City Detail

Background Information

City of Hutchinson
County: McLeod
Population: 14998
GreenStep City category: A
Full-time equivalent city staff (approx.): 170
Participating township, county, school:

GreenStep Coordinator

John Paulson
City Staff
320-234-5682
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: 74
1 star actions: 29
2 star actions: 19
3 star actions: 26

Buildings and Lighting Buildings and Lighting

Efficient Existing Public Buildings {BP no.1}

3 star - Action 1:

Enter/update building information into the MN B3 Benchmarking database, and routinely enter monthly usage data for all city-owned buildings/infrastructure that consume energy/water.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
The City of Hutchinson tracks every meter owned by the City since Jan 2006. The B3 site is not as versatile for tracking every meter so we use an internal Excel spreadsheet to track, trend, and monitor each individual gas and electrical meter. B3 is used on an annual basis as a check for our internal data monitoring processes. Performance contracts have been used as a model to implement efficiency improvements (attached). We have also implemented a robust facility improvement plan to address capital needs that incorporated efficiency into the project prioritization criteria.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Significant improvements have been made largely due to the data that we have collected and analyzed. A variety of clearly definitive usage trends have been observed due to improvements that have been implemented. This has made asking for funding to support efficiency improvements easier when approaching elected officials. We have observed some double digit reductions in gas and electrical since the 2006 baseline was established. 2014 data showed the City wide reduction in kWh used equated to 20.5% reduction compared to the baseline.
Descriptive File: view file
For more information contact:
John Paulson (City staff) | jpaulson@ci.hutchinson.mn.us | 320-234-5682
3 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:
Implemented City wide interior lighting improvements for both operational and maintenance savings by utilizing a performance contract.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
The lighting project has been saving more than $60,000 annually since 2011. The City has also continued the replacement of lighting that was not included in the lighting project due to the short term payback that is being observed.
Descriptive File: view file
AMERESCO
For more information contact:
John Paulson (City staff) | jpaulson@ci.hutchinson.mn.us | 320-234-5682
3 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:
Conducted full scale assessment of all City owned building. The assessment included a wide variety of BP's for efficiency, controls, renewables, etc.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Began implementing efficiency improvements through performance contract and internal project delivery by City staff. These savings have resulted in almost $1,000,000 in savings since 2009.
Descriptive File: view file
For more information contact:
John Paulson (City staff) | jpaulson@ci.hutchinson.mn.us | 320-234-5682
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: 2018
Implementation details:
The Enterprise center, a small business incubator, was built to SB 2030 standards in 2018. The SB 2030 standard implemented helps the enterprise center in being an extremely energy efficient building. Energy is tracked for this building with B3 software, in terms of electricity the Enterprise center consumes much lower than the benchmark. The Enterprise center promotes small manufacturing businesses, so the building uses more natural gas than the B3 benchmark with the extra energy being put towards the manufacturing. Information about energy used in the building is shared with the budding businesses/tenants to help them understand the importance of energy used relative to their bottom line.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
John Paulson (City staff) | jpaulson@ci.hutchinson.mn.us | 320-234-5682
2 star - Action 6:

Improve the operations & maintenance of city-owned/school buildings and leased buildings by using a customized online energy efficiency tool, asset management tool, green building framework or green lease.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed: 2016
Implementation details:
The City of Hutchinson has on going work to upload all city owned buildings to the SB 2030 Energy Efficient Operations Manual with assistance from a Minnesota GreenCorps Member at the Great Plains Institute. The GreenCorps Member worked with the Facility Manager to evaluate the buildings' current schedule, and have found some times the building was running unnecessarily, and adjusted the schedule to better fit the occupant needs of the building. The final results of this work are not yet known as the work will continue into this summer.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
John Paulson (City staff) | jpaulson@ci.hutchinson.mn.us | 320-234-5682

Efficient Outdoor Lighting and Signals {BP no.4}

2 star - Action 2:

Purchase LEDs for all future street lighting and traffic signals.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
All new street light fixtures are replaced with decorative LED fixtures. This is being done through street improvement projects in a phased approach.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Operations and maintenance savings observed are <7 years for the additional cost of the LED compared to HPS.
Descriptive File: view file
Hutchinson Utilities Commission
3 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: 2015
Implementation details:
The City is in its third year of retrofitting City owned street lighting on our street reconstruction projects to LED from HPS. We will continue to install LED street lights as part of these projects moving forward.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
There is currently 56 street lights that have been replaced with LEDs.
Descriptive File:
Hutchinson Utilities
For more information contact:
John Paulson (City staff) | jpaulson@ci.hutchinson.mn.us | 320-234-5682
3 star - Action 6:

Relamp/improve exterior building lighting for city-owned buildings/facilities with energy efficient, Dark-Sky compliant lighting.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
Remove and replace existing Metal Halide and High Pressure Sodium wall packs with full cut-off LED wall packs. Performance has caused continued implementation of this LED technology at all City facilities.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Better color rendering for safety/security and improved efficiency of lighting that runs more than any lighting.
Descriptive File: view file
For more information contact:
John Paulson (City staff) | jpaulson@ci.hutchinson.mn.us | 320-234-5682
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: 2010
Implementation details:
The City does not own traffic signals but all signals in Hutchinson use LED lights.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
MnDOT
For more information contact:
John Paulson (City staff) | jpaulson@ci.hutchinson.mn.us | 320-234-5682

Building Redevelopment {BP no.5}

2 star - Action 3:

Plan for reuse of large-format retail buildings, or work with a local school, church or commercial building to either add-on space or repurpose space into new uses.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed: 2002
Implementation details:
The City of Hutchinson repurposed a large-format retail building that was previously a grocery store into an event and senior center. The event center took the previous grocery store and was refinished for its new purposes. The event center hosts events and senior center provides an area for daily activities for the senior population of Hutchinson. This facility was opened in 2002.

