City Detail

Background Information

City of Pierz
County: Morrison
Population: 1393
GreenStep City category: B
Full-time equivalent city staff (approx.): 7
Participating township, county, school:

GreenStep Coordinator

Kari Tyson
City Staff
320-468-6471
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: 29
1 star actions: 18
2 star actions: 8
3 star actions: 3

Buildings and Lighting Buildings and Lighting

Efficient Existing Public Buildings {BP no.1}

3 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:
Data has been entered from 2010 to present, and Pierz has received a 4-star rating for City Hall and a 5-star rating for the Fire Hall based on the benchmarks. Deputy Clerk Kari Tyson will continue to enter data once a month.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Kari Tyson (City staff) | karit@pierzmn.org | 320-468-6471
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 installed a new HVAC system that is much more energy efficient.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Kari Tyson (City staff) | karit@pierzmn.org | 320-468-6471

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:
We distributed this brochure to over 600 residences in the City. We also published it on our website and our facebook page.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File: view file
CERTS
For more information contact:
Kari Tyson (City staff) | karit@pierzmn.org | 320-468-6471
1 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 Pierz has done away with the rebates due to high expenses that created a burden to our customers. Instead we give a credit on the customers utility bill for those who register for paperless billing.
Outcome measures/metrics:
This reduces the cost of the bill, and also the cost that the City has for printing and mailing bills, essentially reducing the expenses that the residents incur.
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Kari Tyson (City staff) | karit@pierzmn.org | 320-468-6471

Land Use Land Use

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

2 star - Action 1:

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

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
Pierz has a comprehensive plan which was updated and adopted in 2017. There is also a comprehensive/land use plan for Morrison County.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File: view file
For more information contact:
Kari Tyson (City staff) | karit@pierzmn.org | 320-468-6471
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:
2015-2017 The City of Pierz worked on updating their zoning ordinance, as well as their land use zoning map.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File: view file
1 star - Action 3:

Include requirements in comprehensive and/or other plans for intergovernmental coordination addressing regional land use and watershed / wellhead impacts, infrastructure, transportation, economic development and city/regional services.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
We partner with Rich Prairie Sewer and Water District to supply the City's water and sewer. They have a wellhead protection plan in place to help protect the public water sources.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
Rich Prairie Sewer and Water District
For more information contact:
Kari Tyson (City staff) | karit@pierzmn.org | 320-468-6471

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

1 star - Action 4:

Allow auto-oriented commercial districts at the sub-urban edge and/or in tightly defined and smaller urban development corridors/nodes that have some bike/walk/transit access.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
Pierz has updated the zoning map for both a Community Commercial district and Highway Commercial district. The purpose of the Community Commercial district states: It is the intent of this district to provide for the establishment of commercial and service activities, which draw from, and serve customers from the community and its surrounding areas. And the purpose of the Highway Commercial district states: It is the intent of this district to provide for and limit the establishment of automobile oriented or dependent commercial and service activities. Both have permitted uses and potential conditional uses that are specific to those districts.
Outcome measures/metrics:
This has helped ensure that Pierz has separate districts that have the proper infrastructure for the desired businesses and that people who frequent those businesses are able to easily access all common businesses within those districts.
Descriptive File: view file
For more information contact:
Kari Tyson (City staff) | karit@pierzmn.org | 320-468-6471

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:
In 2017, the City of Pierz applied for a grant to purchase a number of bike racks to be set around town. By doing so, the City hoped that the residents would reduce their driving in town and bike more.
Outcome measures/metrics:
The City received the grant, and purchased 6 bike racks, which contributed to an increased number of residents biking around town.
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Kari Tyson (City staff) | karit@pierzmn.org | 320-468-6471
1 star - Action 2:

Conduct an Active Living campaign such as a Safe Routes to School program.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
Pierz received a grant to construct approximately 4,200 lineal feet of sidewalks and make safety
improvements: pavement markings, pedestrian refuge, and dynamic speed display system.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Pierz is more accessible for those who want to walk or bike around the city, and for students to walk or bike to school rather than take the school bus.
Descriptive File:
Minnesota Department of Transportation
For more information contact:
Kari Tyson (City staff) | karit@pierzmn.org | 320-468-6471

