City Detail

Background Information

City of Mankato
County: Le Sueur,Blue Earth,Nicollet
Population: 39309
GreenStep City category: A
Full-time equivalent city staff (approx.): 260
Participating township, county, school:

GreenStep Coordinator

Molly Westman
City Staff
507-387-8571
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: 59
1 star actions: 33
2 star actions: 18
3 star actions: 6

Buildings and Lighting Buildings and Lighting

Efficient Existing Public Buildings {BP no.1}

1 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:
The City's new City Council chambers were designed as "flex space" to accomodate multiple uses, and integrate light sensors to provide lighting only when the room is being utilized. Lighting is provided via high-efficiency LED fixtures.

The City of Mankato also participates in the MN Energy Challenge, through the MN Center for Energy & Environment. 110 staff members from the organization participate.
Outcome measures/metrics:
603,760 lbs CO2 saved through MN Energy Challenge, saving approximately $42,000/annually.
Descriptive File:
MN Center for Energy & Environment (www.mncee.org)
For more information contact:
Molly Westman (City staff) | mwestman@mankatomn.gov | 507-387-8571
1 star - Action 4:

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

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
The City of Mankato has been participating in the MN Energy Challenge since 2008. Mankato has both a citywide teamm open to all residents, as well as City organization/staff team.

In 2012, the City adopted a policy which limits personal appliances within offices and workspaces as part of a remodeling project of the City Intergovernmental Center. Updated meeting rooms utilize sensors to provide overhead energy-efficient LED lighting only while movement is detected within meeting spaces.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Residents of Mankato on the citywide team have saved an estimated 565,346 lbs of C02, and savings of $42,554. There are 106 community members that pledged to participate in the Energy Challenge. The City staff has 13 active participants, which have saved an estimated 100,940 lbs of C02 from produced during City operations, as well as a savings of approximately $10,540.
Descriptive File:
Minnesota Center for Energy and the Environment (CEE)
For more information contact:
Molly Westman (City staff) | mwestman@mankatomn.gov | 507-387-8571
2 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:
Implementation details:
The Orness Plaza Apartment Complex, owned and operated by the Mankato Housing and Redevelopment Authority, received grant funding to assist with its rehabilitation. The 1970s era building has been revitalized with a geothermal heating system and central air conditioning, among other improvements. Reserved parking stalls for designated fuel efficient and hybrid vehicles have also been included as part of the rehabilitation program.

The Rosa Parks Elementary School was certified LEED Gold in January 2012. It was the second LEED-certified building in south-central Minnesota. Opened in fall of 2010, the sustainable features of the facility include a ground source heat pump system for heating and cooling the school, occupancy sensors for lighting, regional and recycled material use, water-saving fixtures and landscape and many indoor air quality strategies.

Completed in fall of 2012 and awarded LEED Gold status in 2013, Mankato's Public Safety Center has been remodeled for the future and is the most significant investment in a city of Mankato public safety facility within the last 40 years. It has been converted to bring police and fire staff together for the first time ever in one facility. The city is better positioned for optimal response times, particularly to West Mankato, the hilltop area and neighborhoods to the west, south and north of the university. Building updates have been made to last well into the future. As a remodeled, re-used building, major upgrades include:

• Energy efficient--since the Public Safety Center is more than 40 percent efficient compared to a typically designed building since it uses less energy, saves costs and benefits the environment;
• Location--the Public Safety Center is well-placed in a downtown location surrounded by services and transportation options, providing bike racks and reserving preferred parking for hybrid vehicles and carpools;
• Materials and resources--the Public Safety Center is a reused building that uses reclaimed and recycled materials for sustainability;
• Air quality--air ventilation and filtration and a heating and cooling system provide efficient and cost-effective maintenance of building temperatures
* A passive solar array integrated on roof of the building to reduce energy use and costs.


Outcome measures/metrics:
The Orness Plaza project received LEED Silver certification on March 27th, 2013.

The Rosa Parks Elementary School project received LEED Gold Certification in January 2012.

The Mankato Public Safety Center received LEED Gold Certification on April 26th, 2013.
Descriptive File:
Blue Earth County, Paulsen Architects, R.W. Carlstrom, and BARKL Consulting
For more information contact:
Molly Westman (City staff) | mwestman@mankatomn.gov | 507-387-8571
2 star - Action 7:

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

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
Although not solely within the jurisdiction of the City of Mankato, development of the Breckenridge Townhomes affordable housing project located in neighboring Eagle Lake was overseen by City staff as part of the Housing and Redevelopment Authority (HRA), in conjunction with Blue Earth County staff. These townhomes were planned and developed in accordance with Minnesota Green Communities standards, and included preservation of wetland areas, maximum utilization of passive solar heating/cooling, native plantings as part of raingarden and bio-swales, and Energy Star standards for construction and furnished appliances. Roof panels were also designed on an East/West axis to easily accommodate future solar panels.

