City Detail

Background Information

City of Scandia
County: Washington
Population: 4090
GreenStep City category: B
Full-time equivalent city staff (approx.): 11
Participating township, county, school:

GreenStep Coordinator

Brenda Ecklund
City Staff
651-433-2274
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: 29
1 star actions: 12
2 star actions: 14
3 star actions: 3

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:
Entered last 24 months of electric and gas usage for Scandia Community Center and Fire Hall/Public Works Building. City Administrator will continue to update going forward.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
Xcel Energy
For more information contact:
Neil Soltis (City staff) | n.soltis@ci.scandia.mn.us | 651-433-2274
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:
Installed in-wall occupancy sensors in the restroom at the Scandia Community Building and Ice Rink warming house
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
Graybar Electric using US Communities contract
For more information contact:
Neil Soltis (City staff) | n.soltis@ci.scandia.mn.us | 651-433-2274
1 star - Action 3:

Invest in larger energy efficiency projects through performance contracting or other funding or through smaller retro-commissioning/retrofit projects in city-owned/school buildings.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
The City used a US Communities joint purchasing contract with Graybar Electric to retrofit the interior and exterior fixtures at the Community Building to LEDs' The exterior fixtures were also upgraded to protect the dark sky. The cost of the upgrades was $33,285 which was reduced by Xcel rebates of $5,069.
Outcome measures/metrics:
The cost savings are estimated to be $3,240 per year which provides a 8.7 year payback based on energy savings. The actual payback is expected to be much quicker since most of the fixtures are in the Community Room that has high ceilings where bulb and ballast replacement costs are significant.
Descriptive File:
Graybar Electric using US Communities contract, Xcel Energy
For more information contact:
Neil Soltis (City staff) | n.soltis@ci.scandia.mn.us | 651-433-2274

Efficient Outdoor Lighting and Signals {BP no.4}

3 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:
Development code sets standards for lighting in all zoning districts providing that any lighting used to illuminate an off-street parking area or other structure or area shall be arranged as to deflect light away from any adjoining property or from the public street.
1. Shielding. The luminaire shall contain a cutoff that directs and cuts off the light at an angle of 90 degrees or less.
2. Intensity. No light source or combination thereof which casts light on a public street shall exceed 1 foot candle meter reading as measured from the centerline of said street nor shall any light source or combination thereof which casts light on adjacent property exceed 0.4 foot candles as measured at the property line.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File: view file
For more information contact:
Neil Soltis (City staff) | n.soltis@ci.scandia.mn.us | 651-433-2274
1 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:
A solar power light was installed on the flag pole for the veterans memorial in Lilleskogen Park. The light mounts at the top of the flag pole and light downward to help protect the dark sky.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File: view file
For more information contact:
Neil Soltis (City staff) | n.soltis@ci.scandia.mn.us | 651-433-2274

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:
Implementation details:
The City Council adopted the current Comprehensive Plan in 2009 after nearly two years of public input and work by citizen advisory committees. The plan identifies many natural resource goals in the areas of wastewater, surface water and groundwater management as well as protecting open spaces to retain the rural character of Scandia.

This was furthered by the adoption of the Guidelines for the Protection of Scandia's Scenic Viewsheds on 5/15/12.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Neil Soltis (City staff) | n.soltis@ci.scandia.mn.us | 651-433-2274
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:
Following the adoption of the Comprehensive Plan, the City adopted a new Development Code in 2010. The code makes reference to the Comprehensive Plan in many locations. For example, Chap. 2, Section 5.0 Land Development lays out four types of land development "to help the City achieve the goals in the Comprehensive Plan."
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File: view file
For more information contact:
Neil Soltis (City staff) | n.soltis@ci.scandia.mn.us | 651-433-2274
2 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:
In September 2012, the City Council adopted an updated Local Water Management Plan that called for MOUs with the watershed districts to address development reviews and other joint ventures. In December 2013, the City Council adopted a Memorandum of Understanding with the Carnelian-Marine-St. Croix Watershed District.

For a number of years, The City of Scandia has provided fire services to a portion of the Town of May.

