City Detail

Background Information

City of North Saint Paul
County: Ramsey
Population: 11485
GreenStep City category: B
Full-time equivalent city staff (approx.): 64
Participating township, county, school:

GreenStep Coordinator

Keith Stachowski
City Staff
651-747-2423
City web page relating to sustainability/GreenStep activities:
GreenStep City resolution: Click here to view the file.
GreenStep City status and date: STEP 3 ( )

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: 10
2 star actions: 9
3 star actions: 8

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:
North St. Paul has implemented the B3 Benchmarking Program in 2007 and is continuing to work on updating the database. Staff recently updated missing data from 2011-2015.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Keith Stachowski (City staff) | Keith.Stachowski@northstpaul.org | 651-747-2423
3 star - Action 2: Make no/low cost indoor lighting and operational changes in city-owned/school buildings to reduce energy costs.
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
The City reduced the temperature of City Hall from 9pm - 5am when the building is generally not occupied, the phone system was set on a timer go on entry save mode outside of regular business hours.
the printers were also set to power save mode. Staff were asked to make behavioral changes such as turning off the lights when not occupying a space and asked not to use space heaters.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Lowering the building temperature at night made a substantial change in our Xcel gas bills.

Attached are bills from Xcel.

The February 2016 statement went down from 136.2 to 127.9 therms (-8.3 / -6%) from the previous year.

The December 2015 statement went down from 125.5 to 65 therms ( -60.5 / -48%) from the previous year.

The November 2015 statement went down from 62.2 to 53.2 therms (-9 / -15%)
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Keith Stachowski (City staff) | Keith.Stachowski@northstpaul.org | 651-747-2423

Efficient Existing Private Buildings {BP no.2}

2 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 offers information to residents on energy audits, energy rebates. In 2013 The City has also been working with residents to reduce energy by providing an energy kit which offers a variety of ways to reduce energy. In January 2013 the City also hosted an energy efficiency workshop which reached 65 residents.
Outcome measures/metrics:
65 Residents attended a January energy efficiency workshop.
Descriptive File:

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:
Implementation details:
The North Saint Paul Electric Utility has a purchasing practice that requires LED's be used for all future street lighting and traffic signals.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
3 star - Action 5: Use LED/solar-powered lighting for a flashing sign or in a street, parking lot or park project.
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
In 2012 the City started replacing the City's street lights to LED street lights. As of March 2013 over half of the City's street lights had been switched out. In 2013 the City plans to convert the rest of the City's street lights.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Keith Stachowski (City staff) | Keith.Stachowski@northstpaul.org | 651-747-2423
2 star - Action 7: Replace city-owned parking lot/ramp lighting with Dark-Sky compliant, energy efficient, automatic dimming lighting technologies.
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
Approximately 75% of City-owned parking lot lighting has been replaced with Dark-Sky compliant, energy efficient lighting technologies. When lights burn out they are replaced with Dark-Sky compliant, energy efficient lighting.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Keith Stachowski (City staff) | Keith.Stachowski@northstpaul.org | 651-747-2423
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 the city's existing traffic signals have been replaced with LED's.

The City of North Saint Paul owns one set of traffic signals located at Margaret and 7th Street.

The traffic signal has been replaced with LED's.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Keith Stachowski (City staff) | Keith.Stachowski@northstpaul.org | 651-747-2423

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 of North St. Paul adopted a Comprehensive Plan in February, 2009. Comprehensive Plan is North St. Paul’s official guide for making decisions on land use, transportation and community facilities.

The City also created in 2012 a Master Redevelopment for redeveloping the downtown. The Plan utilizes the City's Comprehensive Plan Vision, the City's Living Streets Vision, other redevelopment infrastructure plans to make a holistic master plan for the downtown district. The plan calls for higher density multifamily housing, mixed used developments, new pocket parks, redevelopment of a variety of parcels. Overall the redevelopment plan looks at obtainable development goals for the next fifteen plus years.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
HKGI
For more information contact:
Keith Stachowski (City staff) | Keith.Stachowski@northstpaul.org | 651-747-2423
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:
North St. Paul Zoning Code lists in it's purpose and intent that development and redevelopment utilize the comprehensive plan as a foundational document. The Zoning Code States: To require development and redevelopment to occur in accordance with the goals, policies and plans established in the comprehensive plan.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Keith Stachowski (City staff) | Keith.Stachowski@northstpaul.org | 651-747-2423

