City Detail

Background Information

City of Savage
County: Scott
Population: 32,000
GreenStep City category: B
Full-time equivalent city staff (approx.): 145
Participating township, county, school:

GreenStep Coordinator

Casey Casella
City Staff
952-882-2668
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
1 star actions: 7
2 star actions: 3
3 star actions: 3

Buildings and Lighting Buildings and Lighting

Efficient Existing Public Buildings {BP no.1}

2 star - Action 1:

Enter/update building information into the MN B3 Benchmarking database, and routinely enter monthly usage data for all city-owned buildings/infrastructure that consume energy/water.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed: 2008
Implementation details:
Savage began reentering electricity, gas, and water consumption into the MN B3 Benchmarking website in summer of 2020 for city-owned buildings. The City had previously entered data from 2008-2014. Staff from the building services division enters the data regularly.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Once a new 2020 baseline year is established, we will monitor trends and use the data to prioritize building efficiency projects.
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Jay Scherer (City Staff) | jscherer@cityofsavage.com | 9528822652
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:
Year action initially completed: 2018
Implementation details:
The City continues to switch from standard fluorescent lights to more efficient LED. Examples of low cost projects include the Fire Department replaced apparatus bay and exterior lights with LED that reduced use at Station 1 in 2019, and Building Services replaced Savage Sports Dome lights with LED lights in 2020, City Hall interior LED lights, Marketplace liquor beer cooler LED lights, and Library LED lights.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Investing in energy efficient projects accumulates annual savings on energy for the City. LED lights are more efficient and LED investment has rebate options. For example, in the Sports Dome LED project, the total project cost was $143,594.74. The City qualified for a Center for Energy and Environment (CEE) rebate of $84,694.16. This brought the project cost down to $58,900.57. Switching to LED lights is projected to save the City $29,651.76 per year. This means the total project cost of $58,900.57 is only a 2 year payback.
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Jay Scherer (City Staff) | jscherer@cityofsavage.com | 9528822652
3 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:
Year action initially completed: 2010
Implementation details:
The McColl Pond Environmental Learning Center (ELC) was designed through a naturally resourceful approach that kept sustainability at the forefront, but didn't sacrifice visual appeal or functionality. Powered by solar energy and geothermal systems for temperature regulations, the ELC offers comfort without adversely impacting the environment. Walls are made from wheat products, counter tops from recycled plastic, and cabinets from sunflower seeds. A vegetated rooftop collects and filters storm water. The ELC is LEED Certified gold.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Jon Allen (City Staff) | jallen@cityofsavage.com | 9522243441
3 star - Action 6:

Improve the operations & maintenance of city-owned/school buildings and leased buildings by using a customized online energy efficiency tool, asset management tool, green building framework or green lease.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed: 2020
Implementation details:
Upgraded the Building Automation System (BAS) at McColl Pond Environmental Learning Center - LEED Gold Certified. Installed new BAS at City Hall/Police Facility, and the Fire Station #1.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File: view file
For more information contact:
Jay Scherer (City Staff) | jscherer@cityofsavage.com | 9528822652
1 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:
Year action initially completed: 2008
Implementation details:
City of Savage constructed the McColl Pond Environmental Learning Center (ELC). A closed loop geothermal system was designed and implemented during construction.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Jon Allen (City Staff) | jallen@cityofsavage.com | 9522243441

Efficient Existing Private Buildings {BP no.2}

2 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:
Year action initially completed: 2020
Implementation details:
In 2020, Savage participated in a smart irrigation controller rebate for residents. Thanks to a grant awarded to the City of Savage by the Metropolitan Council and local matching funds, 50 Savage residents received a credit on their water bill for purchasing and installing an irrigation controller that reduces water usage. The credit covered 90% of the cost of the smart irrigation controller, up to $200. (For instance, if the irrigation controller costs $200, the credit would be $180).

A in-lawn irrigation system could be wasting water and money. Most sprinklers run on a timer, but they don’t take into account if the lawn “needs” watering. Irrigation systems can run too long or too often – leading to over-watering. This can be a drain on your water bill, a waste of water, and create shallow root systems that are bad for your lawn. Smart irrigation controllers – which can be purchased at most home improvement stores – act like a thermostat for your sprinkler system. They use local weather reports and forecasts to determine how much it has rained in recent days and how much it’s expected to rain in the near future. Using this information, the controller can then turn on and off automatically when it will be most effective for the lawn.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
The programs reached full capacity very quickly! As of April 2020, there have been over 50 rebates given out. We are hopeful additional grant funding will become available in the future.
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Jesse Carlson (City Staff) | jcarlson@cityofsavage.com | 9528822686

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:
Year action initially completed: 2016
Implementation details:
In 2020 the City is replacing the small amount of City owned street lights with LED (most street lights are County owned). This is not in a written policy, but rather something the Assistant Public Works Director connected with Choice Electric about four years ago.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Trent Jutting (City Staff) | tjutting@cityofsavage.com | 9522243404
2 star - Action 6:

Relamp/improve exterior building lighting for city-owned buildings/facilities with energy efficient, Dark-Sky compliant lighting.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed: 2017
Implementation details:
The Building Services Division was request by City Administrator to install energy efficient outdoor lighting starting in 2017. To date there have been many upgrade projects, including:
2017: City Hall/Police parking lot
2018: Library and Post Office, ELC
2019: Depot
2020: Fire Stations 1 & 2
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Upgrades improve lumen output (light capabilities) and reduce annual operating costs. Total annual energy savings is approximately $14,400 per year.
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Jay Scherer (City Staff) | jscherer@cityofsavage.com | 9528822652

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:
Year action initially completed: 2017
Implementation details:
The City currently operates on the 2030 Comprehensive Plan. The City has been working on updating the 2040 Comprehensive Plan for the last three years. City Council conditionally approved the draft plan on February 3, 2020 and will adopt the final comprehensive plan following review and approval by the Metropolitan Council.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Bryan Tucker (City Staff) | btucker@cityofsavage.com | 9528822692

Transportation Transportation

Living & Complete 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:
Year action initially completed: In Progress
Implementation details:
Comp 2040 plans mentions following complete streets policy. Pg. 42
Will be approved by Council in Aug (6 month Met Council review)
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Casey Casella (City Staff) | ccasella@cityofsavage.com | 952-882-2668
1 star - Action 4:

Identify, prioritize and remedy complete streets gaps and lack of connectivity/safety within your road network by, for example, adding a bike route/lane, truck route, sidewalk or mid-block alley.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed: 2018
Implementation details:
2018 approved Pedestrian and Bicycle Master Plan.
Specific example: completed sidewalk connection on McColl Dr to Burnsville
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Casey Casella (City Staff) | ccasella@cityofsavage.com | 952-882-2668
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:
Year action initially completed: 2018
Implementation details:
Example: Completed trail connection from Providence subdivision to Community Park
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Casey Casella (City Staff) | ccasella@cityofsavage.com | 952-882-2668

Environmental Management Environmental Management

Sustainable Purchasing {BP no.15}

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:
Year action initially completed: 2020
Implementation details:
The City purchased electronic plan review software to eliminate paper copies of building and land use plans. Estimated go live date is April 2021.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
It is estimated the City will save hundreds of pages of paper plans by switching to electronic plan review. This is particularly significant for residents and developers that used to pay for paper copies of plans. Staff also plans to measure efficiency of the new electronic system by lower the permit turn around time.
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Casey Casella (City Staff) | ccasella@cityofsavage.com | 952-882-2668