City Detail

Background Information

City of Mountain Iron
County: St. Louis
Population: 2869
GreenStep City category: B
Full-time equivalent city staff (approx.): 24
Participating township, county, school:

GreenStep Coordinator

Craig Wainio
City Staff
218-748-7570
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.

Best Practice Actions Underway and Completed

Completed actions are denoted by stars.

Total completed actions: 19
1 star actions: 8
2 star actions: 9
3 star actions: 1

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:
Implementation details:
The City has uploaded the last 3= years of data to the B# database and will continue to upload and monitor our energy usage.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Craig Wainio (City staff) | cwainio@ci.mountain-iron.mn.us | 218-748-7570
2 star - Action 2: Make no/low cost indoor lighting and operational changes in city-owned/school buildings to reduce energy costs.
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
Mountain Iron has taken the stance that anytime there is a lighting fixture that needs to be replaced, that only energy efficient LED fixtures will be used. Overtime all fixtures will be replaced.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Craig Wainio (City staff) | cwainio@ci.mountain-iron.mn.us | 218-748-7570
Not rated - 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:
The City has installed photo voltaic solar panels to provide electricity for our City Hall and Community Center. At its peek the array provides about 19 kw of power.
Outcome measures/metrics:
The City has been monitoring energy savings since installation and on average we are saving about $250 to $300 a month
Descriptive File:
IRRRB, Silicon Energy
For more information contact:
Craig Wainio (City staff) | cwainio@ci.mountain-iron.mn.us | 218-748-7570

Efficient Existing Private Buildings {BP no.2}

2 star - Action 6: Provide a financial or other incentive to private parties who add energy/sustainability improvements, meet the SB 2030 energy standard, or renovate using a green building or energy framework.
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
The City of Mountain Iron offers rebates as an incentive to purchase energy star appliances and lighting.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Reduced demand for electricity from customers
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Craig Wainio (City staff) | cwainio@ci.mountain-iron.mn.us | 218-748-7570

Efficient Outdoor Lighting and Signals {BP no.4}

1 star - Action 1: Require energy efficient, Dark-Sky compliant new or replacement outdoor lighting fixtures on city-owned/private buildings and facilities.
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
Our recently adopted Environmentally Preferable Purchasing Policy requires, under Section 2(6) that only LED lighting be used
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File: view file
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:
The City of Mountain Iron only installs dark sky and energy star street lighting throughout its system.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Lower utility costs for street lighting.
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Craig Wainio (City staff) | cwainio@ci.mountain-iron.mn.us | 218-748-7570
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:
The City of Mountain Iron is currently experimenting with the installation of LED lighting for its newest street lighting project.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Craig Wainio (City staff) | cwainio@ci.mountain-iron.mn.us | 218-748-7570

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 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 has in place a Comprehensive Plan and will be working in the fall of 2015 and into 2016 on an update of the plan. We will be inserting a new section into our plan dealing with sustainability goals and practices to guide our future development
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File: view file
IRRRB, ARDC
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:
Section 154.001 of the Mountain Iron City Code states that the it is to insure and facilitate the appropriate location for and use of structures and facilities in accord with the Comprehensive Guide Plan for the city
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Craig Wainio (City staff) | cwainio@ci.mountain-iron.mn.us | 218-748-7570

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:
The City of Mountain Iron has adopted a green streets policy and is implementing aspects of the policy as they present themselves.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Craig Wainio (City staff) | cwainio@ci.mountain-iron.mn.us | 218-748-7570

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 December 7th the City adopted an Environmentally Preferable Purchasing Policy
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File: view file
For more information contact:
Craig Wainio (City staff) | cwainio@ci.mountain-iron.mn.us | 218-748-7570
1 star - Action 4: Require purchase of U.S. EPA WaterSense-certified products.
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
Section II(4) of our Environmentally Preferable Purchasing Policy requires the purchase of WaterSense certified products
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File: view file
For more information contact:
Craig Wainio (City staff) | cwainio@ci.mountain-iron.mn.us | 218-748-7570

Parks and Trails {BP no.18}

1 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 identified two gaps in the trail network being developed by the City in 2014. These gaps were budgeted for and completed in 2014. The first gap was between our South Grove neighborhood and the Merritt Elementary School/Unity neighborhood. The City with the assistance of a grant from MNDNR to construct a trail to bridge the gap. Secondly a gap was identified and sidewalks were constructed between Mud Lake Road and County Road 7. sidewalks existed on both ends and the City installed sidewalks to fill teh gap in 2014.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
MN DNR
For more information contact:
Craig Wainio (City staff) | cwainio@ci.mountain-iron.mn.us | 218-748-7570

Surface Water {BP no.19}

1 star - Action 4: Adopt a shoreland ordinance for all river and lake shoreland areas; reduce flooding and costs through The National Flood Insurance Program's Community Rating System.
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
Shoreland Regulations are contained within the City's Land Use Ordinance
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Craig Wainio (City staff) | cwainio@ci.mountain-iron.mn.us | 218-748-7570

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:
The City has been making significant steps in the efficiency of our Waste Water system. During a recent renovation of our plant, all blower motors replaced with more efficient models as well as variable frequency drives were installed on these motors. The drives reduce energy costs by regulating how the motors start and run times. Also the City has been installing soft starts on our key lift stations, the soft starts decrease the high demand that occurred during startup.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Craig Wainio (City staff) | cwainio@ci.mountain-iron.mn.us | 218-748-7570

Sustainable Consumption and Waste {BP no.22}

2 star - Action 6: Improve recycling services and expand to multi-unit housing and commercial businesses.
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
The City of Mountain Iron provides curbside recycling for all residents and commercial properties within the City. The City also proves an area with recycling contains for recyclables to be dropped off at any time. Our refuse rate structure encourages the use of a smaller refuse container and recycling more materials free of charge properties are able to use the smaller cans and save money.
Outcome measures/metrics:
We monitor the amount of refuse going to the land fill. The less we send to the land fill the more the City saves.
Descriptive File:
St Louis County Environmental Services
For more information contact:
Craig Wainio (City staff) | cwainio@ci.mountain-iron.mn.us | 218-748-7570

Resilient Economic & Community Development Resilient Economic and Community Development

Green Business Development {BP no.25}

2 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:
The City of Mountain Iron has developed a Renewal and Sustainable Energy Park strictly for the clustering and development of green companies that specialize in renewable energy.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Current tenant is a Solar company.
Descriptive File:
IRRRB; DEED; Silicon Energy
For more information contact:
Craig Wainio (City staff) | cwainio@ci.mountain-iron.mn.us | 218-748-7570

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:
The City has entered into a joint powers agreement with the St. Paul Port Authority to implement PACE in our community.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File: view file
St Paul Port Authoity
For more information contact:
Craig Wainio (City staff) | cwainio@ci.mountain-iron.mn.us | 218-748-7570
1 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:
The City has installed solar panels at City Hall, the link provide the monitoring of those panels and energy created.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
Silicon Energy
For more information contact:
Craig Wainio (City staff) | cwainio@ci.mountain-iron.mn.us | 218-748-7570