City Detail

Background Information

City of Nisswa
County: Crow Wing
Population: 1971
GreenStep City category: B
Full-time equivalent city staff (approx.): 25
Participating township, county, school:

GreenStep Coordinator

Brittney Cotner
City Staff
218-963-2402
City web page relating to sustainability/GreenStep activities:
GreenStep City resolution: Click here to view the file.
GreenStep City status and date: STEP 1 ( )

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: 13
2 star actions: 2

Buildings and Lighting Buildings and Lighting

Efficient Existing Public Buildings {BP no.1}

Pending - 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:
We have started implementing the instillation of LED lights in all city buildings. We are 3/4 of the way to completion and hope to be 100% completed by the end of 2020.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Brittney Cotner (City Staff) | zoningadmin@ci.nisswa.mn.us | 2189632402

Efficient Outdoor Lighting and Signals {BP no.4}

Pending - 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:
All of our city buildings have switched our outside lighting to energy efficient, dark sky compliant lighting fixtures. This has been in the works for awhile but we are 100% changed over. We will continue to use these lights to keep our energy usage down and avoid light pollution.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Brittney Cotner (City Staff) | zoningadmin@ci.nisswa.mn.us | 2189632402
Pending - Action 3:

Replace the city's existing street lighting with Dark Sky-compliant LEDs, modifying any city franchise/utility agreement and adding smart grid attributes.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
We have switched all of our street lighting to dark sky compliant LEDs. The goal of this transition was to lower our energy usage and light pollution.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Brittney Cotner (City Staff) | zoningadmin@ci.nisswa.mn.us | 2189632402

Building Redevelopment {BP no.5}

Pending - Action 3:

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

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
The Elementary School in Nisswa is currently undergoing an expansion. This expansion of the building has not resulted in increased parking. The school already has the local library in the building as well using the space in a more beneficial way. This allows the school and the public to have access to a library in one location instead of having two smaller libraries in town.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Brittney Cotner (City Staff) | zoningadmin@ci.nisswa.mn.us | 2189632402

Land Use Land Use

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

Pending - 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:
We approved and have started implementing the new comprehensive plan. In this plan a large emphasis has been put on trails, accessibility, lake quality, and smart growth to protect or natural resources.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Brittney Cotner (City Staff) | zoningadmin@ci.nisswa.mn.us | 2189632402
Pending - 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:
Our Zoning Ordinance references the comprehensive plan 20 times. We also reference the comprehensive plan in most of our decision making in our Planning and Zoning Commission meetings as this is the document that tells us what we want the City of Nisswa to look like in 20 years. We work very closely with this document updating it as needed.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File: view file
For more information contact:
Brittney Cotner (City Staff) | zoningadmin@ci.nisswa.mn.us | 2189632402

Design for Natural Resource Conservation {BP no.10}

Pending - Action 6:

Conserve natural, cultural, historic resources by adopting or amending city codes and ordinances to support sustainable sites, including roadsides, and environmentally protective land use development.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
We have zoned lots 28260674, 28260675, 28260544, 28260573, 28260572, 28260557 as public recreational. This has been the zoning for several years with the hope of making a park on the land that would preserve the natural beauty for the park goes to enjoy. This land ultimately went up for auction as tax forfeited. With the partnership of the neighbors and the city we are on our way to turning this existing long range plan into an obtainable reality. The land was pulled off of the market to start negotiations between the city and the county. We are in the final stages now of presenting our proposal for a park of natural trails, leaving the trees and nature mostly untouched, to the county. In the winter this will double as a snow shoe trail making it a usable park year round. Pending the county's approval we will be on our way to having a 40 acre park filled with nature and trails for people to enjoy for years to come.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
Crow Wing County and the neighbors of Camp Lincoln Road
For more information contact:
Brittney Cotner (City Staff) | zoningadmin@ci.nisswa.mn.us | 2189632402

Environmental Management Environmental Management

Sustainable Purchasing {BP no.15}

Pending - Action 6:

Require printing services to be purchased from companies certified by Minnesota Great Printers or by the Sustainable Green Printing Partnership.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
All of the printing paper purchased by the city of Nisswa is from Sustainable Green Print certified companies. This has been our practice for several years and we intend to continue in this manor.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Brittney Cotner (City Staff) | zoningadmin@ci.nisswa.mn.us | 2189632402

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:
Purchase 4 acre Shoreland Area on Lake Nisswa for park development. Developed a pocket park and pedestrian underpass of Highway 371 to connect Lake Nisswa Park to City Main Street Pedestrian Corridor,
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Brittney Cotner (City Staff) | zoningadmin@ci.nisswa.mn.us | 2189632402
Pending - 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:
We are currently working with the county to construct walking trails along highway 77. This will connect residents and Grandview Resort to one of our business districts. Encouraging walking to the grocery store, bank, etc. over driving.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Brittney Cotner (City Staff) | zoningadmin@ci.nisswa.mn.us | 2189632402

Surface Water {BP no.19}

2 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:
Adoption of Shore Impact Zone Grading and Drainage Standards to protect lake and river water quality.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File: view file
For more information contact:
Desmond McGeough (City staff) | dmcgeough@ci.nisswa.mn.us | 218-963-2402

Resilient Economic & Community Development Resilient Economic and Community Development

Green Business Development {BP no.25}

Pending - Action 7:

Conduct or participate in a buy local campaign for community members and local businesses.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
The City of Nisswa takes part in the Lakes Proud local shopping campaign with Pequot Lakes, Cuyuna Lakes, Cross Lake, and Brainerd Lakes. This started in 2013 as a concept brought up between business owners. With help from the Small Business Development Center at St. Cloud State University and Central Lakes College conducting studies on feasibility in 2015 the event launched with the goals of encouraging people to shop local and sharing why shopping local is so beneficial to the communities. Since then the participation has grown so much that is is now a 5 community event with a 16 person committee.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Brittney Cotner (City Staff) | zoningadmin@ci.nisswa.mn.us | 2189632402

Climate Adaptation and Community Resilience {BP no.29}

Pending - Action 1:

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

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
The City of Nisswa is part of the Crow Wing County Hazard Mitigation Plan that they monitor and update on a regular basis. The plan outlines natural disasters such as Tornadoes, Floods, Fire, Hail, and the like. It also aims to educate on a number of topics such as climate change, water quality, and how to handle extreme weather (hot and cold). Crow Wing County provides a system to inform citizens of potential hazards and emergencies through either text, email, or phone call. Everyone if encouraged to sign up for this alert system at no charge. The city of Nisswa also has an Emergency Management Director, Craig Taylor. The city of Nisswa is currently looking into modifying their own Emergency Plan.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
Crown Wing County
For more information contact:
Brittney Cotner (City Staff) | zoningadmin@ci.nisswa.mn.us | 2189632402