City Detail

Background Information

City of West Saint Paul
County: Dakota
Population: 19767
GreenStep City category: A
Full-time equivalent city staff (approx.): 90
Participating township, county, school:

GreenStep Coordinator

Dave Schletty
City Staff
651-552-4152
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: 27
1 star actions: 12
2 star actions: 9
3 star actions: 6

Buildings and Lighting Buildings and Lighting

Efficient Existing Public Buildings {BP no.1}

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: 2010
Implementation details:
The City of West St Paul built a new maintenance facility in 2010. This building included a geothermal system.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File: view file
Dakota County
For more information contact:
Dave Schletty (City staff) | DSchletty@wspmn.gov | 651-552-4152

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:
Year action initially completed: NA
Implementation details:
West St Paul gets it's energy exclusively from Xcel Energy and actively promotes Xcel's Energy Rebate and Energy Assistance Programs.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
Xcel Energy
For more information contact:
Dave Schletty (City staff) | DSchletty@wspmn.gov | 651-552-4152
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.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed: 2001
Implementation details:
In 2001, the City Council passed an ordinance giving the Mayor authority to declare a watering ban throughout the City of West St Paul.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File: view file
For more information contact:
Dave Schletty (City staff) | DSchletty@wspmn.gov | 651-552-4152

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: 2009
Implementation details:
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.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File: view file
For more information contact:
Dave Schletty (City staff) | DSchletty@wspmn.gov | 651-552-4152
2 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:
Year action initially completed: NA
Implementation details:
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.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Dave Schletty (City staff) | DSchletty@wspmn.gov | 651-552-4152

Mixed Uses {BP no.8}

2 star - Action 1:

Organize or participate in a community planning/placemaking/design process for the city/a mixed use district.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed: 2001
Implementation details:
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.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Dave Schletty (City staff) | DSchletty@wspmn.gov | 651-552-4152
2 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:
Year action initially completed: NA
Implementation details:
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".
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Dave Schletty (City staff) | DSchletty@wspmn.gov | 651-552-4152
3 star - Action 3:

Modify a planned unit development ordinance to emphasize mixed use development, to limit residential PUDs to areas adjacent to commercial development, and/or to add sustainability features.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed: NA
Implementation details:
The City currently has two mixed use districts within the City.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File: view file
For more information contact:
Dave Schletty (City staff) | DSchletty@wspmn.gov | 651-552-4152

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:
Year action initially completed: 2018
Implementation details:
Upon review and inventorying for the GreenStep program, staff worked with all departments and City Council to develop and adopt a Sustainable Purchasing policy.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File: view file
For more information contact:
Dave Schletty (City staff) | DSchletty@wspmn.gov | 651-552-4152
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: 2015
Implementation details:
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.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
Dakota County
For more information contact:
Cassandra Schueller (City staff) | cschueller@wspmn.gov | 16515524118

Community 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:
Year action initially completed: 2003
Implementation details:
City of West St. Paul is currently certified as a "Tree City USA."
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Cassandra Schueller (City staff) | cschueller@wspmn.gov | 16515524118
3 star - Action 6:

Build community capacity to protect existing trees by one or more of:

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed: 2015
Implementation details:
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.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File: view file
For more information contact:
Dave Schletty (City staff) | DSchletty@wspmn.gov | 651-552-4152

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:
Year action initially completed: 2005
Implementation details:
The City created a stormwater utility, with variable fees, in 2005.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Dave Schletty (City staff) | DSchletty@wspmn.gov | 651-552-4152

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:
Year action initially completed: 2014
Implementation details:
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.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File: view file
Independent School District 197
For more information contact:
Dave Schletty (City staff) | DSchletty@wspmn.gov | 651-552-4152
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:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
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.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Dave Schletty (City staff) | DSchletty@wspmn.gov | 651-552-4152
1 star - Action 8:

Develop a program to involve community members in hands-on land restoration, invasive species management and stewardship projects.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed: 2019
Implementation details:
City of West St. Paul participates in Adopt-A-Park year round for residents to pick litter and clean up weeds and brush in local parks.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Cassandra Schueller (City staff) | cschueller@wspmn.gov | 16515524118

Efficient Water and Wastewater Systems {BP no.20}

1 star - Action 3:

Establish an on-going budget and program for decreasing inflow and infiltration into sewer lines and losses in drinking water systems.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed: 2008
Implementation details:
The City implemented an I&I ordinance in 2008. This includes mandatory inspections.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File: view file
For more information contact:
Dave Schletty (City staff) | DSchletty@wspmn.gov | 651-552-4152

Sustainable Consumption and Waste {BP no.22}

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.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed: 2018
Implementation details:
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.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Cassandra Schueller (City staff) | cschueller@wspmn.gov | 16515524118
3 star - Action 4:

Publicize, promote and use the varied businesses/services collecting and marketing used, repaired and rental consumer goods, especially electronics, in the city/county.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed: 2017
Implementation details:
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.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Cassandra Schueller (City staff) | cschueller@wspmn.gov | 16515524118
2 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:
Year action initially completed: 2017
Implementation details:
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.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Dave Schletty (City staff) | DSchletty@wspmn.gov | 651-552-4152
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:
Year action initially completed: 2018
Implementation details:
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.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File: view file
For more information contact:
Cassandra Schueller (City staff) | cschueller@wspmn.gov | 16515524118

Local Air Quality {BP no.23}

1 star - Action 2:

Regulate outdoor wood burning, using ordinance language, performance standards and bans as appropriate, for at least one of the following:

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed: 2017
Implementation details:
The City of West St. Paul regulates residential burning location, duration and time, and which fuel sources cannot be used for burning. Fire extinguishing equipment must also be kept close by.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Cassandra Schueller (City staff) | cschueller@wspmn.gov | 16515524118
1 star - Action 5:

Install, assist with and promote publicly available EV charging stations or public fueling stations for alternative fuel vehicles. 

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed: 2015
Implementation details:
Thompson County Park located in the City of West St. Paul currently has two electric vehicle charging stations.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
Dakota County
For more information contact:
Cassandra Schueller (City staff) | cschueller@wspmn.gov | 16515524118

Resilient Economic & Community Development Resilient Economic and Community Development

Benchmarks and Community Engagement {BP no.24}

3 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:
Year action initially completed: 2008
Implementation details:
The City Council established an Environmental Committee in January 2008 to take the lead on environmental and sustainability issues within the City, and advise the Council on these matters
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File: view file
For more information contact:
Dave Schletty (City staff) | DSchletty@wspmn.gov | 651-552-4152
1 star - Action 2:

Organize goals/outcome measures from all city plans and report to community members data that show progress toward meeting these goals.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed: 2014
Implementation details:
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.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File: view file
For more information contact:
Dave Schletty (City staff) | DSchletty@wspmn.gov | 651-552-4152

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:
Year action initially completed: 2017
Implementation details:
The City of West St. Paul allows residents to keep domesticated chickens, pot-bellied pigs and beehives on their property.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Cassandra Schueller (City staff) | cschueller@wspmn.gov | 16515524118
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:
Year action initially completed: 2019
Implementation details:
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.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Cassandra Schueller (City staff) | cschueller@wspmn.gov | 16515524118