City Detail

Background Information

City of La Prairie
County: Itasca
Population: 665
GreenStep City category: B
Full-time equivalent city staff (approx.): 2
Participating township, county, school:

GreenStep Coordinator

Jonathan Bolen
Elected Official
218-326-8898
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: 37
1 star actions: 29
2 star actions: 5
3 star actions: 1

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:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
Improve the energy efficiency of city hall
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
In 2008,the energy costs for city hall were $1637.32. In the summer of 2009 we insulated the ceilings and improved the efficiency of the furnace. In 2009 the energy costs for city hall were $1,367.26. In the summer of 2010, we added insulation, siding and doors to the wall structure. The energy costs in 2010 were 837.10. In 2011 were 913.42. our energy information is being recorded on the B-3 worksheet to tabulate and document energy savings automatically.
Descriptive File:
Sarah Steinman@cleanenenergyresources.org
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:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
City Hall energy improvements: We contracted with a certified building engineer to conduct an evaluation of our city hall and made the recommended improvements to increase energy efficiency. We installed new roof vents, added insulation to the ceiling, replaced entry doors,added outside wall insulation and new siding. Additionally we made improvments to our furnace system and improved water runoff with new gutters which drain to a grassy area rather than draain to an impervious surface.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
We are comparing our energy expenses currently to energy expenses previous to the improvements.
Descriptive File:
1 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:
Implementation details:
Installed new outside lighting at the city maintenance building, the city hallparking lot and warming house with energy efficient LED lighting.

1/8/2016
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Jonathan Bolen (Elected official) | jbolen@laprairiemn.com | 218-326-8898

Efficient Outdoor Lighting and Signals {BP no.4}

1 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:
Implementation details:
Constructed new traffic signals at intersection of LaPrairie Ave and Highway 169. The signals are powered with LED lights and are electronically operated to reduce idling time. Turn signals have a yellow arrow.

12/15/2015
Installed 16 new street lights on a corridor street that is 1 mile long. The new lights are LED and “Dark Sky” compliant.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
City of Grand Rapids, City of LaPrairie, Itasca County, Itasca Community College, IIIRB
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:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
We have established a committee to work with our electric utility provider to find a way to replace our current street lights (Mercury Vapor and sodium) with LED lighting. We also have begun to change out city owned lights with more energy efficient lighting on a case by case basis.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
This is a work in progress. However we did replace the light at city hall that illuminates the flag and we replaced it with an LED light which our electric indicates will have an 18 month payback.
Descriptive File:
1 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:
Implementation details:
1/8/2015
installed 16 new street lights on a corridor street that is 1 mile long. The new lights are LED and “Dark Sky” compliant.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:

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:
Implementation details:
Comprehensive Plan: In 2008 we hired a consultant and developed a Comprehensive Plan. We review and update the Comprehensive Plan annually,most recently on April 6 2010 and in March of 2011. The city council reviewed and updated the comp plan in April 2012. Because we have completed most of the goals on the comp plan, we have sent out RFPs for the development of a new comp plan. That renewed comp plan is scheduled for completion in 2014.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Our reviews have indicated that we were meeting our goals and we updated our plans. The Zoning ordinance has been amended in 2012 to reflect inclusion of reference to the comp plan in the ordinance
Descriptive File:
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:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
Amend the Zoning Ordinance to reflect inclusion of a reference to the comp plan
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Completed January 2012
Descriptive File:

Resilient City Growth {BP no.7}

Pending - Action 1:

Limit barriers to higher density housing by including in the city zoning ordinance and zoning map:

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
Zoning Committee is revising the Zoning Ordinance to remove barriers to higher density housing.1/8/2016
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Jonathan Bolen (Elected official) | jbolen@laprairiemn.com | 218-326-8898

Mixed Uses {BP no.8}

1 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:
Implementation details:
Land Use: In 2010, we revised our zoning ordinances by having public hearings and changing ordinances to reflect a mixed land use. We re-drew our industrial,commercial and residential areas zone lines. We added in the geographic areas that represented a newly annexed part of the old Grand Rapids Township.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
We have clearly defined areas for development of commercial and residential
Descriptive File:

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

1 star - Action 1:

Establish design goals for at least one highway/auto-oriented corridor/cluster.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
Corridor Highway. Our Comprehensive Plan indicates an improvement to one of city streets which connects two State Highways. The plan calls for an adjacent corrider for pedestrian and bicycle traffic. Additionally we will be making arrangements for storm water runoff that will return water to the soil. The design work is completed and funding is in place. the construction of a new roadway with an adjacent 11 foot trail and storm sewer will be constructed in 2015. The plans call for a storm sewer that returns the rainwater to the aquifer using a large french drain as opposed to running the water to the river.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
We have been in negotiation with the county to obtain a CSAH status for this city street to be re-built to our standards. We have scheduled a public hearing on this project in July 2011. Itasca County has agreed to designate this street as CSAH. The street will be redesigned to include a safe pedestrian and bicycle corridor and rebuilt in accordance with community input and in accordance with the Comprehensive Plan. The county has agreed to make this street a county state aid roadway and has agreed to reconstruct the roadway in conformance with our comp plan. The county has contracted with our city engineer to design the road and as of 01/01/13 the design work is underway. Once the design work is complete, we will have public meeting. That meeting is scheduled for February 13.
Descriptive File:
Itasca County
1 star - Action 2:

Participate in regional economic development planning with representatives from surrounding townships, cities, the county and business interests to:

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
Regional Economic Development and collaboration
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
The city has become a member of the Iron Range Economic Alliance (IREA). the mission of IREA is to create a collaborative environment for economic prosperity, provide leadership,foster partnerships and employing economic development plans. Memeberships include professionals, comminities, school districts, government agencies and economic development agencies. In 2013 the city became a member of the West Range Mine Planning Board. The purpose of this organization is to regionally plan for the impacts of new mining as result of new mining techniques (Magnetation) and to plan for the reclamation of previously mined areas. The city also participates in a collaborative with Grand Rapids, Cohasset, Coleraine, Arbo Twp, Harris Twp, Calumet and Marble in an effort to create efficiencies in the delivery of services. The efficiencies include cooperative snowplowing, improving fire services, ice rink use and maintenance etc..the result has been to reduce the operation of equipment and fuel.

Descriptive File:

Transportation Transportation

Living Streets {BP no.11}

1 star - Action 3:

Modify a street in compliance with the city's complete streets policy.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
Re-constructed a major arterial city street in collaboration with the county in compliance with the complete street policy.1/8/2016
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Jonathan Bolen (Elected official) | jbolen@laprairiemn.com | 218-326-8898
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:
Implementation details:
12/15/2015

Remedied a street –trail gap by constructing an 11 ft trail, that is one mile long to accommodate pedestrian and bike traffic. The trail was constructed to provide connectivity to the larger Mesabi Trail system.

Constructed a sidewalk to accommodate wheel chairs which leads to newly purchased handicapped playground equipment.1/8/2016
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Jonathan Bolen (Elected official) | jbolen@laprairiemn.com | 218-326-8898
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:
Implementation details:
Widen a city street (Pleasant Avenue) to accomodate increased pedestian and bicycle as an approach to the construction of our new connection trail to Grand Rapids and to eventually make a connection to the redesigned and rebuilt CSAH road which will have a pedestrian corridor. In 2013, the city obtained funding to add a trail along Fraser Street that will increase trail connections. The result will be that loop will be completed that will increase the connectivity to the college and to the Mesabi trail.

Remedied a street –trail gap by constructing an 11 ft trail, that is one mile long to accommodate pedestrian and bike traffic. The trail was constructed to provide connectivity to the larger Mesabi Trail system. 1/8/2016
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Greensteps Committee made the recommendation to city council and on March 19 voted to include this project in the RFP's for the trail construction. This project has been completed and provides a safe walking,biking area alongside Pleasant Avenue to accommodate transportation to a trail connection. The Laprairie Ave trail will connect to the Pleasant ave trail which connects to the City of Grand Rapida, the college and the Mesabi Trail. The design work is complete and construction will occur in 2015.
Descriptive File:
City of Grand Rapids, Itasca County, Mesabi Trail
For more information contact:
Jonathan Bolen (Elected official) | jbolen@laprairiemn.com | 218-326-8898
1 star - Action 6:

Implement traffic calming policy/measures, including lane conversions (road diets), roundabouts, shared space and depaving, in at least one street redevelopment project.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
Traffic Calming: In 2010, we rebuilt and resurfaced one of our longest city street. In this construction was the inclusion of a series of speed humps intended to slow traffic. Plans are being discussed with the county to include a roundabout for traffic calming on the reconstruction of the proposed CSAH roadway. A public meeting to obtain resident input.