Additionally, the Orness Plaza Apartment Complex, owned and operated by the Mankato Housing and Redevelopment Authority, received grant funding to assist with its rehabilitation. The 1970s era building has been revitalized with a geothermal heating system and central air conditioning, among other improvements, and has been granted LEED certification. Reserved parking stalls for designated fuel efficient and hybrid vehicles have also been included as part of the rehabilitation program.

A passive solar array was integrated into the roof of the recently-renovated Public Safety Center building in late 2013.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File: view file
Blue Earth County, City of Eagle Lake
For more information contact:
Molly Westman (City staff) | mwestman@mankatomn.gov | 507-387-8571

Efficient Existing Private Buildings {BP no.2}

1 star - Action 1:

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

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
The City of Mankato participates in the MN Energy Challenge, offered through the Minnesota Center for Energy & Environment (mncee.org). 110 staff members participate in the Energy Challenge.
Outcome measures/metrics:
To date, the City of Mankato staff members participating have save an estimated 603,760 lbs of CO2, and approxmately $42,000 in utility costs annually.
Descriptive File:
MN Center for Energy & Environment
For more information contact:
Molly Westman (City staff) | mwestman@mankatomn.gov | 507-387-8571
Pending - Action 4:

Describe energy/water efficiency outcomes and other green building practices at businesses located within/nearby the city.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
The City is currently coordinating with two potential solar farms in the area. One smaller, approximately 1 acre array will be located on the School Sisters of Notre Dame and Loyola Catholic School campus and will be used to service the campus electrical needs as well as for educational purposes. Approvals for this project area anticpated by July 2014. A second, larger, active 47-acre solar array adjacent to the eastern boundary of the City is currently in planning stages and would produce 5.5 megawatts of electricity. Completion of this project is slated for 2016.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Molly Westman (City staff) | mwestman@mankatomn.gov | 507-387-8571
1 star - Action 5:

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

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
The City of Mankato adopted a watering ordinance in April of 2013 in order to limit use of water resources and ensure adequate water supply for the community. The City uses an even/odd calendar system for watering, with all watering prohibited between 11AM and 6PM. Watering limitations have been formally adopted and continue to be active.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Molly Westman (City staff) | mwestman@mankatomn.gov | 507-387-8571

New Green Buildings {BP no.3}

1 star - Action 1:

Require by city policy that new city-owned buildings be built using the SB 2030 energy standard and/or a green building framework.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
Mankato's policy is to look for opportunities to maximize energy-efficiency and sustainability in locating and constructing new City facilities, and when renovating existing faciliies. Strategic planning of facilities allows efficient use of public funds and opportunities for leadership in sustainable practices.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Orness Plaza renovations, the City's first LEED-certified facility, have saved $27,000 annually in water and fuel expenses by using a geothermal system, EnergyStar appliances, water-conserving fixtures, and updated insulated siding.
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Molly Westman (City staff) | mwestman@mankatomn.gov | 507-387-8571
1 star - Action 2:

Work with the local school district to ensure that future new schools are built using the SB 2030 energy standard and/or a green building framework.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
The new Rosa Parks Elementary School located in Mankato was awarded LEED Gold status in January of 2012, under the direction of school district members. The school is the second building in south-central Minnesota to be LEED certified (the first being the Blue Earth County Justice Center).
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Molly Westman (City staff) | mwestman@mankatomn.gov | 507-387-8571

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 street lighting on Madison Avenue (Mankato's main commercial corridor) have been replaced with LED fixtures, after a pilot project to test LED lighting in several areas of the community.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Approximately $19,000/annually in energy costs saved.
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Molly Westman (City staff) | mwestman@mankatomn.gov | 507-387-8571
2 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:
Implementation details:
Mankato Engineering staff designs signal timer systems to maximize smooth traffic flow and minimize wait times at stop lights, lowering emissions of idling traffic. In-ground sensors detect traffic flow and reduce stop lights at times of low-traffic volume to allow free-flow of traffic at off-peak times.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Molly Westman (City staff) | mwestman@mankatomn.gov | 507-387-8571
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:
Implementation details:
In 2011 City Engineering staff undertook a pilot project installation of several varieties and models of LED streetlights, along Val Imm Drive in Mankato and nearby to the Minnesota State University-Mankato campus. The area was selected as a test area due to its wooded location and moderate traffic levels in order to gauge public perception of LED lighting for future implementation. Signage has been installed denoting different areas of different model lighting with contact information for interested parties to offer input.
Outcome measures/metrics:
City is currently evalutating savings of LED lights and monitoring feedback. Consideration of other test sites in other location, including downtown City Center area is ongoing.
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Molly Westman (City staff) | mwestman@mankatomn.gov | 507-387-8571
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:
100% of Mankato traffic lights have been converted to LED fixtures, saving approximately $50,000 annually and resulting in longer fixture life and less maaintenance issues. The conversion was undertaken city-wide starting in 2004.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Molly Westman (City staff) | mwestman@mankatomn.gov | 507-387-8571