Environmental Management Environmental Management

Sustainable Purchasing {BP no.15}

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 of Pierz currently purchases its electricity from Minnesota Power who generates 20% of their power from renewable sources. Primary sources include wind, hydro and, some biomass, with plans to grow its presence in the renewable sector in the future and be 44% renewable by 2025
Outcome measures/metrics:
Carbon emissions from electric use are diminished by 20%, and continue to grow.
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Kari Tyson (City staff) | karit@pierzmn.org | 320-468-6471
1 star - Action 7:

Lower the environmental footprint of meetings and events in the city.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
The City Council decided in August 2014 to purchase tablets to be used by council members and department heads during city council meetings.In 2019 we upgraded the tablets, allowing council members the ability to work off their tablets even more further reducing the need for paper.
Outcome measures/metrics:
The city had been printing out council packets, which were typically 10-30 pages each. The council packets were distributed to the mayor, 4 council members, treasurer, city administrator, police chief, public works director, parks superintendent, and the police chief. So by purchasing the tablets, the city is saving around 100-300 sheets of paper biweekly.
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Kari Tyson (City staff) | karit@pierzmn.org | 320-468-6471

Stormwater Management {BP no.17}

2 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 Pierz has implemented a Stormwater Utility. We collect fees from property owners in town to help maintain the stormwater removal system. Commercial rates are set by the amount of impervious area on the property.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Kari Tyson (City staff) | karit@pierzmn.org | 320-468-6471

Parks and Trails {BP no.18}

3 star - Action 1:

Make improvements within your city's system of parks, offroad trails and open spaces.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
We are implementing a trail system to loop around the City of Pierz in different segments to connect in two different places to the Soo Line Trail that runs just south of town. The purpose of the project is to be able to connect the trail to businesses in town and be able to provide residents a safe loop to run, walk, bike, etc on. We currently have received funding for segment 2, which will be implemented in 2020-2021. We are currently working on funding for segment 1, and in conversation with the public school for segment 3.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File: view file
For more information contact:
Kari Tyson (City staff) | karit@pierzmn.org | 320-468-6471
2 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 Pierz includes 9.409 acres of park space for our residents. This does not include the municipal golf course or the new city property that was purchased for additional park space. If you include the additional land and the golf course into the calculations the City of Pierz currently has 150 acres of park space for the residents.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Kari Tyson (City staff) | karit@pierzmn.org | 320-468-6471

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:
We partner with Rich Prairie Sewer and Water for our City Sewer and Water. They budget and plan for maintenance upgrades for future projects, as well as saving for equipment in case of unexpected failures.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
Rich Prairie Sewer and Water District
For more information contact:
Kari Tyson (City staff) | karit@pierzmn.org | 320-468-6471
1 star - Action 4:

Optimize energy and chemicals use at drinking water / wastewater facilities and decrease chloride in wastewater discharges.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
We partner with Rich Prairie Sewer and Water for our City Sewer and Water. They test and monitor water and chemicals regularly to make sure that they are providing clean and healthy drinking water. They also have a generator in case of power failure that allows them to continue to operate.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
Rich Prairie Sewer and Water District
For more information contact:
Kari Tyson (City staff) | karit@pierzmn.org | 320-468-6471
2 star - Action 7:

Create a demand-side pricing program to reduce demands on water and wastewater systems.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
We partner with Rich Prairie Sewer and Water for our City Sewer and Water. As of April 1st, they implemented a new rate structure that charges residents actual water and sewer usage instead of a blanket usage. This will hopefully reduce the amount of water that consumers use as they become more aware of their usage and costs.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
Rich Prairie Sewer and Water District
For more information contact:
Kari Tyson (City staff) | karit@pierzmn.org | 320-468-6471

Septic Systems {BP no.21}

1 star - Action 6:

Work with homeowners and businesses in environmentally sensitive areas and areas where standard septic systems are not the least-cost option to promote innovative waste water systems, including central sewer extensions.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
We partner with Rich Prairie Sewer and Water for our City Sewer and Water. They have extended their central lines to help every resident in Pierz have a shared water and sewer system for access to clean drinking water and sanitary sewer disposal.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
Rich Prairie Sewer and Water District
For more information contact:
Kari Tyson (City staff) | karit@pierzmn.org | 320-468-6471
1 star - Action 7:

Arrange for assistance to commercial, retail and industrial businesses with water use reduction, pollution prevention and pretreatment prior to discharge to septics.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
We partner with Rich Prairie Sewer and Water for our City Sewer and Water. They have plans in place to require pretreatment of discharged septics for industrial and commercial businesses.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
Rich Prairie Sewer and Water District
For more information contact:
Kari Tyson (City staff) | karit@pierzmn.org | 320-468-6471