In 2009, the City of Scandia entered into a mutual aid agreement with the Village of Osceola, WI. Since this agreement crossed state boundaries, state officials were required to approve it in addition to local officials. However, it was very important in providing services to the residents of Scandia. Although Osceola is a state away it is one of our closest mutual aid partners.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File: view file
For more information contact:
Neil Soltis (City staff) | n.soltis@ci.scandia.mn.us | 651-433-2274

Design for Natural Resource Conservation {BP no.10}

2 star - Action 1:

Conduct a Natural Resource Inventory or Assessment (NRI or NRA); incorporate protection of priority natural systems or resources such as groundwater through the subdivision or development process.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
City has an Open Space Conservation Subdivision process that allows development while preserving woodlands and other habitats, natural resources corridors, agricultural land, open space and significant natural features identified in the Comprehensive Plan.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File: view file
For more information contact:
Neil Soltis (City staff) | n.soltis@ci.scandia.mn.us | 651-433-2274
2 star - Action 3:

For cities within metropolitan areas, incorporate woodland best management practices addressing protection of wooded areas into zoning or development review.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
City Code includes a section on Woodland and Tree Preservation. A Woodland Preservation Plan is required whenever significant trees or woodlands exist in a proposed construction zone.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File: view file
For more information contact:
Neil Soltis (City staff) | n.soltis@ci.scandia.mn.us | 651-433-2274

Transportation Transportation

Mobility Options {BP no.12}

1 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 Friends of Scandia Parks and Trail has produced and distributed a map showing 4 cycling routes within the City.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File: view file
Friends of Scandia Parks & Trails
For more information contact:
Neil Soltis (City staff) | n.soltis@ci.scandia.mn.us | 651-433-2274

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:
The City Council passed a resolution to update the purchasing policies. An objective to purchase sustainable whenever practicable and a section addressing sustainable purchasing were added to the policy
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File: view file
For more information contact:
Neil Soltis (City staff) | n.soltis@ci.scandia.mn.us | 651-433-2274
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 purchased tablets for use by the Council, Planning Commission, and other Committees at public meetings. Meeting packets are distributed by posting into Dropbox for review in advance of meetings.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Neil Soltis (City staff) | n.soltis@ci.scandia.mn.us | 651-433-2274

Urban Forests and Soils {BP no.16}

2 star - Action 5:

Adopt a tree preservation or native landscaping ordinance.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
The City Development code establishes standards for woodland and tree preservation that requires a preservation plan for plats and minor subdivisions, establishes replacement standards for significant trees, and establishes protective measures to be taken.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File: view file
For more information contact:
Neil Soltis (City staff) | n.soltis@ci.scandia.mn.us | 651-433-2274

Stormwater Management {BP no.17}

2 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's Development Code requires adequate provision for managing the quantity and quality of storm water runoff. Subdivisions shall meet the adopted water management rules, standards and plan requirements of local watershed districts for
volume control, rate control and water quality.

The design of ponds and other stormwater Best Management Practices (BMPs) shall conform
to the requirements of the City’s Engineering Standards and to the standards and design
recommendations in the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency’s Minnesota Stormwater
Manual (2006 and subsequent revisions) and Minnesota Stormwater Best Management
Practices Manual.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File: view file
For more information contact:
Neil Soltis (City staff) | n.soltis@ci.scandia.mn.us | 651-433-2274

Parks and Trails {BP no.18}

2 star - Action 5:

Create park/city land management standards/practices that maximize at least one of the following:

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
The City Council has passed a resolution to participate in and endorse pollinator friendly efforts. In the resolution the City will undertake best efforts to utilize plants favorable to pollinators, use native MN species, and cease the use of pesticides that would impact pollinators
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File: view file
For more information contact:
Neil Soltis (City staff) | n.soltis@ci.scandia.mn.us | 651-433-2274
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 adopted a Volunteer policy to provide guidance and to establish a process for residents to performs work in Scandia Parks. Volunteer opportunities identified include maintenance in City parks including species mapping and removal of invasive species.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File: view file
For more information contact:
Neil Soltis (City staff) | n.soltis@ci.scandia.mn.us | 651-433-2274

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:
City created a shoreland overlay district and added shoreland management regulations to the development code
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File: view file

Sustainable Consumption and Waste {BP no.22}

1 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:
City contracts with SRC for single sort curbside recycling collection for all households.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:

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 Friends of Scandia Parks and Trails have organized a committee to assist the City with the GreenStep implementation and to reports on the City's efforts.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
Friends of Scandia Parks & Trails
For more information contact:
Neil Soltis (City staff) | n.soltis@ci.scandia.mn.us | 651-433-2274
2 star - Action 4:

Conduct or support a broad sustainability education and action campaign involving:

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
The Friends of Scandia Parks and Trails (FSPT) group has presented (free) speaker events to the public in 2018 -2019 that include experts speaking on recycling related issues, wasps, building resiliency to climate change - on your land and in your community, Minnesota’s giant silkworm moths, and changes in Minnesota birds and how we can help. In partnership with the Marine Community Library there were two speaker events: Carrol Henderson, long-time biologist with the DNR and some key projects and Peter Reich, U of M Regents Professor of Forestry discussing how climate change is affecting Minnesota’s trees and how we can all be better stewards of our climate. FSPT plans to continue to host similar community speaker events.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
Friends of Scandia Parks and Trails
For more information contact:
Lisa Schlingerman (Community volunteer) | lisaschlingerman@gmail.com | 6514335498

Green Business Development {BP no.25}

1 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 has listed the RETAP program as an Economic Development resource on its website that provides a link to the RETAP website.

Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File: view file
For more information contact:
Neil Soltis (City staff) | n.soltis@ci.scandia.mn.us | 651-433-2274
1 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 maintains a listing of local businesses and links when available on its website in order to encourage residents and businesses to shop locally
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File: view file
For more information contact:
Neil Soltis (City staff) | n.soltis@ci.scandia.mn.us | 651-433-2274

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:
City has adopted a solar farm and community solar garden ordinance
Outcome measures/metrics:
4 solar farms have been approved for construction under this ordinance
Descriptive File: view file
For more information contact:
Neil Soltis (City staff) | n.soltis@ci.scandia.mn.us | 651-433-2274
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 worked with Novel Energy Systems to install a 40 kW solar system on the roof of the Fire / Public Works Building.
Outcome measures/metrics:
The peak generation month to date was July, 2017 where 6.4kW was generated.
Descriptive File: view file
For more information contact:
Neil Soltis (City staff) | n.soltis@ci.scandia.mn.us | 651-433-2274
3 star - Action 6:

Report installed private sector-owned renewable energy/energy efficient generation capacity with at least one of the following attributes:

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
The City of Scandia executed a fixed discount value-of-solar agreement with US Solar
Outcome measures/metrics:
The Community Solar Garden Allocation is expected to produce 127,771 kWh annually. The City will realize savings of $0.01 per kWh produced.
Descriptive File: view file
US Solar
For more information contact:
Neil Soltis (City staff) | n.soltis@ci.scandia.mn.us | 651-433-2274
1 star - Action 7:

Become a solar-ready community, including an expedited permit process for residents and businesses to install solar energy systems.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
The City has enacted an ordinance to regulate solar energy systems that are accessory to the primary use of the property. The ordinance provides for a building permit review process for systems smaller than 800 s.f. in area. Systems that are larger in size will still be required to seek a conditional use permit.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File: view file
For more information contact:
Neil Soltis (City staff) | n.soltis@ci.scandia.mn.us | 651-433-2274

Local Food {BP no.27}

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 Scandia and Gammelgården Museum are collaborating to bring a Farmers Market to Scandia in 2011. The Scandia Farmers Market is located in the Gammelgården Museum parking lot at 20880 Olinda Trail in Scandia. The market had two initial goals: To help increase access to fresh, locally grown produce and to create an enjoyable, safe community event that brings people together.

The market is promoted on the City website and in the Spring newsletter.
Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Neil Soltis (City staff) | n.soltis@ci.scandia.mn.us | 651-433-2274

Climate Adaptation and Community Resilience {BP no.29}

2 star - Action 2:

Integrate climate resilience into city or tribal planning, policy, operations, and budgeting processes.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Implementation details:
The City of Scandia works with Washington County to update the All-Hazard Mitigation Plan (last approved by FEMA in 2018) and Washington County Emergency Operations Plan as appropriate. Washington County’s All Hazard Mitigation Plan is aimed at helping cities and townships (including Scandia) mitigate (prepare) for a variety of hazards such as flooding, tornadoes, and terrorism before they occur. In addition to the Washington County Plans, the City is creating its own Emergency operations plan using Bold Planning which identifies methods utilized for information dissemination during emergencies. In the event of weather related emergencies, Washington County is responsible for disseminating all watches and warnings to the City of Scandia (except warnings for conditions generated within the City itself). Washington County has the ability to utilize IPAWS to disseminate weather emergency information in English and Spanish, and ECHO Services to disseminate weather emergency information in English, Spanish, Hmong and Somali and Code Red for landline and cell phone notification via call and text. The key City Staff for notifications are as follows: Adam Hawkinson (Director of Public Safety), Mike Hinz (Fire Chief) and Neil Soltis (City Administrator). Scandia will notify residents by activation of the outdoor warning sirens and to notify the population not covered by the outdoor warning system by house-to-house contact, including alerting individuals with special needs. In addition to information dissemination within the City by the County, there are other available resources to residents for weather related emergencies including local and regional television and radio stations.
Scandia’s fire station is designated as the community’s location for help in the event of a community medical emergency.

Outcome measures/metrics:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Mike Hinz (City staff) | mike.hinz@scandiafire.com | 6514334383