Mixed Uses {BP no.8}

1 star - Action 2: Locate or lease a school, city building or other government facility that has at least two of these attributes:
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
North St. Paul City Hall is located less than one quarter mile from the Gateway Trail. City Hall promotes biking with bike racks for visitors. The location also promotes walking with consistently making sure sidewalks are clear for visitors in the winter. City Hall is located along the Metro Transit 64 Bus Route which services the community.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
Metro Transit
For more information contact:
Keith Stachowski (City staff) | Keith.Stachowski@northstpaul.org | 651-747-2423

Transportation Transportation

Mobility Options {BP no.12}

2 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 has identified all trails, sidewalks and foot paths throughout the City.
+At City Hall and the Community Center transit schedules can be found as well is on the City's website and Facebook page.
+In late 2012 the City purchased bike racks to be placed in key areas throughout the City to promote use of bikes in the community. With the Gateway trail we are working to attract bikers into downtown to bolster economic activity and promote biking as a mode of transportation.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Keith Stachowski (City staff) | Keith.Stachowski@northstpaul.org | 651-747-2423

Environmental Management Environmental Management

Sustainable Purchasing {BP no.15}

1 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:
The following Environmentally Preferable Purchasing policy has been included in the City's Financial Management Plan under purchasing:

Recycled Paper Products and Recycled-Content Products

The City of North Saint Paul will purchase paper products containing the highest post-consumer content practicable, but no less than 30% recycled-content for copy paper, the minimum recycled content standard established by the US EPA Comprehensive Procurement Guidelines. The city shall purchase other products made with recycled material whenever possible and economically feasible.

Energy Saving Products
All appliances and products purchased by the city for which the US EPA Energy Star certification is available will meet Energy Star certification, provided such products are available and financially feasible. Examples include lighting systems, exhaust fans, water heaters, computers, exit signs, refrigerators, dishwashers, and microwave ovens.

Water Saving Products
Water-using products purchased by the city will meet the US EPA’s WaterSense certification standards when such products are available and financially feasible. Examples include toilets, waterless urinals, low-flow faucets and aerators, and upgraded irrigation systems.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Keith Stachowski (City staff) | Keith.Stachowski@northstpaul.org | 651-747-2423
1 star - Action 2: Purchase energy used by city government - via the municipal utility, green tags, community solar garden, 3rd party - with a higher renewable percentage than required by Minnesota law.
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
The City buys renewable energy that is used by the City. The energy comes from a couple of different sources, the City's wind generator located at our utility building and a large wind farm located in southern MN.

The City currently purchases 12% renewably generated power.

Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Keith Stachowski (City staff) | Keith.Stachowski@northstpaul.org | 651-747-2423
1 star - 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:
The City uses certified printing services. The City Current uses Excel Document Management Inc.
for most city printing they are certified by both Minnesota Great Printers and by the Sustainable Green Printing Partnership?
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Keith Stachowski (City staff) | Keith.Stachowski@northstpaul.org | 651-747-2423

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:
The City of North St. Paul has applied for certification as a Tree City USA and will be receiving our confirmation by May 1, 2013.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Keith Stachowski (City staff) | Keith.Stachowski@northstpaul.org | 651-747-2423

Stormwater Management {BP no.17}

1 star - Action 5: Adopt and implement guidelines or design standards/incentives for at least one of the following stormwater infiltration/reuse practices:
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
The City of North St. Paul implemented a rain garden policy and resident guide in October 2012. The rain garden policy outlines the guidelines for installing rain gardens in the city's right of way. The policy provides information to residents who are interested in installing rain gardens the benefits of rain gardens.The policy outlines guidelines as well as provides information on possible cost-share dollars that are provided by the local watershed districts. The policy additionally offers residents a 35% reduction in their storm water fee. To ensure that the rain gardens are functioning properly now and into the future residents have submitted maintenance agreements.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Currently the City has 10 rain gardens in the right of way and 6 properties are participating in the fee reduction.