Built a temporary roundabout on a city intersection to evaluate the impact of speed reduction before and after the installation in cooperation with Get Fit Itasca and the Wilder Foundation. 1/8/2016
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Residents have reported a noticeable difference in the speed of auto traffic on this street which has resulted in additional pedestrian traffic.
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Jonathan Bolen (Elected official) | jbolen@laprairiemn.com | 218-326-8898

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:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
Non-motorized Trail-We have engineered a trail that will provide a non-motorized method of travel that will connect our city to the City of Grand Rapids Trail system. Once this connection is made, travel to commercial areas, the clinic etc in Grand Rapids will possible. Additionally their trail system connects to the Mesaba Trail.

12/15/2015
Purchased and installed a bike rack at the city hall and city park to encourage the use of bicycles.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
We obtained a grant of $10,000 which paid for the engineering costs and we have obtained the right of way. The project is shovel ready and we are awaiting the results of our grant application for Legacy funding. We have subsequently obtained Legacy Grant money for the construction of the trail. This trail is scheduled for construction in 2012 and our engineer is requesting RFP's. This project has been completed. The trail is paved and connects the City of LaPrairie to the City of Grand Rapids. Furthermore, the trail connects to the Grand Rapids trail system allowing for year round safe biking and walking to the entire business and government areas in the city. This project is now completed and we are working with the group Get Fit Itasca to encourage use of the trail and to create events the promote our inter-connected trail system.
Descriptive File:
2 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:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
In partnership with Get Fit Itasca, revised the city’s Comprehensive Plan with significant resident participation. We brought in a consultant, walkability expert Dan Burden of Walkable and Livable Communities Institute. We conducted a visual preference survey and walking audits, small group discussions and facilitated public input exercises.

Converted part of the tennis courts to a pickle ball court to encourage active lifestyles.1/8/2016
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Jonathan Bolen (Elected official) | jbolen@laprairiemn.com | 218-326-8898

Efficient City Fleets {BP no.13}

1 star - Action 2:

Right-size/down-size the city fleet with the most fuel-efficient vehicles that are of an optimal size and capacity for their intended functions.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
Right sized the city maintenance truck by purchasing an equipment trailer that can be towed by a replacement vehicle that is more fuel efficient.1/8/2016
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Jonathan Bolen (Elected official) | jbolen@laprairiemn.com | 218-326-8898

Environmental Management Environmental Management

Stormwater Management {BP no.17}

1 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:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
Stormwater Management: In 2010, we installed a large French Drain in our city park to allow for the return of storm water runoff from our parking lot in order return water to the ground as opposed to the prior practice of allowing the runoff water to enter the Missisippi/Prairie River. The design for stormwater runoff and new road construction includes the use of a large french drain which will gather the water and allow it to return to the aquifer.
In another section of the city near Glenwood Ave, we have storm water the drains to the prairie River. We have designed a new system that will infiltrate the water prior to reaching the river.

Green stormwater infrastructure, built a new stormwater system as part of a street reconstruction project that returns water to the ground through an infiltration pond and an infiltration ditch that protects runoff from reaching the river.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
The drain worked to perfection 2010 by capturing a huge snow melt and runoff from the parking lot and as a result no water ran to the river. The construction of the storm drain on LaPrairie Ave will be completed in 2015 at the same time the road is reconstructed.
Glenwood Ave storm water constuction will be completed in 2015.
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Jonathan Bolen (Elected official) | jbolen@laprairiemn.com | 218-326-8898

Parks and Trails {BP no.18}

1 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:
Implementation details:
Increase the amount of green space in two seperate areas of the city. The goal is to add two more park/green spaces to the city.

Contributed financial aid to assist a local snowmobile club in the relocation of a snowmobile trail in order to make it more compatible with our existing walking trail which allows the city to keep the walking trail open all winter for pedestrians.

Purchased easements for the construction of an additional walking/biking trail to be constructed in 2016 and will have connection to existing trails.1/8/2016
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
The Greensteps Committee has identified possible locations and have been contacting landowners to determine the availability of the parcels. The city has obtained property in one of the two identified gap areas. This property is located along the Mississippi River. Our Park and Rec committee is exploring possible uses of the property and will making a green recommendation to the council. Currently the property is undeveloped and has grass and trees.
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Jonathan Bolen (Elected official) | jbolen@laprairiemn.com | 218-326-8898
2 star - Action 2:

Plan and budget for a network of parks, green spaces, water features and trails for areas where new development is planned.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
Acquiring Green Space: The city has been able to obtain some tax forfeited property along the Missiisippi River that we are dedicating to green space. The park and Rec committee is discussing how best to use and preserve that space. The Greenstep Committee continues an ongoing effort to locate such properties, particularly in the north end of the city.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Land obtained from Itasca County
Descriptive File:
Itasca County
1 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:
Green Space
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
80% of all city owned land has been established and is protected greenspace as a park which includes ballfields, a picnic area with open spaces and trees.
Descriptive File:
1 star - Action 4:

