City Detail

Background Information

City of La Crescent
County: Winona,Houston
Population: 5000
GreenStep City category: B
Full-time equivalent city staff (approx.): 20
Participating township, county, school:

GreenStep Coordinator

Bill Waller
City Staff
507-895-2595
City web page relating to sustainability/GreenStep activities:
GreenStep City resolution: Click here to view the file.
GreenStep City status and date: STEP 2 ( )

City Assessment Files and City Performance Metrics

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

Assessment File

Best Practice Actions Underway and Completed

Completed actions are denoted by stars.

Total completed actions: 27
1 star actions: 4
2 star actions: 8
3 star actions: 7

Buildings and Lighting Buildings and Lighting

Efficient Existing Public Buildings {BP no.1}

2 star - Action 1:

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

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
The City of La Crescent current tracks all energy usage for the city through the B3 Benchmarking program. At least 12 months of consecutive data has been entered and this will be routinely monitored and used for understanding the city's energy usage and how to improve.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File: view file
For more information contact:
Bill Waller (City staff) | BWaller@cityoflacrescent-mn.gov | 507-895-2595
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:
#1 - The La Crescent Fire Station and Community Building went through a extensive renovation to install energy, safety, and accessibility upgrades. These upgrades were done from 2015 to completion in March 2016 and included conversion to all LED lighting, weather stripping, sealant, HVAC replacements, and integrated communications and controls for heating and cooling. As of Fall 2016, La Crescent was chosen to be a part of the Made In Minnesota program.

#2 - The community ice arena has converted all indoor and outdoor lighting to LED lighting as of 10.31.16.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File: view file
Architect-Construction Express; Financing-Tri-County Electric Co-Op
For more information contact:
Bill Waller (City staff) | BWaller@cityoflacrescent-mn.gov | 507-895-2595
2 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:
#1 - The La Crescent Fire Station and Community Building went through a extensive renovation to install energy, safety, and accessibility upgrades. These upgrades were done from 2015 to completion in March 2016 and included conversion to all LED lighting, weather stripping, sealant, HVAC replacements, and integrated communications and controls for heating and cooling. As of Fall 2016, La Crescent was chosen to be a part of the Made In Minnesota program.

#2 - The community ice arena has converted all indoor and outdoor lighting to LED lighting as of 10.31.16.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File: view file
For more information contact:
Bill Waller (City staff) | BWaller@cityoflacrescent-mn.gov | 507-895-2595

Efficient Outdoor Lighting and Signals {BP no.4}

3 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: 2016
Implementation details:
The city's only traffic signal is LED and will only be replaced with LED Lighs. In the future Xcel is transitioning to all LED street lights and will only install new as LED.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
Xcel Energy
For more information contact:
Shawn Wetterlin (City staff) | SWetterlin@cityoflacrescent-mn.gov | 507-895-4409
1 star - Action 4:

Coordinate traffic signals and/or optimize signal timing so as minimize car idling at intersections yet maintain safe and publicly acceptable vehicle speeds.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed: 2016
Implementation details:
La Crescent's only traffic signal is optimized using signal timing and sensors to minimize car idling and maintain safe and publicly acceptable vehicle speeds.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Shawn Wetterlin (City staff) | SWetterlin@cityoflacrescent-mn.gov | 507-895-4409
2 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: 2016
Implementation details:
Currently the City of La Crescent has installed LED lighting in the ice arena parking lot as well as transitioned all Christmas lights to LEDs for future use. Warning flashers are rotated in different areas and are powered by solar energy.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Shawn Wetterlin (City staff) | SWetterlin@cityoflacrescent-mn.gov | 507-895-4409
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: 2016
Implementation details:
The city of La Crescent's only traffic signal (100%) contains LEDs.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Shawn Wetterlin (City staff) | SWetterlin@cityoflacrescent-mn.gov | 507-895-4409

Land Use Land Use

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

2 star - Action 1:

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

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed: 2016
Implementation details:
La Crescent adopted it's 2016 comprehensive plan on September 12, 2016.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File: view file
For more information contact:
Shawn Wetterlin (City staff) | SWetterlin@cityoflacrescent-mn.gov | 507-895-4409
1 star - Action 2:

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

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed: 2016
Implementation details:
They are currently working on incorporating this into all ordinance text. Still needs to be completed.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Shawn Wetterlin (City staff) | SWetterlin@cityoflacrescent-mn.gov | 507-895-4409

Mixed Uses {BP no.8}

Not rated - 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: 2017
Implementation details:
We are currently working on a downtown plan. Information to be coming soon.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Shawn Wetterlin (City staff) | SWetterlin@cityoflacrescent-mn.gov | 507-895-4409

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

2 star - Action 2:

Participate in regional economic development planning with representatives from surrounding townships, cities, the county and business interests to:

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed: 2015
Implementation details:
Th City of La Crescent is part of the La Crosse Area Planning Commission which is working on a number of different items, most extensively transportation improvement in the region. Our Mayor is an important voting member on the commission. See above link for more comprehensive information.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Shawn Wetterlin (City staff) | SWetterlin@cityoflacrescent-mn.gov | 507-895-4409

Transportation Transportation

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: 2016
Implementation details:
We have been working on multiple avenues to promote walking, biking, and transit. We are currently in the process of updating our 2013 pedestrian plan and have applied to be recognized as a Bicycle Friendly community. We have a strong Bicycle Shoppe which is supported by the city and helps to promote bicycling and fix bicycles. For additional information see our links and attached document.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File: view file
For more information contact:
Shawn Wetterlin (City staff) | SWetterlin@cityoflacrescent-mn.gov | 507-895-4409
2 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: 2016
Implementation details:
In fall of 2016, La Crescent added Saturday bus service to La Crosse in it's schedule. See above link for minutes in which it was passed. This has been of great concern for many residents and we hope to study the usage of Saturday and possibly extend into Sunday service. We are also in the process of building a large walking/bike bridge over Highway 61 which will help to connect the City of La Crescent with the City of La Crosse through a biking corridor.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Angie Boettcher (City staff) | ABoettcher@cityoflacrescent-mn.gov | (507) 895-2224

Environmental Management Environmental Management

Sustainable Purchasing {BP no.15}

Not rated - 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: 2017
Implementation details:
WORKING
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Angie Boettcher (City staff) | ABoettcher@cityoflacrescent-mn.gov | (507) 895-2224
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: 2017
Implementation details:
City Council meetings are transitioning to paperless city council packets as well as planning commission meetings. This change is being implemented with a $10,000 budget line in the 2017 budget.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
This will and has decreased our paper usage and allowed for less resources to be expelled in delivering city council and planning commission packets to members.
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Angie Boettcher (City staff) | ABoettcher@cityoflacrescent-mn.gov | (507) 895-2224

Community Forests and Soils {BP no.16}

2 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: 2014
Implementation details:
On page 153 of the zoning ordinances for the City of La Crescent, it outlines substantial best practices for tree planting, maintenance, and preservation. We also have a tree board which has been working on our Tree City USA recognition. Being the Apple Capital of MN we have a commitment to trees and preserving them for future generations.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Shawn Wetterlin (City staff) | SWetterlin@cityoflacrescent-mn.gov | 507-895-4409
Not rated - 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: 2016
Implementation details:
WORKING
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Shawn Wetterlin (City staff) | SWetterlin@cityoflacrescent-mn.gov | 507-895-4409

Stormwater Management {BP no.17}

2 star - Action 3:

Adopt by ordinance one or more of the following stormwater infiltration/management strategies:

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed: 2016
Implementation details:
Under state and federal rules, the City of La Crescent has been classified as a Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) community. As such, the City has developed a Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP) designed to develop, implement and enforce a Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP) that is intended to minimize the discharge of pollutants from its storm sewer system in order to protect the water quality of the receiving waters in accordance with the Federal Clean Water Act (CWA) and its amendments.
This Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan is a local plan that has been prepared with the purpose of meeting the requirements of the Federal National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Phase II permit.