Building Redevelopment {BP no.5}

2 star - Action 1:

Adopt an historic preservation ordinance/regulations to encourage adaptive reuse.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
The City of Mankato established its Heritage Preservation Commission in 2008, after adoption of the Heritage Preservation Ordinance incorporated within the City's Zoning Ordinance. The Heritage Preservation Commmission (HPC) oversees and encourages utilization and reuse of buildings in older and historic neighborhoods, which fosters creative reuse of existing buildings without need for new construction, while also acknowledging and encouraging preservation of Mankato's history.

The City of mankato is recognized by the MN State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) as a Certified Local Government; list of CLG's available at http://www.mnhs.org/localhistory/mho/heritage.html
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Molly Westman (City staff) | mwestman@mankatomn.gov | 507-387-8571
2 star - Action 2:

Implement the Minnesota Main Street model for commercial revitalization.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
The City of Mankato is a member of the City Center Partnership, which maintains membership with Main Street. The City of Mankato Heritage Preservation Commission hosted Emily Northey of Minnesota Main Street as part of Preservation Month in May of 2011 to present and discuss Minnesota Main Street with interested residents and business owners. The Heritage Preservation Commission is currently coordinating with the City Center Partnership in planning a full-day workshop regarding Minnesota Main Street and its practices and benefits for May of 2012.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
City Center Partnership, Minnesota Main Street
2 star - Action 4:

Create/modify a green residential remodeling assistance/financing program to assist homeowners in adding space to their existing homes.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
The city has several programs that could potentially assist property owners with energy efficiency upgrades. The programs are briefly described below:

Owner Occupied Rehabilitation Program
Provides up to $20,000 in deferred, forgivable loans to low to moderate income households within the city’s targeted neighborhoods. Eligible improvements include many items that provide for greater energy efficiency, including new windows, siding, roofs and furnaces.

Rental Rehabilitation Program
Provides up to $12,000 per unit in deferred, forgivable loans to property owners that rent to low to moderate income households. Eligible improvements include many items that provide for greater energy efficiency, including new windows, siding, roofs and furnaces.

Commercial Rehabilitation Program
Provides up to $25,000 in deferred, forgivable loans to commercial properties within the city’s targeted area. Eligible improvements include many items that provide for greater energy efficiency, including new windows, siding and roofs.

City Center Renaissance Revolving Loan Fund
Provides up to $200,000 in low interest loans to property owners within the City Center. Eligible improvements include many items that provide for greater energy efficiency, including new siding, windows, roofs and HVAC systems.

Economic Development Authority Revolving Loan Fund
Provides up to $300,000 in low interest loans to industrial property owners in the city. Eligible improvements include many items that provide for greater energy efficiency, including new siding, windows, roofs and HVAC systems.

On projects which may impact exterior elements (roof/siding/windows), economic development staff will coordinate review of project with City Heritage Preservation Commission (HPC) and State Historic Preservation Office to ensure proper historical elements are not impacted and that updated components maintain proper historic context of the time period. Outreach of program included presentation and mailings through applicable established neighborhood associations.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Molly Westman (City staff) | mwestman@mankatomn.gov | 507-387-8571
3 star - Action 5:

Adopt development/design standards and programs that facilitate infill, redevelopment, and adaptable buildings.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
The City of Mankato adopted urban design guidelines, which are facilitated through the zoning ordinance through establishment of Downtown Design District and Gateway Overlay Districts. The design recommendations outlined in the Urban Design Guidelines will foster improvements to individual projects, strengthen the traditional character of Downtown, and shape the Hilltop area into a more cohesive marketplace and focus of community activity.

Additionally, the City maintains Orderly Annexation Agreements with all three abutting townships (Mankato, Lime, and South Bend) which limits or prohibits new urban development to allow for planned, controlled provision of services, utilities, and amenities to these area as they are eventually annexed into the City of Mankato. The agreements were initially drafted in 1995 and were amended and extended by mutual partnership of the City and township staff in 2012/2013. Example agreement with Lime Township (north of City of Mankato) attached.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File: view file
For more information contact:
Molly Westman (City staff) | mwestman@mankatomn.gov | 507-387-8571

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 Mankato has adopted and maintains a Comprehensive Plan, including accompanying Land Use Plan and Map, and regulatory ordinances comply with the goals of the Comprehensive Plan. to ensure their continued applicability and vitality for the City.
Outcome measures/metrics:
These planning documents are periodically revisited and updated as-needed to ensure continued applicability and effectiveness.
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Molly Westman (City staff) | mwestman@mankatomn.gov | 507-387-8571
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:
Implementation details:
Conformance with comprehensive plan is referenced at following points within City of Mankato zoning ordinance:

10.90a : PART X. ADMINISTRATION AND ENFORCEMENT.