Hutchinson also repurposed the previous railroad depot into a rentable small event center, as well as an area that hosts the local farmers market. The original building was preserved, but remodeled inside for functionality. There was also an outdoor pavilion put up on the site which is the location of the farmers market and provides and extra outdoor gathering area. This project was completed in 2012.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
John Paulson (City staff) | jpaulson@ci.hutchinson.mn.us | 320-234-5682

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 of Hutchinson adopted a new Comprehensive Plan in 2013. This was an exhaustive process that included input from the public, elected officials, business, and City staff. The implementation of the plan is incorporated into land use controls. Growth of development also utilizes the comprehensive plan as a guide.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Better synergy between growth and sustainability has resulted from implementation of the plan. The ripple effects of well guided planning produces a more resilient and diverse community.
Descriptive File: view file
SEH, Planning Committee, Focus Groups, Planning Commission
For more information contact:
Dan Jochum (City staff) | djochum@ci.hutchinson.mn.us | 320-234-4258
3 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:
The Comprehensive Plan is referenced over 100 times throughout the Hutchinson City Code. It is intertwined with planning, zoning, land use, plats, and all other aspects of land use.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File: view file
Planning Commission
For more information contact:
Dan Jochum (City staff) | djochum@ci.hutchinson.mn.us | 320-234-4258
1 star - Action 3:

Include requirements in comprehensive and/or other plans for intergovernmental coordination addressing regional land use and watershed / wellhead impacts, infrastructure, transportation, economic development and city/regional services.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed: 2016
Implementation details:
The City coordinates with surrounding townships and McLeod County on various land use planning and environmental protection programs. The City of Hutchinson Drinking Water Supply Management Area extends outside City limits. Neighboring townships and McLeod County Water Planning staff are engaged in reviewing the DWSMA and parties work together to develop and deliver appropriate education and implementation activities.

There is also a Joint Planning Board that includes representatives from all adjoining township boards and the City to review land use actions that may impact neighboring property owners. This is especially important where there is differing land use controls between the governmental units for a proposed activity.

City staff is also active in working with the MnDNR, MnDOT, local Highway Coalitions, etc. to capitalize on opportunities of shared benefit related to state trail systems that also include state water trails such as the South Fork of the Crow River. This includes conducting use studies, performing maintenance, and installation of trail counters.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
MnDOT, MnDNR, McLeod County, surrounding townships
For more information contact:
John Paulson (City staff) | jpaulson@ci.hutchinson.mn.us | 320-234-5682

Resilient City Growth {BP no.7}

2 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:
Zero lot lines are allowed in our C-3 Commercial District in our Downtown Area. This area of town is centered to promote walkable/bikeable commercial activities in close proximity to both single family and higher density housing.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File: view file
For more information contact:
Dan Jochum (City staff) | djochum@ci.hutchinson.mn.us | 320-234-4258

Mixed Uses {BP no.8}

2 star - Action 1:

Organize or participate in a community planning/placemaking/design process for the city/a mixed use district.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed: 2013
Implementation details:
The City of Hutchinson and the Hutchinson Economic Development Authority
(EDA) commissioned the creation of a “Downtown Vision & Action Plan” to establish
a strategic vision for the future of Downtown Hutchinson and the Crow River District
to the north. The intent of this effort is twofold. First, to establish a unified community vision for the future of this area by gathering input from community residents
through numerous public outreach and engagement steps. The second goal is to
create a clear, concise and unified implementation strategy to achieve the desired
vision.
Context is important. While the planning area is primarily focused on the Downtown and the Crow River corridor, understanding the synergies and leveraging the
assets of the entire community (beyond just the downtown) will play a role in how
Hutchinson positions itself in the future.
The primary objectives for the Downtown Vision & Action Plan are to:
• Build and enhance Hutchinson's sense of community;
• Expand and improve the range of livability factors in the community;
• Strengthen and diversify the local economy, and;
• Enhance Hutchinson as a destination.
Key elements of the planning effort include:
• Exploration of appropriate land uses;
• Identification of redevelopment opportunities (particularly along the Crow
River);
• Identification of potential catalyst projects;
• Enhanced trail connectivity along the riverfront (Luce Line Trail) to the Downtown;
• Integration of public art with planned public improvements throughout
these areas;
• Identification of potential policy and regulatory changes as well as incentives
needed to set the stage for plan implementation;
• Identification of short, medium and long-term action steps, their associated
budgets and responsible parties, and;
• Identification of success criteria, the measurement techniques to be employed in determining progress over time.
To lead this effort, the City and the EDA hired Hoisington Koegler Group, inc., a planning, urban design and landscape architecture firm from Minneapolis, and W-ZHA,
a market research firm from Boston, MA. Both firms worked on the 2003 Downtown
Revitalization Master Plan and are familiar with the community, and intent of the
Downtown Vision & Action Plan will be to provide the next chapter to the successful
2003 planning effort.
The market research element examined the viability of downtown retail, hospitality
and nightlife, and other related uses that could strengthen the downtown for both
Hutchinson residents and tourism. The study also examined commercial and office
opportunities and provided suggestions on potential housing alternatives in the
downtown and along the Crow River.
The Downtown Vision & Action Plan is implementation focused, providing a unified
vision for the community, yet grounded in reality for achievable results for the City
of Hutchinson over the next 10 to 20 years.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File: view file
For more information contact:
John Paulson (City staff) | jpaulson@ci.hutchinson.mn.us | 320-234-5682
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: 2021
Implementation details:
The city has multiple city facilities located in the downtown business area. Also located near the downtown area is the Park Elementary public school. Hutchinson's downtown area is connected by multiple trail and sidewalks to the rest of the community. Multiple high density housing units exist adjacent to downtown.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
John Paulson (City staff) | jpaulson@ci.hutchinson.mn.us | 320-234-5682
3 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: 2021
Implementation details:
Hutchinson allows for vertical mixed-use with retail on the lower and residential on the upper portions. This is frequent throughout the downtown area.

