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.
1 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.
The City adopted it's last Comprehensive Plan (2030 Plan) in 2009 and is currently in the process of finalizing it's 2040 Comp Plan. The plan includes sections on bike-ped, sustainability and many more.
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.
The City's zoning code was updated in 2015. The updates included making the comprehensive plan a foundational document for future development within the City. It is defined in the code as follows: "COMPREHENSIVE MUNICIPAL PLAN. The policies, statements and goals for private and public land and water use, transportation and city facilities, which is documented in texts, maps and this chapter. Together, these documents constitute the guides for the future development of the city. This shall include the West St. Paul Comprehensive Plan, as adopted by the city, and all subsequent amendments and additions." It is referenced in multiple areas of the code, including site plans and conditional uses.
The City adopted The Robert St Renaissance Plan in 2001. The process to develop this plan included community members as part of the stakeholder group. It also included numerous meetings to gather public input. The whole process was facilitated by multiple consultants.
West St Paul's City Hall and Regional Athletics Center (Dome) are adjacent to an existing employment and residential center. Both facilities are accessible by regular transit service. The Regional Athletics Center has a shared parking agreement with adjacent business "LA Fitness".
The City has adopted multiple practices to reduce it's environmental footprint at City meetings and within City Hall. Meetings are all completely paperless, with agenda packets sent electronically to committee members and using computers or projectors at meetings to access agenda materials. The City also uses only compostable products at meetings and in employee break areas.
In January 2015 the City Council approved the City's EAB Action Plan. Staff has been following the plan ever since including; targeted takedowns, injection treatments, and reforestation. The City has one Minnesota Certified Tree Inspector who oversees the EAB Action Plan.
The City did a complete reconstruction of Harmon Park in 2014. The $6.2M project included incorporating school district property (attached JPA) as well as 4 acres of newly acquired property (3 residential properties and 1 commercial greenhouse property). This reconstruction filled a need in the City for trails, youth ballfields, a splashpad, and a new community building space.
There are currently over 184 acres of park land in West St Paul. There are an additional 34 acres accessible school green space and 150 acres of protected natural resource areas (Dodge Nature Center). According to Parkserve.org 91% of youth in West St Paul live within a 10-minute walk of a park.
2 star - Action 1: Improve city operations and procurement to prevent and reuse, recycle and compost waste from all public facilities (including libraries, parks, schools, municipal health care facilities), and minimize use of toxics and generation of hazardous waste.
City of West St. Paul City Hall building participates in organics collection. Food waste and BPI certified compostable paper products are source separated and contracted to be brought to SET/The Mulch Store for composting, there by reducing the amount of material destined for incineration or landfill.
City of West St. Paul partners with Dakota County to host Fix-It Clinics at the local library, and to help spread the word to residents about this valuable opportunity. Social media is used by the city as well as flyers and posters provided by the County.
City of West St. Paul partnered with Dakota County for an organics drop site located at Thompson Park. Currently the program has 1,117 total registered households, of which 487 are from West St. Paul. The rest are from surrounding communities. The organics drop site is free for any resident in the County to use and compostable bags are provided for residents to take and use.
Two multi-unit properties located in the City were chosen as participants in a recycling pilot through the County in 2018. For those buildings, each resident was supplied with a recycling tote to hold their recyclables, a kitchen cling which detailed which items could be recycled, and an in-depth pamphlet with information on hazardous waste disposal, proper shredded paper disposal, and much more. Residents received totes in person by staff members from the city and Waste Wise, along with information from their building manager. Dumpsters at the locations were also labeled, and at one property, recycling containers were added to outdoor grilling areas. The pilot aimed to increase recycling at multi-unit dwellings within the city.
The City annually holds neighborhood meetings that include surveys on the City's performance. The surveys are also published on its website for residents to respond. Those results are shared annually (attached) and used to shape the next year's strategic goals by staff and Council.
A farmers market is held every Friday morning from June to October at Signal Hills shopping mall through the St. Paul Farmers Market. Neighbors Inc, a local non-profit, collects produce donations and unsold produce from farmers for their food shelf.
Also, the local school district uses part of the City's park for a school forest in return the City has an easement next to Garlough Elementary for a community garden.