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    City of Lake Crystal  


Background Information

County:   Blue Earth
Population:   2,593
GreenStep City category:   B

Full-time equivalent city staff (approx.):   16

Participating township, county, school:


GreenStep City resolution:   Click here to view the file.
GreenStep City status and date:   STEP 2 (06/20/2014)

GreenStep Coordinator

Taylor Gronau
City staff
lccity@hickorytech.net
507-726-2538

City web page relating to sustainability/GreenStep activities:
http://www.ci.lake-crystal.mn.us/

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 Files below summarize completed city actions in a short Word file. Step 4 recognition is awarded each June to cities who report a minimum number of optional (and a few high-priority/core) metrics for the previous calendar year. These metrics - see guidance documents for them at http://www.betterenergy.org/step4 - aim to show the aggregate, quantitative results of taking multiple GreenStep actions. Step 5 cities show improvement beyond minimum thresholds in the Step 4 metrics. See yearly data in the Metrics Files below.

Assessment Files
2017 - click to view assessment

 


Best Practice Actions Underway and Completed

Completed actions are denoted by stars. Mouse over a star for its definition.
Total completed actions: 19     1-star actions: 8     2-star actions: 8     3-star actions: 3    







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 ]  


Efficient Existing Private Buildings
{ BP no. 2 }

Program activities include but are not limited to: information/education efforts via newsletters and the like; work with the local utility, local Community Action Program or others; program participation reports. Report a rebate program to promote purchases of WaterSense-rated appliances under action 2.5; report work with businesses under action 25.2; report broad sustainability campaigns that go beyond energy efficiency under action 24.4
One or more of: provide more in-depth energy use reports; explicitly focus on improved indoor air quality; report on number of households participating (e.g. took advantage of rebates, attended workshops, received home energy audit) and dollars or BTUs or therms saved; resident participation in the National Mayor's Challenge for Water Conservation.
Create a program and report on number of households participating (e.g. took advantage of rebates, attended workshops, received home energy audit) and dollars or BTUs or therms saved.
Action 1: Create or participate in a marketing/outreach program to promote/achieve residential energy/water use reduction and energy efficiency.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


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 ]  


Land Use   Land Use

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

Establish regular or as-needed meetings to include local chambers of commerce and local governmental units.
Adopt a joint powers agreement or the like that formalizes regional economic development/land use planning.
Document regional estimated needs and staging criteria. Report adopted adequate public facilities ordinances under action 9.4
Action 2: Participate in regional economic development planning with representatives from surrounding townships, cities, the county and business interests to:     [Click here for self-reported city details ] a. Estimate commercial/industrial needs among all jurisdictions.

b. Jointly implement recommendations to stage highway/auto-oriented commercial development in order to avoid overbuilding and expensive low-density development.


Transportation   Transportation

Mobility Options
{ BP no. 12 }

Describe elements of a SRTS program in which the city is involved; note how many schools are affected, how the program addresses evaluation, encouragement, education, engineering, and enforcement, and whether the city worked in concert with the local community health board. Report shared use agreements between cities and school parks under action 18.1
Describe key elements of your non-SRTS efforts, such as which actions you are challenging which number of people/organizations to take, and how long the campaign is/will run; report collaboration/funding from your local Community Health Board (SHIP funding); host an Open Streets or Ciclovias event to temporarily make a street a pedestrian-only zone.
Report outcome measures, such as increased walking/biking in the community, improved health outcomes, percent student body covered by SRTS programming, and school bus fuel savings.
Action 2: Launch an Active Living campaign such as a Safe Routes to School program.     [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). Don't report street lighting/traffic signal policy/purchases here, report them 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.


Purchase at least 3% above the renewable electricity grid mix required in state law: grid power plus either purchasing renewable energy credits ("green tags") and/or electricity from a solar garden and/or city PV installation. Report bulk-buying of renewables equipment for city employee installation under action 26.4; report city promotion of resident/business purchases from a community solar garden under 26.4 or 26.6
Purchase electricity, natural gas, liquid fuels & steam heat such that in total energy content renewables make up at least 35%.
Purchase up to 120% of electricity for city operations from a solar garden; purchase electricity, natural gas, liquid fuels & steam heat such that in total energy content renewables make up at least 50%; join the Green Power Partnership.
Action 2: Purchase energy used by city government with a higher renewable percentage than required by Minnesota law.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Stormwater Management
{ BP no. 17 }

Registered for the Blue Star Award program.
Be recognized with a Blue Star Award.
Be recognized on the Leader Board of the Blue Star Award program.
Action 2: Complete the Blue Star City stormwater management assessment and be recognized for implementing the actions therein.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Install, require and/or provide guidelines for rain gardens, rain barrels, parking lots (salt use reduction/alternatives, French drains, etc.) or pervious pavement; report that all city staff are developing guidelines that use the updated precipitation data in Atlas 14; note required use of compost as a soil amendment.
Install, require, incentivize and/or provide guidelines for green roofs, cisterns, neighborhood water storage, rainwater harvesting to supplant irrigation with drinking water, and other stormwater reuse. Report storage and reuse of stormwater for golf course/parkland irrigation under best practice action 18.5c.
Have an ongoing retrofit program to reduce pollutant loads and stormwater volume from existing neighborhoods that requires one or more of the stormwater practices in this action; aim for zero stormwater discharge in a development project.
Action 5: Adopt and implement guidelines or design standards/incentives for at least one of the following stormwater infiltration/reuse practices:     [Click here for self-reported city details ] a. Rain gardens/infiltration practices.

b. Rainwater harvesting practices.

c. Green alleys or green parking lots.

d. Pervious/permeable pavement or pavers.

e. Green roofs / green walls.

f. Tree trenches / tree boxes.

g. Incorporate compost and/or native plants into landscape design.