Hutchinson recently rezoned the downtown zone to conditional use with conditions set forth by city staff, planning commission, and city council. This allows for expansion of light industrial, as well as other categories, to be integrated into the downtown zone, if conditions are met. This will allow for the use of an empty box store lot to be used for a local light industrial company to expand in the community.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Dan Jochum (City staff) | djochum@ci.hutchinson.mn.us | 320-234-4258

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

1 star - Action 1:

Establish design goals for at least one highway/auto-oriented corridor/cluster.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
The Imagine Hutchinson and Transportation Plans were developed to guide the future growth, redevelopment, and utilization of prime corridors through the City. Extensive public meetings were held to collect input from stakeholders, citizens, and businesses that both utilize and inhabit the areas.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File: view file
For more information contact:
Dan Jochum (City staff) | djochum@ci.hutchinson.mn.us | 320-234-4258

Design for Natural Resource Conservation {BP no.10}

1 star - Action 7:

Be recognized under the Bird City Minnesota, Bee City USA, or Community Wildlife Habitat program.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed: 2008
Implementation details:
Hutchinson reconstructed its dam into a spillway/rapids that restored and enhanced fish passage and habitat. The previous dam did not allow for activities of natural restock upstream and downstream as there was no passage, this was greatly improved by the spillway. The dam was reconstructed in 2007 and was operational by 2008.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
John Paulson (City staff) | jpaulson@ci.hutchinson.mn.us | 320-234-5682

Transportation Transportation

Living & Complete Streets {BP no.11}

2 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:
A Complete Streets policy addressing street trees and stormwater was passed at the December 22 2015 City Council meeting.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File: view file
2 star - Action 3:

Modify a street in compliance with the city's complete streets policy.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
In 2014, the City completed a full reconstruction of Jefferson St SE. In addition to narrowing the street, the reconstruction included replacing sidewalk with a 10ft wide paved, bicycle-friendly trail. This trail helped connect two other bike-friendly trails within Hutchinson’s Complete Streets network (see BP 11.5). The reconstruction also included the addition of a stormwater pond with associated stormwater infrastructure i.e. pipes, catchment basins and manholes. The City also planted boulevard trees along the route in areas where enough right-of way existed to accommodate both the trail and boulevard trees.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
John Paulson (City staff) | jpaulson@ci.hutchinson.mn.us | 320-234-5682
1 star - Action 4:

Identify, prioritize and remedy complete streets gaps and lack of connectivity/safety within your road network by, for example, bike/pedestrian plan, 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: 2019
Implementation details:
Hutchinson recently completed a street project which extended the former sidewalk to follow the entirety of the adjacent road. The former gap in the sidewalk interrupted a loop that makes its way through a majority of the city, the connection of the two ends allows for a extension to a high traffic bike and walking pathway. This sidewalk also improves the safety of the bikers and walkers that would have previously walked along the road.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
John Paulson (City staff) | jpaulson@ci.hutchinson.mn.us | 320-234-5682
3 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:
Hutchinson has a series of paved trails, bike lanes, and bike friendly streets that create a commutable bike-friendly grid to access most areas of the City. The City was also instrumental in the project of paving the Luce Line trail in 2015 to connect the east and west sides of town, in addition to connecting Hutchinson to nearby communities of Silver Lake and Winsted. See attached map for more details.

In 2015, as part of a total reconstruction of Jefferson St. SE, the City narrowed the street and widened the sidewalk area, replacing the 5 ft. wide concrete walkway with a 10 ft. wide paved bicycle-friendly trail. This reconstructed trail connected bike paths along Adams St. SE with a trail on Jefferson St. SE South of Century Lane SE.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File: view file
2 star - Action 6:

Implement traffic calming policy/measures, including lane conversions (road diets), roundabouts, low-speed streets, 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: 2019
Implementation details:
Hutchinson has implemented roundabouts in high traffic areas as traffic calming methods. Most recently, a project on South Grade Road in 2019 input a round about as a traffic calming method. Hutchinson also recently underwent construction on Main Street with a road diet as a method of traffic calming on one of the main roads that traveled through town. This has also been implemented on other streets in town with road diets, giving more room to pedestrians and calming traffic in areas.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
John Paulson (City staff) | jpaulson@ci.hutchinson.mn.us | 320-234-5682

Mobility Options {BP no.12}

3 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 Hutchinson became a Bronze Bicycle Friendly Community in 2014.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File: view file
For more information contact:
John Paulson (City staff) | jpaulson@ci.hutchinson.mn.us | 320-234-5682
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:
Year action initially completed: 2013
Implementation details:
The City of Hutchinson has a SRTS plan that is outlined in the attached file.

Additionally, Hutchinson strives to increase walking and biking throughout the community. The complete street policy was adopted in December 2015, which enable safe access for all users including pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists, and public transportation.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File: view file
For more information contact:
John Paulson (City staff) | jpaulson@ci.hutchinson.mn.us | 320-234-5682
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:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
The City website contains maps of both the City’s extensive sidewalk network as well as the connected system of bike-friendly routes, bike lanes, and paved trails. The city has also posted the bike map in several prominent locations in Hutchinson along trails. See link.