Best Management Practices (BMPs), including education, maintenance, pollution control techniques, system designs and engineering methods as well as local provisions deemed appropriate, are to be used to meet the minimum requirements of the NPDES Phase II permit.

The La Crescent SWPPP is a plan to meet each of the six Minimum Control Measures (MCM) described by the permit. The tasks described are not one-time efforts; they will continue throughout the permit period and beyond to maintain water quality. They are:

Public education and outreach
Public participation/involvement
Illicit discharge, detection and elimination
Construction site runoff control
Post-construction site runoff control
Pollution prevention/good housekeeping
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File: view file
For more information contact:
Shawn Wetterlin (City staff) | SWetterlin@cityoflacrescent-mn.gov | 507-895-4409

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: 2015
Implementation details:
We are currently in the 2nd phase of the Wagon Wheel Trail along the Mississippi and we have received final approval for the third phase which will be a million dollar plus bridge connection for pedestrians. We have also recently expanded our park system (2016-2017) with the addition of Stoney Point Park which is over sixty acres of new park, wilderness, and trails for our community.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File: view file
For more information contact:
Shawn Wetterlin (City staff) | SWetterlin@cityoflacrescent-mn.gov | 507-895-4409
Not rated - Action 2:

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

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed: 2016
Implementation details:
WORKING
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Shawn Wetterlin (City staff) | SWetterlin@cityoflacrescent-mn.gov | 507-895-4409
Not rated - 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: 2017
Implementation details:
WORKING
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Shawn Wetterlin (City staff) | SWetterlin@cityoflacrescent-mn.gov | 507-895-4409
3 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: 2015
Implementation details:
We have an annual Neighbors Day event in April which organizes neighbors to help each other in work around the community, at their homes, and in public spaces. We also have fostered a group of community members (including one of our own Green Team members) who have begin prairie restoration within small areas of the community.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Shawn Wetterlin (City staff) | SWetterlin@cityoflacrescent-mn.gov | 507-895-4409

Local Air Quality {BP no.23}

1 star - Action 2:

Regulate outdoor wood burning, using ordinance language, performance standards and bans as appropriate, for at least one of the following:

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed: 2015
Implementation details:
The City of La Crescent has extensive ordinances banning and regulating burning of a variety of substances. See above link for specifics.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Shawn Wetterlin (City staff) | SWetterlin@cityoflacrescent-mn.gov | 507-895-4409
Pending - 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: 2019
Implementation details:
Promoting EV charging stations...https://www.cityoflacrescent-mn.gov/businesses-with-ev-charging-stations/
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Angie Boettcher (City staff) | ABoettcher@cityoflacrescent-mn.gov | (507) 895-2224

Resilient Economic & Community Development Resilient Economic and Community Development

Benchmarks and Community Engagement {BP no.24}

3 star - Action 1:

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

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed: 2016
Implementation details:
The city of La Crescent has had a Green Team in place for over a year now. It meets on a monthly to bi-monthly schedule to work on issues of sustainability. As we continue to grow we will work on ways to communicate and engage our citizens. The team has expanded over the year including more community members and school district employees.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
We have seen an increase in awareness by not only city staff, but also community members and city council members. Sustainability is on the tip of everyone's tongue!
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Angie Boettcher (City staff) | ABoettcher@cityoflacrescent-mn.gov | (507) 895-2224

Green Business Development {BP no.25}

Pending - Action 4:

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

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed: 2019
Implementation details:
La Crescent Public Works brings all branches, brush and yard waste accumulated to the locally run compost site where the items are then used as mulch, compost, black soil etc. The compost is then used in public works projects as fill across the city.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Angie Boettcher (City staff) | ABoettcher@cityoflacrescent-mn.gov | (507) 895-2224

Local Food {BP no.27}

Not rated - 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: 2015
Implementation details:
WORKING
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Shawn Wetterlin (City staff) | SWetterlin@cityoflacrescent-mn.gov | 507-895-4409