmer's Market.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Amanda Bednar (City staff) | ABednar@ElkRiverMN.gov | 763-635-1068

Business Synergies and EcoDistricts {BP no.28}

1 star - Action 3:

Require, build or facilitate at least four attributes in a business/industrial park project:

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
The Northstar Business Park features shared parking and driveway access, a location within walking distance to Northstar Rail, and is within walking distance of Elk River Station and Trout Brook Crossing. In addition, the old public library was turned into a senior activity center. The city facilitated the building of Metal Crafts new energy efficient work facility and the environmental learning center by ERMU. The city offers additional financing incentives for green manufacturing or for projects that utilize energy efficient design or materials.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Amanda Bednar (City staff) | ABednar@ElkRiverMN.gov | 763-635-1068