Hutchinson's website also contains a link to Trailblazer Transit's website. Trailblazer Transit is a local dial-a-ride bus company servicing McLeod, Wright, and Sibley Counties. Trailblazer inventories ride request in order to crate affordable transit sharing options for Hutchinson and the surrounding areas.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File: view file
1 star - Action 5:

Implement workplace multi-modal transportation best management practices - including telework/flexwork - in city government, businesses or at a local health care provider.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed: 2021
Implementation details:
As of 2021, the City of Hutchinson has a telework policy attached below.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File: view file
For more information contact:
John Paulson (City staff) | jpaulson@ci.hutchinson.mn.us | 320-234-5682
1 star - Action 6:

Add/expand transit service, or promote car/bike sharing.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed: 2015
Implementation details:
Trailblazer Transit is a bus system that spans through Sibley, McLeod, and Wright counties providing a dial-to-ride service that spans the three counties. What was originally 4 transit systems through Mcleod and Sibley counties was merged into one to create a more expansive area. In 2015, Wright county was added to the bus systems functioning area.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
John Paulson (City staff) | jpaulson@ci.hutchinson.mn.us | 320-234-5682

Efficient City Fleets {BP no.13}

2 star - Action 1:

Efficiently use your existing fleet of city vehicles by encouraging trip bundling, video conferencing, carpooling, vehicle sharing and incentives/technology.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed: 2021
Implementation details:
The City of Hutchinson's vehicle fleet is inventoried and inspected annually. The function and quality of the fleet is monitored to know if there is a need for a replacement. The newer fleet vehicles that are replaced provide for fuel efficiency and reduced emissions. The city employees carpool to conferences and training events to reduce emissions and gas usage. As well as the installation of video conferencing equipment throughout city facilities.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
John Paulson (City staff) | jpaulson@ci.hutchinson.mn.us | 320-234-5682
1 star - Action 3:

Phase-in operational changes, equipment changes including electric vehicles, and no-idling practices for city or local transit fleets.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed: 2021
Implementation details:
The City of Hutchinson has implemented a no-idling policy within the fleet. This includes no idling when parked and not left running while unattended.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
John Paulson (City staff) | jpaulson@ci.hutchinson.mn.us | 320-234-5682

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:
On April 12, 2015, the Hutchinson City council passed a sustainable purchasing policy addressing the purchase of energy star products and paper products containing at least 30% recycled content
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File: view file
For more information contact:
John Paulson (City staff) | jpaulson@ci.hutchinson.mn.us | 320-234-5682
2 star - Action 5:

Set minimum sustainability standards to reduce the impact of your concrete use, asphalt, roadbed aggregate, or other construction materials.

 

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
On all road reconstruction projects, 100% of asphalt is either reused in the project, or recycled. Generally, between 90-95% of asphalt is reused on the project to establish the aggregate roadbed, with the goal being to reuse 100% of reclaim. The remaining asphalt is recycled at the city-owned and operation Creekside facility to be used in other projects.

Additionally, 100% of concrete from reconstruction projects is recycled at the Creekside facility, and is used as bitcon and crushed concrete.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
John Paulson (City staff) | jpaulson@ci.hutchinson.mn.us | 320-234-5682
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: 2015
Implementation details:
The City of Hutchinson conducts inspections on tablets provided for city employees therefore making the inspection process paperless. Also, the City Counsel is provided with counsel packets electronically and are only available to the public through request, saving money by not printing as many copies of the documents for meetings. This was implemented in 2015.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
John Paulson (City staff) | jpaulson@ci.hutchinson.mn.us | 320-234-5682

Community Forests and Soils {BP no.16}

3 star - Action 1:

Certify as a Tree City USA.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
The City of Hutchinson has been certified as a Tree City USA for 36 consecutive years, beginning in 1979. That makes Hutchinson the 2nd longest consecutive award winner in Minnesota!

Hutchinson has an excellent forestry program that serves both boulevard and privately owned trees. It promotes tree planting activities, tree sales, education events, and partners with the local utility to promote energy conservation through proper tree species selection and placement guidance. In 2015, the forestry program budget was $159,490, averaging approximately $11.5/resident.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File: view file
Hutchinson Utilities Commission
For more information contact:
Donovan Schuette (City staff) | dschuette@ci.hutchinson.mn.us | 320-583-8982
1 star - Action 2:

Adopt best practices for urban tree planting/quality; require them in private developments and/or use them in at least one development project.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed: 2021
Implementation details:
The city of Hutchinson adopted policies that outlines what trees and where they can be planted in the community. Boulevard trees in Hutchinson are planted, pruned, maintained, and can be removed as necessary to ensure public safety or public access. The city follows industry tree and shrub planting best management practices and uses MNDOT specifications for all street reconstructions and projects. The city has also implementing tree diversification project in response to EAB.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Donovan Schuette (City staff) | dschuette@ci.hutchinson.mn.us | 320-583-8982
1 star - Action 3:

Budget for and achieve resilient urban canopy/tree planting goals.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed: 2020
Implementation details:
Hutchinson has been a Tree City USA for over 40 years. Hutchinson recently accepted a grant through the DNR to mitigate the affects of the Emerald Ash Borer, thus accelerating the removal of these trees, as well as plans to plant 275 replacements in the next two years. Hutchinson also has an iTree profile to expand on the benefits of our existing urban canopy.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File: view file
For more information contact:
Donovan Schuette (City staff) | dschuette@ci.hutchinson.mn.us | 320-583-8982
3 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:
Hutchinson works closely with private parties to both identify issues and help promote vigor in its tree population. This is achieved through public education and close working relationships between the Parks, Public Works, and Utilities departments. Our robust boulevard tree program is made apparent by the thick tree cover that is found through the City on both private properties and public right of way. Detailed inventories coupled with intensive planning for tree diversification are used to ensure a sustainable urban forest.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File: view file
For more information contact:
Donovan Schuette (City staff) | dschuette@ci.hutchinson.mn.us | 320-583-8982
3 star - Action 6:

Build community capacity to protect existing trees by one or more of:

