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: 46
1 star actions: 9
2 star actions: 14
3 star actions: 21

Buildings and Lighting Buildings and Lighting

Efficient Existing Public Buildings {BP no.1}

3 star - Action 1:

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

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
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:
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:
Implementation details:
Implemented City wide interior lighting improvements for both operational and maintenance savings by utilizing a performance contract.
Outcome measures/metrics:
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:
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:
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
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:
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:
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:
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:
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:
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:
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:
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:
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:
Implementation details:
The City does not own traffic signals but all signals in Hutchinson use LED lights.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
MnDOT
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:
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:
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:
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:
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:
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:
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:
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:
Descriptive File: view 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:
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:
Descriptive File: view file
For more information contact:
Dan Jochum (City staff) | djochum@ci.hutchinson.mn.us | 320-234-4258

Transportation Transportation

Living 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:
Implementation details:
A Complete Streets policy addressing street trees and stormwater was passed at the December 22 2015 City Council meeting.
Outcome measures/metrics:
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:
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:
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:
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:
Descriptive File: view file

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:
Implementation details:
The City of Hutchinson became a Bronze Bicycle Friendly Community in 2014.
Outcome measures/metrics:
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:
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:
Descriptive File: view file

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:
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:
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 standards for the percentage of recycled-content material in asphalt and roadbed aggregate or other construction materials, and for compost and warm mix asphalt use.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
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:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
John Paulson (City staff) | jpaulson@ci.hutchinson.mn.us | 320-234-5682

Urban 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:
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:
Descriptive File: view file
Hutchinson Utilities Commission
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:
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:
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:
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:
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.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
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:
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:
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:
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:
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:
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:
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:
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:
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:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
John Paulson (City staff) | jpaulson@ci.hutchinson.mn.us | 320-234-5682
Pending - 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:
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:
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

Surface Water {BP no.19}

2 star - Action 2:

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

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
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:
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; reduce flooding and costs through The National Flood Insurance Program's Community Rating System.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
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:
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:
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:
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 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:
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:
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:
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:
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
Pending - 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:
Implementation details:
All water used in treatment processes at Hutchinson’s Wastewater Treatment Facility is recycled effluent from the treatment process.
Outcome measures/metrics:
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:
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:
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

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:
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:
Descriptive File:
Hutchinson HRA
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:

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:
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:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
John Paulson (City staff) | jpaulson@ci.hutchinson.mn.us | 320-234-5682
1 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:
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:
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:
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:
Descriptive File:
Great Plains Institute; USGBC Minnesota; Minnesota Chamber of Commerce; Hutchinson EDA; Hutchinson Chamber of Commerce; Hutchinson Utilities Commission
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:
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:
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

Renewable Energy {BP no.26}

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:
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:
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

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:
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:
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:
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:
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:
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:
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:
Implementation details:
The city recently completed a multi-year project of burying all power lines located brining electricity and similar services to those within the City. This greatly increases the Community’s resilience to extreme weather events by ensuring that the power lines are not susceptible to frequent disruptions from falling trees or other disasters associate with such events. Not only does this mean increased safety during extreme weather, it also means that communication and power lines are more likely to be maintained in an emergency when they are most needed. Additionally, the City is realizing significant savings in maintenance costs from the buried power lines. Other benefits include improving the aesthetics of the City, facilitating easier maintenance of boulevard trees, and decreasing risk of injury from downed power line or pole falls from weather, vehicle, and other accidents.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
John Paulson (City staff) | jpaulson@ci.hutchinson.mn.us | 320-234-5682