Adopt low-impact design standards in parks and trails that infiltrate or retain all 2 inch, 24-hour stormwater events on site.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
Park enhancement: Not only is all water collected in the park returned to the ground, we have a plan in place to add trees and shrubs that will further aid water absorption.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
We obtained a grant from GABA to purchase trees and shrubs and have volunteers that plan on completing this project in 2011.
Descriptive File:

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:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
sewer upgrades and expansion of city sewer to an area of the city that has failing septic systems and undrinkable water.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
The city has initiated the replacement of all pumps, rails and electronics in all of its lift stations. The city budgeted 50% of the costs and applied for and received a matching grant to complete the other 50%. Two of the lift stations have already been upgraded and the other four will be completed in 2012. This improvement is the beginning step to the expansion of sewer and water to an area of the city which has failed septic systems and polluted wells. Our current sustem needed to be upgraded to handle the additional flow of the expansion. The city has increasd its sewer fees to accommadate future regular maintenance. A commitment from IRRR has been made to support the expansion of city water and sewer in the amount of $500,000. The city is pursuing other grant opportunities for another $600,000. The city has also lobbied the legislature to include this in the state bonding bill. This project is scheduled to be in construction in 2013. In 2012, we extended sewer and water to three businesses. One of those businesses emplys a hundred persons, one of the other businesses is a mobile home park. We have obtained funding to extend water lines to residences and businesses in another currently unserved area. This construction will occur in 2013. We have plan to extend sewer to this same area in 2014 in conjunction with a road restructure. As of December 2013, the city has completed a water system expansion to a previously unserved portion of the city that had failing wells and poor quality drinking water. This project has provided clean drinking water and fire hydrants to more than 15 residences and 8 businesses, government offices and a church. The sewer portion of the project is on track for completion in 2015.
Descriptive File:
IIRB, Itasca County, GRPUC
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:
Implementation details:
sealed manholes

Camered our existing sewer lines and cleaned our lift stations as part of our ongoing efforts to maintain our sewer system1/8/2016
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
All of the citys manholes have been inspected for infiltration. Those manholes that had infiltration were repaired by raising the manholes above the ground level in order to avoid rainwater infiltration. All of the city's sewer lines have been televised in order to seach for leaks and root infiltration. All of the problem areas have been repaired or on a schedule to be repaired. The final leak in the sewer line was repaired in October 2012.
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Jonathan Bolen (Elected official) | jbolen@laprairiemn.com | 218-326-8898
1 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:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
Move from a flat rate to a usage based water and sewer billing
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
This project has been completed. All homes and businesses are now billed on usage for water and sewer. We have streamlined the billing process to allow for the electronic reading of meters and contracted with GRPUC to provide the billing on the same bill as electric. In 2014 we will have rate increase, but the entire increase will be on the usage.
Descriptive File:

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:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
this action might be able to go under multiple other actions?

12/15/2015
Improved infrastructure by extending city water and sewer to an area of the city that was previously an un-served area of the city. The result was 45 new services for sewer and 45 for water. This action replaced failing private septic systems that were leeching into the Prairie River and provided safe drinking water to replace contaminated wells. This project also added two new lift stations that will complement our other 6 lift stations that were retrofitted in 2013.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:

Sustainable Consumption and Waste {BP no.22}

1 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:
Implementation details:
12/15/2015
Instituted a recycling center at city hall to accommodate the recycling of small electronics, printers, batteries etc.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
1 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:
Implementation details:
Re-use of building materials, furniture and appliances.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Habitat for Humanity established a RESTORE operation in the city of LaPrairie. The purpose of this facility to gather and resale the above mentioned items. The city encourages residents and businesses to donate items and shop at the RESTORE. Funds collected for the re-purchased items are used for Habitat for Humanity projects.
Descriptive File:
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:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
We have contracted with a non-profit group (Deer River Hired Hands) to pick up the brush from our community brush pile and chip the branches for recycling.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Rather than taking our brush to the landfill, recycling it by chipping it also offers an opportunity for a local non-profit to employ handicapped adults by their ability to sell the wood chips. This project is ongoing.
Descriptive File:
3 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:
Implementation details:
recycling