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
The City of Hutchinson employs a full-time arborist

Starting in 2014, the City of Hutchinson started implementing a forestry management plan in response to the threat of emerald ash borer. The plan, better known as the Forestry Diversification Project, consists of several small tree removal and replacement projects that will occur on an annual basis, increasing tree species diversity to reduce the risk of loss to our ash tree population. Here is a general project overview:
1.Projects will target ash trees in the publicly-owned right-of-way;
2.Priority project areas – areas in which a project will occur – have ash populations above 20% and are areas of high visibility, i.e.) parks, main thoroughfares, playgrounds, etc.;
3.All publicly-owned, ROW ash trees have been identified and inventoried. Project areas that are found to have more than 20% ash will have a certain percentage of ash trees removed and replaced with an alternative species known to do well in Hutchinson. Trees found to be in poor condition will be prioritized for removal;
4.Projects will occur on an annual basis until the desired ash population has been reached, or until emerald ash borer arrives in Hutchinson, whichever comes first.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:

Stormwater Management {BP no.17}

2 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 and renters on the importance of managing stormwater runoff.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
The current City stormwater ordinance allows property owners to appeal stormwater rates the Director of Public Works to receive lower rates for improved pervious land or other stormwater mitigation measures adopted on their property.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
John Paulson (City staff) | jpaulson@ci.hutchinson.mn.us | 320-234-5682
1 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:
Implementation details:
In conjunction with the local water organization Hutchinson Waters, the City has passed out approximately 500 rain barrels to community members.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
Hutchinson Waters
For more information contact:
John Paulson (City staff) | jpaulson@ci.hutchinson.mn.us | 320-234-5682

Parks and Trails {BP no.18}

3 star - Action 1:

Make improvements within your city's system of parks, offroad trails and open spaces.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
The City of Hutchinson is constantly improving and upgrading its systems of parks, trails, and open spaces. Notably and recently, the City partnered with the DNR to pave the section of the Luce line trail passing through the City. This improvement, in combination with nearby communities contributions has not only provided better trails within the community, but also has helped expand accessibility to those surrounding communities by bicycle and other forms of alternative transportation.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
DNR
For more information contact:
John Paulson (City staff) | jpaulson@ci.hutchinson.mn.us | 320-234-5682
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:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
Currently, the City has about 26 acres of parks and open spaces per 1,000 residents.

A GIS study shows that 100% of Hutchinson Residents live within a half mile of a City park or protected blue space.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
John Paulson (City staff) | jpaulson@ci.hutchinson.mn.us | 320-234-5682
1 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:
The City of Hutchinson has planted over 30 acres of native prairie on City land, and has used its expertise to assist community members in planting native prairie on private land as well.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
John Paulson (City staff) | jpaulson@ci.hutchinson.mn.us | 320-234-5682
1 star - Action 7:

Document that the operation and maintenance, or construction / remodeling, of at least one park building used an asset management tool, the SB 2030 energy standard, or a green building framework.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
As part of a parks upgrade taking place in 2014, an old train depot building was refinished. The project was part of a brownfield redevelopment and utilized the existing building structure for the construction. The project also included the construction of a rain garden on the plot.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
McLeod County Regional Rail Authority, and the Hutchinson Economic Development Authority
For more information contact:
John Paulson (City staff) | jpaulson@ci.hutchinson.mn.us | 320-234-5682
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: 2021
Implementation details:
The city works with various local partners on volunteer programs within the community. These include Annual Southfork Crow River Cleanup, Earth Day Rain Garden Maintenance with local high school, Storm drain markers installed by students and community groups, and volunteer based invasive species management in public areas such as parks and trail corridors.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
John Paulson (City staff) | jpaulson@ci.hutchinson.mn.us | 320-234-5682

Surface Water {BP no.19}

3 star - Action 1:

Consistently monitor surface water quality/clarity and report findings to community members.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed: 2003
Implementation details:
Our wastewater treatment facility volunteers to monitor 3 surface water sites through MPCA. These sites are monitored for clarity and other factors of quality. Samples are taken which are tested for pH and BOD. These findings are available on the MPCA website under Lake and stream water quality data.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
John Paulson (City staff) | jpaulson@ci.hutchinson.mn.us | 320-234-5682
2 star - Action 2:

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

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
The City has helped a group of local business and citizens to develop a local Lake/River Association known as Hutchinson Waters. The purpose of the organization is to promote the natural, biological, and recreations value of our local resources by employing grass root community effort to preserve these resources.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File: view file
For more information contact:
John Paulson (City staff) | jpaulson@ci.hutchinson.mn.us | 320-234-5682
3 star - Action 4:

Adopt a shoreland ordinance for all river and lake shoreland areas.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
The City enforces a Shoreland Ordinance that complies with the Mn state shoreland statute standards. We consider mitigation measures that promote infiltration to offset added impervious surface on a parcel.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File: view file
For more information contact:
John Paulson (City staff) | jpaulson@ci.hutchinson.mn.us | 320-234-5682

Efficient Water and Wastewater Systems {BP no.20}

2 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 utilized B3 Benchmarking, internal data tracking programs, and has communicated energy usage results with local peer plants in an effort to gauge our efficiency. The tools available have proven the best measuring stick is your own plant due to the wide range of treatment technologies, flow, loading variables, differing regulatory requirements, etc. By actively benchmarking our operations by in-line data collection and daily data assessments we have been able to implement improvements that save energy, chemicals, water, and time.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File: view file
For more information contact:
John Paulson (City staff) | jpaulson@ci.hutchinson.mn.us | 320-234-5682
3 star - Action 2:

Plan and budget for motor maintenance and upgrades 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:
A variety of improvements have been implemented at the Water and Wastewater Plants to reduce cost and waste of resources. These improvements have been made largely out of necessity when pumps and motors fail. VFD's, in-line monitoring that is synced with controls, SCADA controls that track and trend a variety of variables are all used to optimize treatment efficiency as well as reduce power demand and waste.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
The Hutchinson Wastewater Treatment Plant has implemented improvements that have reduced the electric demand by 28% as compared to the baseline year of data.
Descriptive File: view file
For more information contact:
John Paulson (City staff) | jpaulson@ci.hutchinson.mn.us | 320-234-5682
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:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
The City has routinely implemented inspections of private properties to ensure there are not prohibited connections of sump pumps and perimeter drains into the sanitary sewers. There are educational materials available and guidance is provided to citizens who are unaware of the ordinance preventing such connection and how the should be operated.

