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    City of Mountain Iron  


Background Information

County:   St. Louis
Population:   2,869
GreenStep City category:   B

Full-time equivalent city staff (approx.):   24

Participating township, county, school:


GreenStep City resolution:   Click here to view the file.
GreenStep City status and date:   STEP 2 (06/15/2016)

GreenStep Coordinator

Craig Wainio
City staff
cwainio@ci.mountain-iron.mn.us
218-748-7570

City web page relating to sustainability/GreenStep activities:
www.ci.mountain-iron.mn.us


Best Practice Actions Underway and Completed

Completed actions are denoted by stars. Mouse over a star for its definition.
Total completed actions: 18     1-star actions: 8     2-star actions: 9     3-star actions: 1    







Buildings and Lighting   Buildings and Lighting

Efficient Existing Public Buildings
{ BP no. 1 }

Complete the Building Editor for each city-owned building; identify the person responsible for routinely entering data; enter current (at least once/90 days), consecutive monthly energy use data ongoing; also best to enter 12 consecutive months of historical energy use data.
Complete 1 Star criterion and enter 24 consecutive months of historical data; routinely validate newly entered data by looking at patterns/trends and inconsistencies; correct inaccurate entries and identify potential opportunities for energy savings.
Complete 1 and 2 Star criteria, routinely ID energy-related operations and maintenance issues and poorer performing buildings for follow-up action; routinely enter current and consecutive (monthly or quarterly as available) water use data ongoing.
Action 1: Enter building information into the Minnesota B3 Benchmarking database and routinely enter monthly energy, water use data for all city-owned buildings.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Implement changes in one poorer-performing building and summarize the actions taken: updating temperature, ventilation and lighting schedules and setbacks; installing building-wide computer and office equipment power management software; assigning responsibility for turning off manual lights and other shared equipment; assuring that routine HVAC maintenance schedules are thorough and implemented at appropriate intervals; revising janitorial schedules to day-time hours; adjusting janitorial responsibilities to include regular cleaning of sensors, lamps and HVAC vents; installing lower-flow faucet aerators, dish sprayers, and showerheads to reduce hot water use.
Complete 1 Star criterion for two buildings. Post the Print Screen of the Baseline tab for one of the buildings with the Energy gauge showing at least a 5% decrease in energy use compared to the baseline period [12 months immediately prior to implementing changes]. Continue fine-tuning operations and maintenance procedures and monitoring energy usage to identify opportunities for additional savings.
Complete 1 and 2 Star criteria for two buildings. Use B3 to report at least a 10% decrease in energy use compared to the baseline period.
Action 2: Make no/low cost indoor lighting and operational changes in city-owned/school buildings to reduce energy costs.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


pending pending Star rating not yet assigned to city Action 7: Install for one or more city-owned/school buildings one of the following efficiency measures:     [Click here for self-reported city details ] b. A district energy/microgrid system.

a. A ground-source, closed loop geothermal system.

c. A rainwater harvesting system for building water use.


Efficient Existing Private Buildings
{ BP no. 2 }

Incentives include lower interest loans, lowered building or equipment permit fees; note what improvements/equipment qualify and if a revolving loan fund was used. Private parties include builders, homeowners, businesses, institutions. Report renewable energy financing programs such as PACE under action 26.3
Incentives include a utility-bill payment option, grants, rebates or tax breaks (e.g., property tax abatement) or expedited permit review.
Note incentives used, such as a density bonus or green building design assistance, for certified green building or ones incorporating district energy. Report buildings meeting the SB 2030 energy standard.
Action 6: Provide a financial or other incentive to private parties who add energy/sustainability improvements, meet the SB 2030 energy standard, or renovate using a green building or energy framework.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Efficient Outdoor Lighting and Signals
{ BP no. 4 }

Summarize the policy or practice for fixtures on city-owned, or school or other governmental buildings.
Summarize policies for fixtures adopted by the city and at least one other entity (the school board, another governmental unit within the city). Aim to limit light trespass to under 1 candle foot at the property line or center of a city street.
Requirements (within State code) for private buildings, OR: installation on public facilities of photosensors on all outdoor light fixtures; installation of timers with seasonal schedules to control when lights turn on and off; score under 4 in the Bortle Dark-Sky Scale.
Action 1: Require energy efficient, Dark-Sky compliant new or replacement outdoor lighting fixtures on city-owned/private buildings and facilities.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Have a purchasing practice/policy/utility franchise agreement that specifies EnergyStar traffic signals.
Have a purchasing practice/policy/utility franchise agreement that specifies Dark-Sky street lighting. Streetlights should provide at least 75 lumens/watt (as do LEDs).
Document a purchasing policy/utility franchise agreement that requires LEDs for all new street lighting and traffic signals.
Action 2: Purchase LEDs for all future street lighting and traffic signals.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Install at least one LED/solar-powered flashing sign, for example, warning flashers and wayfinding/signage lighting.
Install PV-powered or LED lighting as a pilot in a street, parking lot or park project. Examples include seasonally used park lighting (ice rinks, lighting in flood-prone areas, etc.).
Install routinely, as matter of policy, LED or solar powered lighting in street, parking lot or park projects.
Action 5: Use LED/solar-powered lighting for a flashing sign or in a street, parking lot or park project.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Land Use   Land Use