Surface Water
{ BP no. 19 }

A high-level elected city official or city staff person participates in at least 1 community event that includes a variety of stakeholders (farmers, other business people, environmentalists, recreation users, and other government staff, one of whom has scientific expertise). The conversation should be outside the TMDL process and include more than just impaired waters. Report an adopted wellhead protection plan under action 6.3
The city cosponsors at least 4 water quality conversations that explicitly focus on significant water quality improvement.
The conversations are intentionally facilitated/mediated to influence changes in public/private actions that are likely to improve local water quality, quantity and surface-groundwater interactions.
Action 2: Conduct or support multi-party community conversations around improving local water quality and quantity.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


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 ]  


Achieve 1-star and report progress toward meeting goals for restoration of a specific percentage of shoreland.
Enact a point-of-sale regulation that ensures shoreland revegetation as property is sold.
Collaborate with DNR and others and support/initiate an effort to measure shoreland status and set goals for needed restoration work and to locally promote DNR revegetation incentives and technical assistance.
Action 5: Adopt goals to revegetate shoreland and create a local program or outreach effort to help property owners with revegetation.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Solid Waste Prevention and Reduction
{ BP no. 22 }

Provide participant numbers and/or tons managed of one or more programs: food-to-people, food-to-animals, compostables collection, and backyard composting. Mention any yard waste collection program (note that it it banned by state law from landfills).
Organics collection by one hauler; facilitate multiple businesses to collect compostables; include a public outreach program to prevent food waste; assist with or directly manage yard waste so as to produce and sell a value-added wood chip and/or compost product.
Manage organics via small site composting, drop-site composting, or anaerobic digestion, and/or set and meet an aggressive program goal, such as % residents/businesses participating or profitability of program.
Action 5: Arrange for a residential and/or business/institutional source-separated organics collection/management program.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


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 ]  


Local Air Quality
{ BP no. 23 }

Regulate outdoor wood burning using nuisance ordinance language, referencing the MN Fire Code. Note that burning household garbage, such as in a burn barrel, is generally against the law in MN.
Regulate outdoor wood boilers using the MPCA model zoning language.
Ban (on a permanent or interim basis) or enforce performance standards for specific types of burning.
Action 2: Regulate outdoor residential wood burning, using ordinance language, performance standards and bans as appropriate, for at least one of the following:     [Click here for self-reported city details ] a. Recreational burning.

b. Outdoor residential wood boilers.


Economic and Community Development   Economic and Community Development

Benchmarks and Community Engagement
{ BP no. 24 }

A staff green team, or small working group (e.g., city manager, council member, citizen commission chair) exists; annual news article/media to community members referencing GreenStep (& other programs as relevant); city web has a link to city's GreenStep web page.
A citizens group, or a citizens commission or committee of city staff/officials exists to lead and coordinate GreenStep implementation; a report available online with details on city's GreenStep accomplishments.
A committee of city staff/officials and community members (business, education, religious) exists; annual report includes some metrics, such as dollars spent/saved, energy saved, and any sustainability indicators measured, and energy/carbon inventory data or ecological footprint data if gathered.
Action 1: Use a committee to lead, coordinate, and report to and engage community members on implementation of GreenStep best practices.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


At least two informational/educational activities or creation of a group to work on such; promotion of/assistance with Friendly Front Yards, block clubs, neighborhood associations. Report under action 2.1 marketing & outreach programs that are limited to promoting/achieving residential energy use reduction and energy efficiency; report business outreach campaigns under BP 25; report youth/student engagement in city government under 24.6; report other targeted campaigns under topic-specific actions, e.g. 23.3
Sustained activities covering a range of topics (active living, food, water, energy, etc.) that have some challenge, assistance and/or measurement elements; documented accomplishments such as Green Ribbon School recognition, Friendly Fronts apartment building certification (coming in later 2017); city work that supports schools/youth to improve their schools (through an ecology club, school green team, IPL youth team).
Sustained activities and multiple reported outcomes such as increased multi-modal commuting, reduced water and energy use, increased local food production, increased business vitality, etc.
Action 4: Conduct or support a broad sustainability education and action campaign involving:     [Click here for self-reported city details ] a. The entire community.

b. Homeowners.

c. Front yards, block clubs, neighborhood associations.

d. Congregations.

e. Schools, colleges.


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 ]