Televising of City sanitary sewer is conducted on a rotating schedule. Necessary repairs are made when sources of infiltration are identified in the sanitary system.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Since 2001 there have been over 800 improperly connected sump pumps and perimeter tiles that have been rerouted from discharging to the sanitary sewer.
Descriptive File: view file
For more information contact:
John Paulson (City staff) | jpaulson@ci.hutchinson.mn.us | 320-234-5682
1 star - Action 6:

Implement a wastewater plant efficiency project (co-generation, water reuse) or a program for local private business operations (water conservation, water reuse, business co-location).

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
All water used in treatment processes at Hutchinson’s Wastewater Treatment Facility is recycled effluent from the treatment process.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
John Paulson (City staff) | jpaulson@ci.hutchinson.mn.us | 320-234-5682

Septic Systems {BP no.21}

3 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: 2021
Implementation details:
Hutchinson requires the inspection of septic systems when the building permit is pulled for the property. The city also requires properties requesting to be annexed to connect to City services where available. This allows for connection to City services for properties that can be accessed with current city central sewer system, this however excludes people to connect if current city services do not come near their property, and in this case they could be annexed without the connection to city services.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
John Paulson (City staff) | jpaulson@ci.hutchinson.mn.us | 320-234-5682
1 star - Action 3:

Clarify/establish one or more responsible management entities for the proper design, siting, installation, operation, monitoring and maintenance of septic systems.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed: 2020
Implementation details:
McLeod county is the responsible management entity (RME) for the septic systems in the City of Hutchinson.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
John Paulson (City staff) | jpaulson@ci.hutchinson.mn.us | 320-234-5682

Sustainable Consumption and Waste {BP no.22}

3 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:
Hutchinson has one of the most established residential composting programs in the state at Creekside Soils, with its residential composting beginning with an expansion of the organics processing facility in 2001. The City uses an opt-out system for residential compost with each of the approximately 4,000 household within the city given a compost bin that they can use for co-collection of organics and yard-waste. Participation is over 90% with only about 100 residences opting out of the program. Biodegradable bags are available to those who participate in the curbside organics program for free at events multiple times per year.

Creekside does advertise their services beyond simply supplying the bins as well. In addition to sending information to residents on when they will be offering the free compostable bags, there is a conscious effort within the program to reach out to new residents. When Creekside is informed of a new resident moving into town, a package with information about the program is compiled and sent to the address.

In 2015, the Creekside facility diverted a total of 3,819.91 tons of waste from the landfill from Hutchinson and surrounding areas. Only looking at source separated organics, the number are still impressive with the facility diverting 1,831 tons via their curbside program.

While there is not an anaerobic digester on site for the composting facility, the facility has partnered with a local dairy farm that uses an anaerobic digester to process manure and send the product to Creekside to be packaged and sold.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
around 2,000 tons of source separated waste diverted from landfills each year since 2001
Descriptive File:
Creekside soils
For more information contact:
John Paulson (City staff) | jpaulson@ci.hutchinson.mn.us | 320-234-5682
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: 2020
Implementation details:
Hutchinson partners with our licensed hauler to provide rates based on the volume of the waste container, cheaper for smaller container, to promote the downsize of landfill bound materials. Hutchinson also provides its own location for compost at Creekside, which is where the organics collection is directed.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
John Paulson (City staff) | jpaulson@ci.hutchinson.mn.us | 320-234-5682

Local Air Quality {BP no.23}

3 star - Action 3:

Conduct one or more policy or education/behavior change campaigns on the topics below and document:

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
The ice resurfacers for the two City owned and operated indoor ice rinks are now completely electric-operated, thereby eliminating dangerous indoor air pollution from the resurfacers in the rink areas.

Additionally, the publicly owned Park Towers multi-family residential home is smoke-free, as are most of the multi-family housing units located around the City.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
Hutchinson HRA
For more information contact:
John Paulson (City staff) | jpaulson@ci.hutchinson.mn.us | 320-234-5682
1 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: 2020
Implementation details:
Hutchinson recently placed its first EV charging station in a public park on Main Street. This placement allows for a high traffic location to accommodate anyone who may be passing through town. The charging station features two chargers connected to the on station so two people could charge at once.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
John Paulson (City staff) | jpaulson@ci.hutchinson.mn.us | 320-234-5682

Resilient Economic & Community Development Resilient Economic and Community Development

Benchmarks and Community Engagement {BP no.24}

2 star - Action 1:

Inclusive and Coordinated Decision-Making: Use a city commission or committee to lead, coordinate, report to and engage community members on the identification and equitable implementation of sustainability best practices.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
The City of Hutchinson now has a page on its website that advertises its participation in GreenStep Cities and publishes important accomplishments in sustainability that the City has taken.

While this is the first full year (2015-16) that Hutchinson has participated in GreenStep Cities, the City plans on presenting its progress on GreeenStep Cities Actions annually to the City Council. The City already presents annually on energy reductions to the Council, and plans to expand on this by also presenting on progress in other areas of sustainability covered by GreenStep Cities. City Council meetings are broadcasted live and rebroadcasted by Hutchinson Video Cable Network.