Instituted a recycling center at city hall to accommodate the recycling of small electronics, printers, batteries etc. 1/8/2016
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
The city contract with Waste management provides for free recycling of bottles, cans, and paper products and free curbside pickup recyclables twice a month. Waste Management has provided larger recycling bins for each resident and increased and has implemented a single sort recycling system. This new program has increased the variety of items that can be recycled including mixed plastics 1-7. Waste Management has further agreed with the city to exchange large garbage containers for smaller garbage containers at no cost and to reflect thesavings in the bills to residents. The mayor advised the residents of this new recycling effort in the city newsletter and encouraged residents to recycle more and save more on garbage hauling fees. The process of educating and encouragement for recycling is an ongoing task that we promote in our newsletter.
Descriptive File:
Waste Manangement
For more information contact:
Jonathan Bolen (Elected official) | jbolen@laprairiemn.com | 218-326-8898
2 star - Action 7:

Improve/organize residential trash, recycling and organics collection by private and/or public operations and offer significant volume-based pricing on residential garbage and/or incentives for recycling.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
Encourage recycling by developing our contract to include a recycle option.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Waste Management has provided special 64 gallon carts to each residence and picks up the containers bi-weekly. Additionally we have expanded the number of items that can be recycled. The economic incentive is that residents can reduce their garbage output from a large container to a small container which reduces their garbage expense from $19.04 per month to $12.30 per month. Furthermore, it allows residents to go from a once a week pckup to once every other week which reduces their cost from $12.30 to $8.98 per month. We educated residents about this recycling opportunity in our newsletter and at public meetings. The community response has been terrific and we estimate that we have improved our recycling by 80%. Currently we are in discussion with our contractor to expand this recycling effort to businesses and to expand the amount and type of materials that the contractor will agree to pickup.
Descriptive File:

Resilient Economic & Community Development Resilient Economic and Community Development

Local Food {BP no.27}

Pending - Action 1:

Incorporate working landscapes - agriculture and forestry - into the city by adopting an ordinance for one or more of the following:

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed:
Implementation details:
Allow for native vegetation
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
The Zoning Committee is considering a recommendation to amend the Zoning Ordinance to allow for native vegetation. The Greensteps Committee has chosen to educate and encourage the use of native vegetation and this process is ongoing with public speakers and our city newsletter.
Descriptive File:
University of Minnesota
1 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:
Implementation details:
Local Food: We revised our residential development code to reflect lots large enough to allow for gardens. Educate residents about the opportunities of cooperative gardening.
We amended our Zoning Ordinance to allow for the raising of chickens by residents.
Bee-keeping: In April the Greenstep Committee will begin the discussion about backyard beekeeping.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
One of the city residents has developed two large garden spaces and has made it available for free gardening for senior citizens that live in apartment buildings. This resident also provides free tilling and free water for irrigation. Those seniors are making use of this opportunity and donating excess vegetables to the food shelf which is located in our city. The spring 2012 city newsletter featured an article from the Mayor urging residents to consider cooperative gardening and describing the benefits of cooperative gardening.
We have a few residents that have chosen to raise chickens and we established some chicken raising rules which lessened the impact to neighbors.
Descriptive File:
1 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:
Implementation details:
Adopt an ordinance allowing chickens to be raised in the city.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
The Zoning Committee held a public meeting, studied the raising of chickens and recommended to the city council a chicken ordinance. That ordinance was adopted by the council in March of 2012.
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Climate Adaptation and Community Resilience {BP no.29}

1 star - Action 4:

Encourage private sector action and incentivize investment in preventive approaches that reduce risk and minimize impacts of extreme weather and the changing climate for human health and the built environment.

Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed: 2016
Implementation details:
Six trained volunteers spent four hours replacing 100 fluorescent T8 and T12 bulbs with LED bulbs, and four traditional thermostats with programmable thermostats in the City office, shop and warming house, as part of a Best Practice 29 Sponsored Event. This effort was followed by a community-wide event in Ryan Park on June 23, 2016 (in conjunction with the farmers’ market and a youth baseball game) to promote the City’s biking/walking trails, farmers’ market, energy retrofit cost savings and environmental impact, Firewise tips, extreme weather resilience and mitigation information, community solar gardens, and GreenStep call to action for next steps with GreenStep committee to make Best Practice 29 ideas for climate adaptation and community resilience a reality.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
The city retrofit will save 85,000 Kwh over the life of the bulbs, which is the same as GHG emissions from 12.6 passenger vehicles driven for one year or 6,722 gallons of gasoline consumed. At least 100 people attended the event and engaged on these topics. Support was fostered leading up to the event and momentum for more action was created moving forward.
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Jonathan Bolen (Elected official) | jbolen@laprairiemn.com | 218-326-8898