Comprehensive, Climate and Energy Plans
{ BP no. 6 }

Adopt a comp plan/amended comp plan that is less than ten years old or adopt a land use plan that was adopted by the county or a regional entity less than 15 years ago, or Category B & C cities may adopt a city vision that looks at least 20 years into the future.
Include in your plan a sustainability section/chapter, an active living/placemaking/bike-ped section, or integrate sustainability goals and strategies into all chapters of your comprehensive plan, or articulate land development principles for creating a complete, compact and connected community. Report climate protection or energy independence goals and objectives under action 6.5
Adopt a development goal that new/infill projects generate enough tax revenue to pay for the related public infrastructure maintenance/replacement over multiple life cycles; reference a capital improvement plan that catalogues public system maintenance obligations by date and cost; create 'green zones' that focus environmental improvements in under-served areas of the city; adopt the Precautionary Principle.
Action 1: Adopt a comprehensive plan or (for Category B & C cities) adopt a land use plan that was adopted by the county or a regional entity.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Document where in the zoning code or development regulation the comprehensive plan is referenced as a foundational document or that the purpose of the code is to implement the comprehensive plan.
Comprehensive plan referenced in all land use and development ordinances and regulations in addition to zoning code ordinances; zoning decisions are required to reference/be in compliance with the comp plan.
Conduct an audit of ordinances; individual ordinances or ordinance sections should be introduced with a "Purposes" section that includes language such as the following: "The XXX regulations specifically implement the following goals from the Comprehensive Plan:"
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.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Transportation   Transportation

Living Streets
{ BP no. 11 }

A city council resolution to develop standards; a policy governing city-owned streets; routine consideration of complete streets elements in all streets projects; explicit complete streets comp/strategic plan direction, that expresses the city's intent to facilitate multi-modal transportation (at least one route for each mode); include consideration of EV charging stations.
A city-council-adopted complete streets policy and implementation criteria.
A Living Streets policy; modify street design standards/practices according to policy, addressing multimodal transportation, trees and stormwater; include provisions/performance measures that account for the needs of the most vulnerable users, aiming to deliver benefits to all users equitably, particularly vulnerable users and the most underinvested and underserved communities; possible additional elements include align new streets to give buildings energy-efficient passive solar orientations; address public art in the street right-of-way; use a sustainable infrastructure tool; give consideration to growing use of ridesharing services and shared autonomous vehicles (SAVs) by, for example, planning for more drop-off road sections.
Action 1: Adopt a complete streets policy or a living streets policy, which addresses landscaping and stormwater.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Environmental Management   Environmental Management

Sustainable Purchasing
{ BP no. 15 }

Have a written policy/guidelines/practices specifying at minimum the purchase of Energy Star equipment/appliances and recycled-content paper (at least 30% post-consumer). Report street lighting/traffic signal policy/purchases under action 4.2; vehicle policy/purchases under 13.2 and 13.3
Have a formal policy adopted by the city council; note if this includes centralized purchasing into one office/person.
For the city’s top 10 categories of spend, track the purchases of sustainable products/services purchased annually compared to non-sustainable products/services purchased; join with other cities in joint purchasing of environmentally preferable products and summarize EPP purchases.
Action 1: Adopt a sustainable purchasing policy or administrative guidelines/practices directing that the city purchase at least:     [Click here for self-reported city details ] a. EnergyStar certified equipment and appliances and

b. Paper containing at least 30% post-consumer recycled content.