The City has received multiple calls inquiring about installing rain gardens since the inception of the policy.
Descriptive File: view file
Ramsey Washington Metro Watershed District; Valley Branch Watershed District
For more information contact:
Keith Stachowski (City staff) | Keith.Stachowski@northstpaul.org | 651-747-2423

Parks and Trails {BP no.18}

3 star - Action 3: Achieve minimum levels of city green space and maximize the percent within a ten-minute walk of community members.
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
-There is 157.8 acres of park land in North Saint Paul. The current population is 11,460. There is 13.77 acres of park land per 1,000 residents in the City.
-100% of all residents live with one-half mile of a park or protected green space.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
3 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:
-The city coordinates several annual volunteer trash clean up and Buckthorn removal work days of open spaces throughout the year.
-The Parks and Recreation Commission also recently adopted a new adopt a park program designed to involve Local Businesses' and Residents in ongoing clean up efforts of City Parks and open space.
-The City of North Saint Paul formed the Southwood Park Nature Taskforce, a volunteer group focused on restoration of natural areas. The City paid for volunteers in the group to obtain their Master Naturalist Certification in exchange for Volunteering in the Park system and educating the public on removal of exotics and restoration of natural areas.
-The City Funds and coordinates an annual city-wide earth day clean-up and restoration event. Residents, Commissioners, staff, City Council, students from the local school district, JROTC, and Scout Troops participate in the annual event. Parks and Recreation Commission Members from each City Neighborhood lead volunteers to assist with the City-wide clean-up. A large volunteer appreciation lunch is provided at the local high school for volunteers.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Keith Stachowski (City staff) | Keith.Stachowski@northstpaul.org | 651-747-2423

Sustainable Consumption and Waste {BP no.22}

3 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 adopted a revised ordinance on 8/18/2015 which mandates collection of recyclables from multi-unit residential buildings and requires garbage haulers to the report city recycling rate.
-The City has organized garbage and recycling collection for all residential properties which provides our residents with cost trash/ recycling collection savings and decreased truck traffic. The trucks used in our community use compressed natural gas.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Keith Stachowski (City staff) | Keith.Stachowski@northstpaul.org | 651-747-2423

Resilient Economic & Community Development Resilient Economic and Community Development

Benchmarks and Community Engagement {BP no.24}

2 star - Action 1: Use a city commission, or committee to lead, coordinate, and report to and engage community members on implementation of sustainability best practices.
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
The City of North St. Paul's Environmental Advisory Commission provides guidance for City's participation in the Minnesota Green Step Cities. The City has published newsletter articles on the process and the City Council has announced it's participation on air during City Council meetings.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
Enivronmental Advisory Commission
For more information contact:
Keith Stachowski (City staff) | Keith.Stachowski@northstpaul.org | 651-747-2423
1 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:
The North Saint Paul City Council formed the Environmental Advisory Commission which meets on a monthly basis. The Environmental Advisory Commission is responsible for advising the council on decisions impacting the ecological health of the City. Working to advance the City’s environmental stewardship, the commission promotes awareness of environmental issues through community outreach and education. The commission serves as the Tree Board for the Tree City USA program and supports the City’s Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP). The Commission develops annual goals and reports on their progress to City Council.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Annually the Environmental Advisory Commission develops goals for the coming year and reports accomplishments to City Council and the Public at a City Council meeting. Attached is the PowerPoint Presentation that was presented (and televised) this year.
Descriptive File: view file
For more information contact:
Keith Stachowski (City staff) | Keith.Stachowski@northstpaul.org | 651-747-2423

Green Business Development {BP no.25}

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:
North St. Paul promotes assistance to businesses on energy audits and energy assistance. The City's website has this information listed. Additionally the City had reached out in person to businesses to conduct energy audits for free in partnership with the Energy Smart Program. The City's Business Newsletter that is provided to business owners additionally promotes these programs.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Keith Stachowski (City staff) | Keith.Stachowski@northstpaul.org | 651-747-2423
2 star - 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's works to promote local businesses and shopping local businesses. The City promotes the 3/50 campaign on the city's webpage. The City has a complete listing of the City's locally owned businesses on the City's website. The City works with the North St. Paul Business association to promote a shop local event called Merry Little Shindig in December of each year. The City supports these efforts by advertising and speaking about the event in council/commission meetings.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Keith Stachowski (City staff) | Keith.Stachowski@northstpaul.org | 651-747-2423

Renewable Energy {BP no.26}

2 star - Action 1: Adopt wind energy and/or biomass ordinances that allow, enable, or encourage appropriate renewable energy installations.
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
On 11/16/2010 North Saint Paul City Council adopted an ALTERNATIVE ENERGY SYSTEMS ordinance that encourages appropriate renewable energy installations.