The City also has a blog where major accomplishments are published and made available to the public. This has been used in the past to advertise GreenStep Cities accomplishments.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
John Paulson (City staff) | jpaulson@ci.hutchinson.mn.us | 320-234-5682
1 star - Action 2:

Communicating Progress on Goals: Organize goals/outcome measures from all city plans (social, environmental, economic) 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:
Outcomes and goals for the City’s environmental progress are presented on to the City Council by various departments annually. The City now has a page on its website that lists notable accomplishments recognized by the GreenSteps program including energy saved and waste diverted.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
John Paulson (City staff) | jpaulson@ci.hutchinson.mn.us | 320-234-5682

Green Business Development {BP no.25}

2 star - Action 2:

Create or participate in a marketing/outreach program to connect businesses with assistance providers, including utilities, who provide personalized energy, waste or sustainability audits and assistance.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
In November 2015, the City of Hutchinson was recognized as a community partner in the ENERGY STAR Challenge. For 2016, Hutchinson will be partnering with the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce and its Energy Smart Program, the Great Plains Institute, and the USGBC to provide energy assistance to local business and building owners.

The ENERGY STAR Challenge for the City was launched with an Event on April 21, 2016 to both promote the Challenge and educate local building owner and operators about energy efficiency programs, opportunities, and funds. The event was attended by more than 20 people representing 15 local businesses, buildings, and non-profits. In addition to presentations by representative from the City on Climate Resiliency, and the partnering organizations on the ENERGY STAR Challenge, the event also featured presenters from the Hutchinson EDA and Hutchinson Utilities Commission. The EDA representative talked about how businesses and local entities now can utilize the recently passed PACE program, and options for clean energy and efficiency. The Energy Efficiency Specialist from Hutchinson Utilities Commission talked about available energy efficiency rebates and how to access them.

So far, 6 local buildings have signed up for benchmarking assistance with Portfolio Manager through the ENERGY STAR Challenge.

In addition to the assistance provided by the Great Plains institute, Chamber of Commerce, and USGBC, Hutchinson received a “Seed Grant” from the Clean Energy Resource Team to help with implementation. Hutchinson has also been working extensively with the local Chamber of Commerce to promote the event and energy opportunity.

The objective of Hutchinson’s involvement as a partner in the ENERGY STAR Challenge is to promote energy conservation to local businesses and nonprofits to both reduce their operating costs and facilitate greater involvement with Environmental issues. The hope is that through the Challenge, more buildings in Hutchinson will be eligible for, and eventually pursue, ENERGY STAR Certification. There are funds available through the partnership to aid buildings in achieving certification.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
Great Plains Institute; USGBC Minnesota; Minnesota Chamber of Commerce; Hutchinson EDA; Hutchinson Chamber of Commerce; Hutchinson Utilities Commission
1 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: 2001
Implementation details:
Creekside is Hutchinson's compost facility that was expanded in 2001 to improve service. Creekside has a curbside service that is weekly on the same day as regular garbage pick-up, these bins are for anything compostable such as food scraps, yard waste, and brush. These materials are composted and made into soil that is then sold across the state. Creekside also accepts bigger logs and branches that are used for the production of mulch, which is also sold from the facility. Hutchinson also provides grass clipping and leaf removal on certain dates throughout the year which are also disposed of at the Creekside facility. The city is also mindful to suggest the option of disposing of whatever construction waste can be contributed to Creekside during ongoing projects throughout the city.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
John Paulson (City staff) | jpaulson@ci.hutchinson.mn.us | 320-234-5682
3 star - Action 5:

Lower the environmental and health risk footprint of a brownfield remediation/redevelopment project beyond regulatory requirements; report brightfield projects.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
The City of Hutchinson has pursued a number of developments, both economic and sustainability focused, on two brownfield sites within City limits.

A 1970s era City dump has been the focus of much of the development. The dump was host to waste from city residents, as well as significant waste from the local 3M facility.

Most recent and most notable is the establishment of a 400 kilowatt solar array on the landfill. Construction began on the array in October 2015, and the site was commissioned and began producing electricity in late November 2015. The array is owned by the City and will be operated by Amaresco as part of a guaranteed energy savings program until the array becomes cost neutral. The electricity from the array feeds directly, behind the meter, into the City’s wastewater treatment facility, the City’s largest municipal electricity user. The treatment facility is located directly adjacent to the landfill, meaning the connection required minimal transmission lines. More than half of the funding for the project came from Xcel Energy’s Renewable Development fund, with the City covering the rest of the costs. The solar panels were supplied by tenKsolar and installed by Hunt electric.

The same former landfill is also home to a police and fire training facility.

In addition to this landfill, the City has also partnered in the redevelopment of a brownfield that was home to a former train depot. The result was the Depot marketplace located on 1.585 acres northeast of downtown Hutchinson. Site restoration included the following: restoration and relocation of the former train depot building, construction of a public parking lot, development of a trailhead for the state Luce Line and Dakota trail systems, and the installation of public restrooms. An open air pavilion was also established and now hosts a local farmer’s market twice a week during much of the year. Beginning in December of 2015, a winter farmer’s market The redeveloped depot building and marketplace have also become popular community gathering places used by a number of additional community groups. The project was made possible due to a strong collaboration between the City of Hutchinson, McLeod County Regional Rail Authority, and the Hutchinson Economic Development Authority. A rain garden, mitigating runoff from the brownfield, was added to the site later. The project received recognition as a finalist in Minnesota Brownfields’ annual ReScape Awards in the category of Small City Impact Award.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
Amaresco; Xcel Energy; TenKSolar; Hunt Electric; Hutchinson EDA; McLeod County Regional Rail Authority
For more information contact:
John Paulson (City staff) | jpaulson@ci.hutchinson.mn.us | 320-234-5682
2 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: 2021
Implementation details:
Hutchinson's Chamber of Commerce and Tourism provides a website location to support local businesses throughout the town and surrounding area. This website lists businesses by category making searching easy. The website also provides a page for "Hot Deals" currently happening in businesses around town, this provides opportunities for businesses to spread the word of a sale or good deal. Job listings for local businesses are also published on this website. Hutchinson also recognizes a business of the month as a recognition for hard work put into small businesses around the community.