5.000 Planning Agency.
The Planning Agency shall have the following responsibilities:
D. Review, hold public hearings, and prepare recommendations on any proposed change to the City's comprehensive planning policies and plans, including this Chapter.



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

10.92 : Conditional Use Permits.

5.000 Standards.
The Planning Agency shall only recommend the granting of the Conditional Use Permit, granting the Conditional Use Permit subject to conditions, or denying the conditional use based on written findings of fact with regard to each of the standards set forth below and, where applicable, any special standards for specific uses set forth in the provisions of a specific zoning district.
B. It is in keeping with the comprehensive planning policies of the City and this Chapter as amended from time to time.

10.98 : Amendments.
5.000 Standards for Amendments.
In making their determination, the City Council shall consider the following:

A. Whether the proposed amendment is consistent with the goals, objectives, and policies of the Comprehensive Land Use Plan, as adopted and amended from time to time by the City Council.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Molly Westman (City staff) | mwestman@mankatomn.gov | 507-387-8571

Resilient City Growth {BP no.7}

1 star - Action 1:

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

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
The City of Mankato has established R-3, Limited Multiple Family Dwelling, and R-4, Multiple Family Dwelling District adjacent to commercial zoning in several areas of the community. While current standard for City R-1, One-Family Dwelling District is 6.22 units/acre, higher-density developments near commercial uses, highway corridor, and major regional employers (Eastwood Industrial Park, River Hills Mall, etc.) are supporting additional housing options for the area.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Molly Westman (City staff) | mwestman@mankatomn.gov | 507-387-8571
1 star - Action 2:

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

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
The City of Mankato offers Floor Area Ratio bonuses within the Central Business District-Core and Central Business District-Fringe zoning districts. While primarily commercial, residential is allowed and encouraged above the ground floor through Conditional Use Permit process. Floor Area Ratio incentives utilized for several recent and forthcoming redevelopment projects have been critical to these and has brought an increased residential component to the downtown core and contributed to the mixed-use vitaility of the area.

We also utilize the Planned Unit Development process. A planned unit development is intended to encourage the efficient use of land and resources, to promote greater efficiency in public and utility services, and to encourage innovation in the planning and building of all types of development. A planned unit development may be approved by the City Council following a review and recommendation by the Planning Agency.
See Mankato City Code for more information - http://www.mankato-mn.gov/CityCode/Section-10.93.aspx
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Molly Westman (City staff) | mwestman@mankatomn.gov | 507-387-8571

Mixed Uses {BP no.8}

2 star - Action 1:

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

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
The Sibley Parkway redevelopment project took a former blighted concrete plant site and has since transformed it to an active riverfront development area. At the inception of the project, neighborhood input was solicited for the visioning of the process to help guide the plans to ensure compatibility with the neighborhood. Additionally, per City Council approvals, all proposals in the redevelopment area are required to go through the Planned Unit Development (PUD) process to ensure public notice and encourage resident participation and review of all proposals.
Outcome measures/metrics:
In 2012 a 60-unit apartment building was the first development in the redevelopment area, and resident input encouraged the developer to lower the height by one story to ensure viewshed of the river and adjacent areas was maintained. In 2013 a series of townhomes were constructed to the south. City staff is working to encourage investment of mixed-use commercial elements in proposals for the area.
Descriptive File: view file
For more information contact:
Molly Westman (City staff) | mwestman@mankatomn.gov | 507-387-8571
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:
Implementation details:
Downtown zoning districts, including CBD-C (Central Business Distric-Core) and CBD-F (Central Business District - Fringe) allow for residential development above the ground floor, with approval of Conditional Use Permit. This layout retains commercial/retail uses on the ground floors while retaining option for dwelling units above. This layout is environmetally friendly and promotes a vibrant mixed-use downtown atmoshpere, and promotes "live/work" opportunities for those that work in the City Center area. Additionally, nearby OR-Office Residential zoning district encourages live/work arrangmeent for building owners with low-intensity business uses, such as lawyers, accountants, and salons.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Significant redevelopment of existing downtown buildings within the last 5 years, all with residential components. Major area businesses retained in downtown area while also adding options for housing for different markets (student/young professional/etc.).
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Molly Westman (City staff) | mwestman@mankatomn.gov | 507-387-8571

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

2 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:
Mankato utilizes adopted Highway Gateway Overlay District for established corridors.The HGT, Highway Gateway Overlay District, is intended to promote high quality design in Mankato's gateways. The areas included within this district are located at major entryways into the City. Requirements include exterior treatments, specialized setback standards, signage, architecture, and landscaping.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File: view file
For more information contact:
Molly Westman (City staff) | mwestman@mankatomn.gov | 507-387-8571

Design for Natural Resource Conservation {BP no.10}

2 star - Action 3:

For cities within metropolitan areas, incorporate woodland best management practices addressing protection of wooded areas into zoning or development review.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
The City of Mankato, with work overseen by the Environmental Committee, created, adopted, and enforces a Woodland Preservation ordinance. Proposed developments are reviewed for impacts to defined Wooded Areas as per the ordinance, and specific impact/replacement plans are required for review and consideration prior to any action being taken by Planning Commission or City Council for formal review/approval of development. Impacted trees must be replaced at minimum 2:1 ration.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Molly Westman (City staff) | mwestman@mankatomn.gov | 507-387-8571

Transportation Transportation

Living Streets {BP no.11}

1 star - Action 1:

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

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
Mankato recognizes the importance of multi-modal mobility options and identifies them as a focus point in the Strategic Plan (see page 5 in provided linked document). Mankato is working towards establishment of a formal Complete Streets policy and staff hopes to have the policy refined and adopted by late 2014.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Molly Westman (City staff) | mwestman@mankatomn.gov | 507-387-8571
1 star - Action 5:

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

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
The City uses an adopted Sidewalk and Trail Plan Map to identify and plan for an interconnected system to better facilitate walking and biking options for residents and visitors.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Molly Westman (City staff) | mwestman@mankatomn.gov | 507-387-8571
1 star - Action 6:

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

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
Mankato adopted and utilizes a Neighborhood Traffic-Calming Program, which is a proactive, community-based program designed to enhance the quality of life in Mankato neighborhoods. It is a common goal among City leaders and residents to calm traffic on local residential streets where speeding, accidents, and/or non local traffic are concerns, providing a safer environment for motorists and pedestrians.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Molly Westman (City staff) | mwestman@mankatomn.gov | 507-387-8571

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 Mankato, in partnership with the City of North Mankato, has received "Honerable Mention" as a Bicycle-Friendly Community in 2011. For 2012 the cities undertook additional efforts and have re-submitted updated information in hopes of achieving higher status as a Bicycle-Friendly Community.

The City of Mankato requires provision of bicycle parking for all new non-residential uses, and multiple-family residential uses. Provision of additional bicyle parking may allow developers to reduce required number of automobile parking stalls accordingly. See http://www.mankato-mn.gov/CityCode/Section-10.85.aspx (scroll to Section 19 F).

The City created and distributes a Trails Map which outlines the best bike and pedestrian routes. Creation and distribution is partnered with other area organizations.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Molly Westman (City staff) | mwestman@mankatomn.gov | 507-387-8571
3 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 maintains a section of the web site that outlines bus and mobility options for the community, including printable brochures, route maps, and riders guide information.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Molly Westman (City staff) | mwestman@mankatomn.gov | 507-387-8571

Efficient City Fleets {BP no.13}

1 star - Action 2:

Right-size/down-size the city fleet with the most fuel-efficient vehicles that are of an optimal size and capacity for their intended functions.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
In February 2012 the City Council authorized purchase of replacement police vehicles (Ford Police Utility Vehicles). Review and consideration by Department of Public Safety staff largely considered fuel-efficiency of vehicles as part of decision to recommend purchase to replace existing aging fleet of Ford Crown Victorias. Additionally, Department of Public Safety has purchased a small Suzuki utility vehicle for use in specialized park patrol and on/off road use. Dubbed "The Green Machine", the small vehicle is highly fuel efficient and increases the ability of officers to get into smaller areas where full-size vehicles cannot go. See attached City Council agenda recommendation for detail.
Outcome measures/metrics:
New police fleet vehicles have yet to be implemented, but purchase has been approved. "The Green Machine" is active and has assisted in safe transport of an injured hiker in local wooded area where other emergency vehicles could not access.
Descriptive File: view file
For more information contact:
Molly Westman (City staff) | mwestman@mankatomn.gov | 507-387-8571
1 star - Action 3:

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

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
The Citys Central Garage has implemented and adheres to a regular maintenance schedule for all City vehicles and equipment, which keeps them running as efficiently as possible while maximizing their lifespan and minimizing repair costs.

The Department of Public Safety has purchased and utilizes two 3-wheeled electric vehicles for patrol and security purposes, as well as one fuel-efficient Suzuki mini-truck for park patrol and emergency use. Public Safety has transitioned to mroe fuel-efficient squad vehicles (Fort Police Utility and Taurus sedans)due in part to greater fuel-efficiency over competitors.