Require that all city purchases of water-using products, and all city development or renovation, meet WaterSense certification.
Achieve 1 Star AND publicize the City's requirement and encourage citizens and businesses to purchase WaterSense products.
Run a rebate program for business/residents to purchase WaterSense products; join EPA WaterSense program; achieve 1 Star AND work with local vendors to stock and routinely promote WaterSense products.
Action 4: Require purchase of U.S. EPA WaterSense-certified products.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Parks and Trails
{ BP no. 18 }

Remedy at least one connectivity break by, for example, completing a missing trail section, acquiring a high quality natural area, a priority stormwater management area, vacant space in a high amenity/redevelopment area, a rail corridor. Report remedies for street-to-trail gaps (between city streets and off-road trails/bike trails) under best practice action 11.5.
Remedy at least 3 connectivity breaks; fund trails out of adjacent street assessments; sign at least one shared use agreement with a school that allows public use of school outdoor facilities outside of school hours.
Remedy/plan/budget for 75% or more of the gaps; add a walking/biking trail that connects your city to a key destination/area/trail outside the city.
Action 1: Make improvements within your city's system of parks, offroad trails and open spaces.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Surface Water
{ BP no. 19 }

Have a shoreland ordinance approved by the DNR or one consistent with state-wide shoreland standards (MR 6120.2500-06120.3900).
Adopt the Alternative Shoreland Standards or similar alternatives reviewed and consistent with recommendations of the DNR Area hydrologist that exceed the minimum standards of the DNR shoreland rules.
Document 60-75% forested shoreland; achieve 2 Star rating and include one or both of: (1) a menu of mitigation measures, one or more of which to be attached to shoreland variances; (2) provisions for restoration of shore impact area and vegetative buffer with permanent protection for all new shoreland development.
Action 4: Adopt a shoreland ordinance for all river and lake shoreland areas.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Efficient Water and Wastewater Systems
{ BP no. 20 }

Create a motor replacement plan for key motors, to at least maintain efficient operation and preferably improve it; utilize utility conservation improvement program for motors.
Upgrade SCADA systems to use existing flow and amperage or kilowatt measurements as a real-time efficiency measure for key equipment.
Review energy use for proposed plant upgrades at current volumes of water treated as well as at design capacity to verify the plant will run efficiently over the range of expected flow rates.
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.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Sustainable Consumption and Waste
{ BP no. 22 }

Require by license (and ideally also ordinance) the provision of recycling services in multi-unit residential buildings; report implementation of at least 3 "good" recycling BMPs (e.g., mandatory separation of residential recyclables, email/text recycling reminders) from https://www.pca.state.mn.us/sites/default/files/w-sw1-11.pdf Note that pre-2018 organized collection entries are listed under this action, and that post-2017 organized collection entries are under 22.7
Report the city recycling rate prominently on the city's web site (by only licensing haulers that report their data); provide as requested larger carts/2nd recycling container at no added cost to resident; collect co-mingled fiber/containers; report implementation of 3 “better” recycling BMPs from the webpage above; in greater MN, require collection of recyclables from commercial entities.
Require that each tenant in multi-unit housing has a recycling container; assure multi-unit recycling during routine city building inspections; report implementation of 3 “best” recycling BMPs from the webpage above.
Action 6: Improve recycling services and expand to multi-unit housing and commercial businesses.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Resilient Economic & Community Development   Resilient Economic & Community Development

Green Business Development
{ BP no. 25 }

Provide incentives such as targeted loans, grants, streamlined permitting processes; participate in coordinated marketing and business assistance efforts, or provide similar such support; actively support women- and minority-owned businesses.
Provide or link businesses to incubator space, local/MN suppliers, or other tangible assests.
Utilize an economic gardening approach; support the creation of co-operatively owned businesses (report retail food co-ops under action 27.4); develop workforce training opportunities with community colleges and job training centers to credential, for example, energy auditors.
Action 1: Grow new/emerging green businesses and green jobs through targeted assistance and new workforce development.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Renewable Energy
{ BP no. 26 }

Partner with a local utility or with firms that lease and finance energy systems to offer a renewable energy/energy efficiency product.
Partner with a financial institution (local bank, investment firm) to create a renewable energy/energy efficiency loan product, or leverage heating-assistance funds for renewables installation.
Join a PACE program available to Minnesota cities. Report number of participants, funding sources, dollars lent and installed capacity in kW.
Action 3: Promote financing programs for clean energy, such as PACE for commercial property owners, to install generation capacity/energy efficiency equipment.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Describe any public sector project and report installed capacity in kW. Report purchase of green tags, community solar garden subscriptions, and 3rd party solar under action 15.2; report wastewater biogas projects under 20.6; solid waste anaerobic digestion under 22.5; geothermal under 1.7
Install at least two different RE technologies and report installed capacity in kW; show that a RE installation has shaved off peak energy demand and allowed the monthly utility demand charge to be decreased; report installed battery storage.
Install RE capacity in excess of 100 kW; report combined heat and power generation, parking lot PV canopies.
Action 5: Install a public sector/municipally-owned renewable energy technology, such as solar electric (PV), biomass, solar hot water/air, micro-hydro or wind.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]