Hutchinson also has "Crazy Days" once a year that promotes small businesses in the community. This is an advertised event in which the community can find deals at local businesses for one weekend. The event brings a lot of business to the shops and restaurants in the community.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
John Paulson (City staff) | jpaulson@ci.hutchinson.mn.us | 320-234-5682

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: 2007
Implementation details:
The City of Hutchinson has a wind ordinance as outlined in Chapter 154.027.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
John Paulson (City staff) | jpaulson@ci.hutchinson.mn.us | 320-234-5682
1 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: 2021
Implementation details:
Hutchinson Utilities Commission offers a green power purchasing program called "Bright Energy Choices". The program allows customers to purchase renewable energy certificates to offset a portion of your electricity that comes from fossil fuels and lowering your carbon footprint
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
John Paulson (City staff) | jpaulson@ci.hutchinson.mn.us | 320-234-5682
3 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:
In November of 2015, the City of Hutchinson completed construction on a 400 kW solar array on a municipally owned brownfield (see Best Practice Action 20.5). The array is hooked into the City’s wastewater treatment facility where it provides a portion of the plants electricity. The project was partially funded by an Xcel Energy Renewable Development Fund grant and developed by Amaresco. The panels are tenK solar panels and were installed by Hunt Electric.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
Amaresco; tenK colar; Hunt Electric; Xcel Energy
For more information contact:
John Paulson (City staff) | jpaulson@ci.hutchinson.mn.us | 320-234-5682
1 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: 2021
Implementation details:
In addition to multiple private solar PV systems the City recently entered into agreement with Hutchinson Utilities to construct a solar PV array over 2 acres of land owned by the City.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
John Paulson (City staff) | jpaulson@ci.hutchinson.mn.us | 320-234-5682
3 star - Action 7:

Become a solar-ready community, including adopting ordinance/zoning language and an expedited permit process for residents and businesses to install solar energy systems.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed: 2016
Implementation details:
Hutchinson is recognized as a bronze level SolSmart community. Hutchinson became a SolSmart city in 2016, as they assisted with the installation of a solar field that provides energy for the wastewater plant.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
John Paulson (City staff) | jpaulson@ci.hutchinson.mn.us | 320-234-5682

Local Food {BP no.27}

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 Hutchinson has long partnered with the Hutchinson Downtown Association to host a twice-weekly seasonal farmer’s market, drawing on local producers. As part of the brownfield redevelopment project completed in 2014, The City of Hutchinson, the McLeod County Regional Rail Authority, and the Hutchinson Economic Development Authority worked together to construct a pavilion and renovate an old train depot building where the farmer’s market is now held. The result is a more sheltered market location, making it more comfortable for customers and vendors. In addition to the pavilion providing greater benefit to vendors and customers during spring, summer, and fall, the indoor space allowed a winter market for the first time in December of 2015. The popularity of the event means that the market will be open once per month during the 2016 winter season, greatly increasing community access to local foods year-round.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
Hutchinson Downtown Association; McLeod County Regional Rail Authority; Hutchinson EDA
For more information contact:
John Paulson (City staff) | jpaulson@ci.hutchinson.mn.us | 320-234-5682

Climate Adaptation and Community Resilience {BP no.29}

1 star - Action 1:

Prepare to maintain public health and safety during extreme weather and climate-change-related events, while also taking a preventive approach to reduce risk for community members.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
The McLeod County Hazard Mitigation Plan was updated and adopted by then McLeod County Board of Commissioners in April 2015. Kevin Mathews is the Director of McLeod County Emergency Management for the McLeod Country Sheriff’s Office and is responsible for Hazard Mitigation for McLeod County. Chief Daniel Hatten, the Director of Police and Emergency Management and Police Chief of the City of Hutchinson, is responsible for Hazard Mitigation for the City of Hutchinson.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File: view file
McLeod County
For more information contact:
John Paulson (City staff) | jpaulson@ci.hutchinson.mn.us | 320-234-5682
1 star - Action 4:

Encourage private sector action and incentivize investment in preventive approaches that reduce risk and minimize impacts of extreme weather and the changing climate for human health and the built environment.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed: 2016
Implementation details:
The City of Hutchinson held a Kickoff Event, supported in part with a Best Practice 29 Event Sponsorship, on April 21, 2016 to promote resilience to the changing climate/energy landscape for multi-family and commercial buildings through free benchmarking assistance from the MN ENERGY STAR Challenge. Participants learned about Hutchinson’s resilience efforts including burying power lines, buying up and relocating/demolishing properties located within the 100-year flood areas, tracking and reducing the city’s energy consumption, offering PACE financing, providing energy efficiency rebates through the local utility, and partnering on the MN ENERGY STAR Challenge.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Approximately 20 people attended on short notice during a busy Earth Week. The event was covered by the local news station, HCVN Channel 10. Two businesses signed up at the event for the Challenge to ENERGY STAR certify their buildings, and five more signed up within the next few weeks.
Descriptive File:
USGBC Minnesota, Minnesota Energy Smart
For more information contact:
John Paulson (City staff) | jpaulson@ci.hutchinson.mn.us | 320-234-5682
1 star - Action 5:

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

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/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
John Paulson (City staff) | jpaulson@ci.hutchinson.mn.us | 320-234-5682