The City has adopted a "no idling" policy for all City employees and vehicles, in order to reduce emissions and fuel costs.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Molly Westman (City staff) | mwestman@mankatomn.gov | 507-387-8571
1 star - Action 4:

Phase in bike, e-bike, foot or horseback modes for police, inspectors and other city staff.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
Department of Public Safety has increased foot patrols of officers in downtown area, in an effort to be more visible during weekend activities and promote well-being of officers.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Molly Westman (City staff) | mwestman@mankatomn.gov | 507-387-8571

Environmental Management Environmental Management

Urban Forests and Soils {BP no.16}

1 star - Action 1:

Certify as a Tree City USA.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
Mankato has been recognized as a Tree City USA. The urban forest planning plays a major role in developing the character of a city and extends the value aesthetically, environmentally and economically.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Molly Westman (City staff) | mwestman@mankatomn.gov | 507-387-8571
1 star - Action 5:

Adopt a tree preservation or native landscaping ordinance.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
The City has adopted a Woodland Preservation Ordinance which limits development impacts to any defined woodland area within the community, and requires that impacted trees be replaced at a 2:1 ratio. Tree preservation ordinance applies to both public and private lands, and for building permit and/or zoning action approval tree clearing and replacement plans are required for review. Scroll to Section 12 of linked ordinance.

The City also requires provision of perimeter landscaping for upon new development, and redevelopment of properties. Requirements call for planting of shade (deciduous) trees every 50 feet along frontage and parking lot perimeter, and planting of evergreen (coniferous) trees every 25 lineal feet. Credit is given for preservation of existing trees when feasible. See Mankato City Code, Section 10.88.

Mankato has been granted "Tree City USA" status.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Molly Westman (City staff) | mwestman@mankatomn.gov | 507-387-8571
2 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:
Mankato maintains two staff members which have MN Certified Tree Inspector status. One staff member (Natural Resources Specialist) is also an ISA-Certified Arborist.

The Natural Resources Specialist has designed and written an Emerald Ash Borer Preparedness Plan, which is in the review process but not yet formally adopted.

City staff monitors USDA Hardiness Zones to ensure Mankato has not been classified as a warmer climate zone. Once official records reflect Mankato as a warmer climate zone, the City will actively begin planting tree species which are only hardy to zone 5.

The City also looks for new tree species on annual basis which can be tried and evaluated in the Mankato area.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Molly Westman (City staff) | mwestman@mankatomn.gov | 507-387-8571

Stormwater Management {BP no.17}

1 star - Action 2:

Complete a stormwater management assessment and be recognized for implementing the actions therein.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
City of Mankato has registered for the Blue Star Award Program recognizing stormwater management programs/policies. Submittal handled by Rick Baird, City of Mankato Water Quality Specialist.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Molly Westman (City staff) | mwestman@mankatomn.gov | 507-387-8571
1 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 City of Mankato storm water drainage utility was established 7-12-2004 and is operated as a public utility pursuant to the City Charter, City Code and applicable statutes. The revenues therefrom are derived subject to provisions of this section and Chapter 444, Minnesota Statutes. The storm water drainage utility is part of the Public Works Department and is administered by the City Engineer.

Storm Water Utility:
Cost of service $3/month
Commercial units, for each 1,000 square feet over 10,000 square feet $ .75/month

We are currently working on a study of our stormwater utility fee to see if it is sufficent and determine more effective ways to utilize this fee while using the data from the study to educate our staff, council and citizens about Mankato's Storwater needs.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Rick Baird (City staff) | rbaird@city.mankato.mn.us | 507-387-8543
Not rated - Action 6:

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

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
Mankato has established and administers a Stormwater Pollution Prevention Program (SWPPP). This program was enacted in response to requirements in the Clean Water Act, and ensures that erosion and sediment control provisions are addressed as part of permanent stormwater treatment and management efforts.
** Update***
In 2009 Ord. 12.02 was passed and implemented to address Erosion & Sediment requirements, Ord. 3.33 was updated to include IDDE corrective actions. Ord 9.77 was updated to address violations of the above mentioned Stormwater ordinances. The enforcement of these ordinances is carried out full time by the Water Quality Specialist who visits every land disturbing site 5000 SF and above a minimum of once a week or after a rain event, whichever comes first. In Feb. 2012 a Stormwater Policy was drafted to address Stormwater pond and conveyance system maintenance. It includes a FAQ sheet to address educating staff and the public about buffer zone requirements, wetlands and natural areas. Since 2008 the Water Quality Specialist (WQS) has held annual public meetings to educate the Public on stormwater pollution prevention. The WQS also meets with citizen groups, business associations and any other venue he can find to educate the public on stormwater issues and pollution prevention. In 2010 the WQS has also implemented a spill resopnse program for the City of Mankato. This program consitist of multiple spill kits strategicly placed at key outfalls throughout the city. This program includes the cooperation and joint training of Public Saftey (Police & Fire), key city staff and the MPCA ER Staff. In 4/2013 administrative penalties were adopted to improve enforcement abilities for IDDE, unreported spills and other Stormwater related violations.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File: view file
MPCA
For more information contact:
Rick Baird (City staff) | rbaird@city.mankato.mn.us | 507-387-8543