Sustainable Consumption and Waste {BP no.22}

1 star - Action 3:

Improve profitability, legal compliance and conserve resources through adoption of ordinance language, licensing and resource management contracts.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
The City of Pierz has designated one solid waste hauler for the City. They remove residents solid waste and take it to our designated waste processing facility in Morrison County. We have created a solid waste ordinance to control how solid waste is disposed of. We have a signed contract with our designated hauler.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Kari Tyson (City staff) | karit@pierzmn.org | 320-468-6471
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 Pierz has not only designated a hauler for solid waste in our community, we have two different designated areas in our community for disposal of organic materials. We have implemented with assistance from Morrison County, a compost pile for leaves, grass clippings, mulch, etc. The City of Pierz also has a designated brush pile for those residents wishes to dispose of branches, tree debris, etc.
Outcome measures/metrics:
The compost pile is used by residents who choose to add compost to their lawns and gardens to use as a natural fertilizer. The brush pile is used by animals as homes and a food source. This decomposes and creates natural material for the ground nutrients.
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Kari Tyson (City staff) | karit@pierzmn.org | 320-468-6471

Resilient Economic & Community Development Resilient Economic and Community Development

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:
We have recently partnered with CERTS to allow businesses to have a way to complete energy audits. We used to do this with Energy Insight, but due to costs we had to end that program.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
CERTS
For more information contact:
Kari Tyson (City staff) | karit@pierzmn.org | 320-468-6471
3 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 Pierz Area Commercial Club did a Shop Local campaign in November of 2018. Our outgoing Mayor and our incoming Mayor both gave support and a statement about what shopping local does for our community. The City if also part of the local Area Commercial club which has developed "Pierz Bucks" which can be used as currency at businesses in Pierz. We also have a list of the area businesses on our City Website.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
Pierz Area Commercial Club
For more information contact:
Kari Tyson (City staff) | karit@pierzmn.org | 320-468-6471

Local Food {BP no.27}

2 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:
The City of Pierz has partnered with a local business and has been utilizing some of their vacant property to host a community garden area. We have 22 25'x25' garden plots available for resident use, and 22 25'x25' garden plots that the school uses for the local FFA class.
Outcome measures/metrics:
The gardens have been successful at allowing the community to have a space to grow local produce. The school has considered it a great success for their students.
Descriptive File:
Pierz FFA and Horizon Health
For more information contact:
Kari Tyson (City staff) | karit@pierzmn.org | 320-468-6471
2 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 of Pierz organizes and manages a farmers market that runs May-October of each year. This allows residents and area citizens to provide and or purchase not only local food, but local homemade goods.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Kari Tyson (City staff) | karit@pierzmn.org | 320-468-6471

Business Synergies and EcoDistricts {BP no.28}

1 star - Action 2:

Document that at least one business/building uses waste heat or water discharge from another business.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
A local business in town, Rich Prairie Custom Woods, uses byproduct from Smude Oil as fuel to heat their building.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
Smude Oil and Rich Prairie Custom Woods
For more information contact:
Kari Tyson (City staff) | karit@pierzmn.org | 320-468-6471

Climate Adaptation and Community Resilience {BP no.29}

2 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 Pierz adopted the Morrison County Mitigation Hazard Plan in 2017, that plan gets reviewed with the County.
In 2018, the City created a committee for Disaster Planning & Preparedness. Includes emergency management officials (Fire Chief, Police Chief) and City Administration, as well as local community members. The City has designated facilities to use in the event of a disaster as command posts, media centers, and community gathering places.
Outcome measures/metrics:
In 2019, the Disaster Planning & Preparedness committee worked with Initiative Foundation to established a Disaster Relief Fund, to start putting money aside for disasters.
Descriptive File:
Initiative Foundation and Morrison County
For more information contact:
Kari Tyson (City staff) | karit@pierzmn.org | 320-468-6471
1 star - Action 7:

Protect water supply and wastewater treatment facilities to reduce physical damage and sustain their function during extreme weather events.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
We partner with Rich Prairie Sewer and Water for our City Sewer and Water. They have alarms for different areas and alerts. Alarms go off for pumps not working, high/low water levels, and other risk factors that could damage the equipment.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
Rich Prairie Sewer and Water District
For more information contact:
Kari Tyson (City staff) | karit@pierzmn.org | 320-468-6471