The purpose of the ordinance is to:


It is the goal of the City Council, as expressed in the Comprehensive Plan, to provide a sustainable quality of life for the city’s residents, making careful and effective use of available natural, human and economic resources and ensuring that resources exist to maintain and enhance the quality of life for future residents. In accordance with that goal, the city finds that it is in the public interest to encourage alternative energy systems that have a positive impact on energy production and conservation while not having an adverse impact on the community. Therefore, the purposes of this chapter include:


(A) To promote rather than restrict development of alternative energy sources by removing regulatory barriers and creating a clear regulatory path for approving alternative energy systems.


(B) To create a livable community where development incorporates sustainable design elements such as resource and energy conservation and use of renewable energy.


(C) To protect and enhance air quality, limit the effects of climate change and decrease use of fossil fuels.


(D) To encourage alternative energy development in locations where the technology is viable and environmental, economic and social impacts can be mitigated.


(E) To encourage development by establishing reasonable requirements for performance, safety, design and aesthetics of alternative energy systems.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
2 star - Action 2: Promote resident/business purchases and/or generation of clean energy by:
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
- North St. Paul Electric Utility offers rebates to residential customers who install qualifying ENERGY STAR® appliances including quality installed central air-conditioners and air-source heat pumps, dehumidifiers, dishwashers, refrigerators, freezers, clothes washers, CFL bulbs, and LED bulbs and fixtures. Rebates are also available when you recycle your refrigerator or freezer, tune-up your central air conditioner, or get a home energy audit. Applications are available online or may be picked up at the City Office.
- North St. Paul Electric Utility offers rebates to business customers who install energy efficient lighting, variable speed drives, and vending machine controllers. Applications are available online or may be picked up at the City Office.
- North St. Paul Electric Utility offers Green Power Choice which is a voluntary program offered to MMPA (Minnesota Municipal Power Agency) customers. The program currently offers Hydropower and Wind Power purchased from the Minnesota Municipal Power Agency. Currently 100 households participate in the program and they purchased 339,600 kwh in a 12 month period.

-The City Promotes programs on the city website and is included in the City Newsletter. Programs are also promoted at City events such as the plant sale, Friday night car shows and other recreational events.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
Minnesota Municipal Power Agency
For more information contact:
Keith Stachowski (City staff) | Keith.Stachowski@northstpaul.org | 651-747-2423
3 star - Action 5: Install a public sector/municipally-owned renewable energy technology, such as solar electric (PV), wind, biomass, solar hot water/air, or micro-hydro.
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
The City installed a Wind generator at the Public Works Facility. North St. Paul is one of 11 Minnesota cities to have a wind turbine to create clean, renewable electricity under the “Hometown WindPower” program.
Outcome measures/metrics:
The Hometown WindPower turbine has a capacity of 160 kilowatts.
Descriptive File:
MMPA
For more information contact:
Keith Stachowski (City staff) | Keith.Stachowski@northstpaul.org | 651-747-2423

Climate Adaptation and Community Resilience {BP no.29}

1 star - Action 1: Prepare to maintain public health and safety during extreme weather and climate-change-related events, while also taking a preventive approach to reduce risk for community members.
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
The City of North Saint Paul has adopted the July 2012 Ramsey County Multi-jurisdictional Hazard Mitigation Plan. Fire Chief Scott Duddeck is responsible for City preparedness. Chief Duddeck attends monthly meetings with personnel from all county jurisdictions to discuss emergency management, review the Hazard Mitigation Plan and prepare for potential extreme weather emergencies. The steering committee updates the Ramsey County Multi-jurisdictional Hazard Mitigation Plan as needed. The City also integrated the Hazard Mitigation Plan into the City's Continuity of Operations Plan. The Plan helps to ensure that the City will be able to continue to operate in the event of a weather emergency.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Adoption of Ramsey County's Multi-jurisdictional Hazard Mitigation Plan, City attends monthly meeting with jurisdictions throughout the county to prepare for extreme weather emergencies and update the plan as needed.

City Staff integrated the Hazard Mitigation Plan into the City's Continuity of Operations Plan, to ensure that in the event of an extreme weather emergency the City will be able to continue operate. The plan involves all City Departments; electric, police, fire, finance and administration.
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Keith Stachowski (City staff) | Keith.Stachowski@northstpaul.org | 651-747-2423