Parks and Trails {BP no.18}

2 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:
In late 2013 an update of the City's Parks & Open Space Plan was undertaken to ensure availability of recreational resources and trail connections for all residents and visitors and improve connectivity between existing systems. Input was solicited from residents through a series of neighborhood open houses, and discussions with City staff at neighborhood annual "Night to Unite" event (similar to National Night Out).
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Molly Westman (City staff) | mwestman@mankatomn.gov | 507-387-8571
1 star - Action 2:

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

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
The City adopted, maintains, and follows a Parks, Trails, and Open Space Plan which directs development of these vital areas within the community, for all planned and existing areas.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Molly Westman (City staff) | mwestman@mankatomn.gov | 507-387-8571
1 star - Action 3:

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

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
The City of Mankato currently maintains more than 900 acres of park and open space areas with varying amenities to serve the City population of 39,309 residents (per 2010 U.S. Census), and 18.06 total square miles within the City.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Molly Westman (City staff) | mwestman@mankatomn.gov | 507-387-8571
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:
A specialized management plan for Rasmussen Woods Nature Area was designed and adopted in 2012 after open houses to solicit comments from interested residents and frequent park users. The management plan emphasizes maintenance of the area as a natural area, with only absolute minimal intervention by City staff, such as using recycled wood chips for trail areas, to help keep the woods area as its original donors had intended as a natural area for the community to enjoy in its natural state.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Molly Westman (City staff) | mwestman@mankatomn.gov | 507-387-8571
1 star - Action 8:

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

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
Mankato promotes and uses volunteers through "Volunteer Corps" program, with "adopt-a-park" option for ongoing park clean-up and maintenance. These are often done in coordination with established Neighborhood Associations.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Molly Westman (City staff) | mwestman@mankatomn.gov | 507-387-8571

Surface Water {BP no.19}

1 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 of Mankato, as part of a multi-jurisdictionaleffort, is hosting a no-cost educational seminar regarding water quality protection requirements for businesses and other interested parties. Topics include storm and wastewater requirements, and spill response procedures. This event will be held on April 17th, 2012 at the Verizon Wireless Civic Center in Mankato. The City of Mankato's efforts in this project were overseen by Rick Baird, City of Mankato Water Quality Specialist, who has also undertaken contacting large businesses in the area to encourage attendance of their staff.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File: view file
City of Fairmont; City of Hutchinson; City of Marshall; City of New Ulm; City of North Mankato; City of Owatonna; City of St. Peter; Blue Earth County; Nicollet County; Minnesota Department of Trasnportation; Minnesota Pollution Control Agency
For more information contact:
Molly Westman (City staff) | mwestman@mankatomn.gov | 507-387-8571
1 star - Action 6:

Implement an existing TMDL implementation plan.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
Mankato pursues a TMDL (total maximum daily load) plan for the lower Minnesota River as part of an overall Stormwater Pollution Prevention Program.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA)
For more information contact:
Rick Baird (City staff) | rbaird@city.mankato.mn.us | 507-387-8543

Efficient Water and Wastewater Systems {BP no.20}

1 star - Action 2:

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

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
Mankato Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP)evaluates “premium efficiency” motors in either major upgrades or unscheduled maintenance and apply for rebates through Xcel Energy.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Molly Westman (City staff) | mwestman@mankatomn.gov | 507-387-8571
2 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:
Mankato requires inflow & infiltration ("I&I") inspections at time of private property transfer. City Public Works staff has regular inspection & maintenance schedule for City sewer and water lines, including televising of lines. Wastewater Treatment Plant staff is urrently working with private engineering firm on establishing radio reading equipment on all municipal flow meters so trending of I/I can be recorded and guidelines and improvements can be established.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Molly Westman (City staff) | mwestman@mankatomn.gov | 507-387-8571
2 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:
Implementation details:
Upgrades the city has been making to Mankato's water treatment plant are designed to conserve energy and minimize costs by drawing more water from surface wells that have high-capacity output with low maintenance.

The city's water reclamation facility continues to provide advanced wastewater treatment, similar to a drinking water plant.

Organic byproducts of the wastewater treatment process are made available to area farmers for use as fertilizer. The City maintains certification with the National Biosolids Partnership for effective and efficient handling of biosolids in this land application program.

A new station was built in 2011 that includes a fill station where trucks can fill their tanks with City reclaimed water from the wastewater treatment lant. City employees use this water for street sweeping, sod establishment, and pipe testing, and the City is also planning to sell this water to those who have purchased drinking water in the past for such purposes.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Mankato's surface water well has reduced the city's use of water from deep wells (tapping the Mount Simon aquifer) by about 50 percent.

Between 1.5 and 2 million gallons of treated wastewater is being used by the Mankato Energy Center for cooling, which saves the city nearly 700 million gallons of water annually and has significantly reduced phosphorous levels.

The City used 1.2 million gallons of reclaimed Title 22 water in 2011 to irrigate the new Riverfront Park.


Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Molly Westman (City staff) | mwestman@mankatomn.gov | 507-387-8571

Sustainable Consumption and Waste {BP no.22}

1 star - Action 5:

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

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
The city of Mankato and a citizen group Mankato Zero Waste (MZW) have partnered on organics food waste recycling. Items (such as--meat, bones, dairy and bakery products, food-soiled paper products, pizza boxes, eggs and paper egg carton) can be dropped of at 2 sites in Mankato during daylight hours and at no charge. Starter kits with bag samples and coupons--are available at city offices. The organics are picked up by Full Circle Organics and composted at a location in Good Thunder. Program is supported by a grant from the MPCA.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Molly Westman (City staff) | mwestman@mankatomn.gov | 507-387-8571

Resilient Economic & Community Development Resilient Economic and Community Development

Benchmarks and Community Engagement {BP no.24}

2 star - Action 2:

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

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
Mankato publishes an annual "State of the City" report that outlines progress on five-year strategic plan initiatives and discusses opportunities, including efforts toward increased community sustainability.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Molly Westman (City staff) | mwestman@mankatomn.gov | 507-387-8571
2 star - Action 3:

Measure and report progress on sustainability indicators including energy use/greenhouse gas emissions, social vitality/social inclusion outcome measures.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
While City staff prepares for GreenStep-specific reporting, the City has been participating for several years in a local initiative known as Envision 2020 which sets similar benchmarks and has an annual reporting element as part of its program
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Molly Westman (City staff) | mwestman@mankatomn.gov | 507-387-8571
1 star - Action 4:

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

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
City staff presented at Minnesota State University, Mankato 1st annual Sustainability Expo on April 5th, 2014, and staffed booth at expo to discuss local sustainability efforts and projects. Staff also presented to Regional Energy Task Force tour in October of 2013, at session at Courtyard Hotel in Mankato.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File: view file
Minnesota State University, Mankato
For more information contact:
Molly Westman (City staff) | mwestman@mankatomn.gov | 507-387-8571

Green Business Development {BP no.25}

1 star - Action 1:

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

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
Mankato offers a commercial rehabilitation program, which includes options for improvements for energy-efficieny. Projects are often in older, historic areas where outdated mechanical equipment in the businesses is common.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Molly Westman (City staff) | mwestman@mankatomn.gov | 507-387-8571
1 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:
The City of Mankato is a partner of the Greater Mankato Growth organization, which provides assistance in connecting businesses with sustainability resources.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
Greater Mankato Growth
2 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:
Mankato currently has several brownfield redevelopment projects underway, all of which are enrolled in an MPCA voluntary cleanup program and are following MPCA best practices. One example is the redevelopment of a portion of South Front Street, whch was formerly the site of a foundry, railroad, drycleaner and auto repair business. Cleanup is currently underway with MPCA oversight through the VIC and Petroleum Brownfields programs. Once cleanup is completed, construction will begin on three new buildings that will include commercial/office and residential, as well as a public parking ramp. Over 200 people will be employed at the site.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Molly Westman (City staff) | mwestman@mankatomn.gov | 507-387-8571

Renewable Energy {BP no.26}

3 star - Action 3:

Promote financing and incentive programs such as PACE for clean energy:

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
City of Mankato is currently coordinating with St. Paul Port Authority in locally implementing and administering PACE program to facilitate HVAC improvements for three large apartment complexes in various locations throughout the City. Program adoption and implementation expected summer 2014.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
St. Paul Port Authority
For more information contact:
Molly Westman (City staff) | mwestman@mankatomn.gov | 507-387-8571

Local Food {BP no.27}

1 star - Action 2:

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

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
Staff has adopted policy that gardens in residential areas have no requirement for setback and there is no maximum lot coverage for garden areas.

Atemporary ordinance amending section 9.61 of the Mankato City Code regarding the keeping and control of animals within the city limits (maintaining a chicken coop and/or chicken run) was adopted on June 14, 2010 with a two year sunset. In July 2012, the ordinance expired.

Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Molly Westman (City staff) | mwestman@mankatomn.gov | 507-387-8571
1 star - Action 3:

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

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
The City is currently working with the Washington Park Neighborhood Association (an older and historic neighborhood within the community) regarding a proposal to utilize a vacant City-owned lot in the neighborhood for purposes of establishing a community garden. The current proposal is for the Neigbhorhood Association to work jointly with a local student group in overseeing and managing the garden, with some City resources assisting in setting up the garden.

The City has worked previously with the School Sisters of Notre Dame in creating informational handouts and checklists for communtiy garden proposals. The School Sisters of Notre Dame own and operate a successful and highly-regarded community garden within the City.

The City accepts proposals for community gardens via the enclosed checklist.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File: view file
For more information contact:
Molly Westman (City staff) | mwestman@mankatomn.gov | 507-387-8571