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    City of Pierz  


Background Information

County:   Morrison
Population:   1,393
GreenStep City category:   B

Full-time equivalent city staff (approx.):   7

Participating township, county, school:


GreenStep City resolution:   Click here to view the file.
GreenStep City status and date:   STEP 2 (05/17/2018)

GreenStep Coordinator

Kari Tyson
City staff
karit@pierzmn.org
320-468-6471

City web page relating to sustainability/GreenStep activities:
www.pierzmn.org

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
2019 - click to view assessment
2018 - click to view assessment
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: 29     1-star actions: 18     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; showcase your B3 public page/results on your city web site.
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: switch to LED lights; updating temperature, ventilation and lighting schedules and setbacks; occupancy sensors on lights/automated light dimmers; 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, local bank, or others; promote utility load management programs (fuel-switching, AC/water heater cycling); 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; partner with others on low-interest loans, assistance to homeowners on weatherization, efficiency improvements; incentivize Home Energy Squad or other home energy audit program visits and residential efficiency improvements; resident participation in the National Mayor's Challenge for Water Conservation.
Participate in Xcel's Partners in Energy program; create a city program and report on number of households participating (e.g. took advantage of rebates, loans, grants, attended workshops, received home energy audit) and dollars or BTUs or therms saved.
Action 1: Create or participate in a marketing/outreach/incentive 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

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 ]  


Include plan requirements (in a comp plan or another planning document) on coordinated action with surrounding or overlapping jurisdictions for several of these issues: land use, watershed/groundwater impacts, transportation, sewer and water, economic development, housing and foreclosures, police, fire, health; adopt a wellhead / source water protection plan.
Convene discussions or enter into agreements (joint service or others) with surrounding communities on at least 3 of these issues; adopt a comp plan goal to monitor and/or remediate all LUSTs within the city's DWSMA/SWPA.
Jointly invest in infrastructure to avoid duplication or improve performance; as part of inter-city discussions mentor another GreenStep city.
Action 3: Include requirements in comprehensive and/or other plans for intergovernmental coordination addressing regional land use and watershed / wellhead impacts, infrastructure, transportation, economic development and city/regional services.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


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

Adopt zoning language that defines auto-oriented land uses, limits where they are allowed, and encourages commercial development that can rely on bike/walk/transit access to locate in the downtown and mixed-use commercial/residential districts.
Achieve 1 Star rating AND define other commercial zoning districts to allow non-auto-oriented uses to complement the Highway Commercial or auto-oriented district.
Achieve 1 Star rating AND adopt an adequate public facilities ordinance that stages commercial development concurrently with infrastructure and residential or transit expansion.
Action 4: Adopt a commercial zoning district that permits only auto-oriented land uses.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Transportation   Transportation

Mobility Options
{ BP no. 12 }

A basic map that shows (by neighborhood if a larger city) key civic/commercial sites, best bike and pedestrian routes, and transit routes and schedules; as needed distribute print materials in different languages; report increases in walk/bike counts.
Installed infrastructure such as designed bike or pedestrian or transit facilities like park and ride lots (report sidewalks/bike lanes under action 11.4); document the increase in employeer-offered transportation fringe benefits; report your city's Bicycle Network Analysis score; report a Walk Score of 70+ or an increase in your city's Walk Score.
Be recognized as a Bicycle or Walk Friendly Community; report an increase in your city's Bicycle Network Analysis score; require routine installation of infrastructure, such as bike parking, for all new multifamily and non-residential developments; allow property owners to substitute bike parking spaces for required car parking spaces.
Action 1: Increase walking, biking and transit use by one or more of the following means:     [Click here for self-reported city details ] a. Produce/distribute route maps, signage or a web site.

b. Document increased bike facilities, such as racks, bike stations or showers.

c. Add bus infrastructure, such as signage, benches, shelters, park and ride lots, and real-time arrival data-streaming.

d. Increase the number of employers promoting multiple commuting options, including offering qualified transportation fringe benefits instead of only a tax-free parking fringe benefit.

e. Be recognized as a Walk Friendly or Bicycle Friendly Community.


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: Conduct 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 }

Purchase above the renewable electricity grid mix required in state law: purchased renewable energy credits ("green tags") and/or a city government subscription of electricity from a community solar garden and/or a "third-party" agreement whereby the city leases roof (or other) space to a company that installs & owns generating capacity sold to the city. Report 'behind the meter' city-generated/used renewable energy under actions 1.7 or 20.6 or 22.5; report city promotion of resident/business purchases from a community solar garden under 26.4
Purchase electricity, natural gas, liquid fuels & steam heat such that in total the energy content of renewables makes up at least 35% of total city operations energy; report if municipal utility generation mix is above that required by MN law; report city council direction to its muni (via board appointments, annual goals/reports/funding) to accelerate work on city clean energy goals.
Purchase 100% renewable electricity for city operations from a solar garden, 3rd party, or via green tags; 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 - via the municipal utility, green tags, community solar garden, 3rd party - with a higher renewable percentage than required by Minnesota law.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Adopt a policy or adopt practices for meetings and events hosted by city government addressing issues such as solid waste generated (e.g., paperless city council packets), transit/carpooling to meetings/events. This could include distributing educational materials about holding a no-waste event for use at city-supported events such as National Night Out / Night to Unite. Report broader multi-topic educational material distributed at events under action 24.4
Have a policy for meetings and events taking place on city property, including parks and libraries; include healthy/local/organic food elements.
Work with at least the largest private venue in the city (such as a conference center) to cut waste generation by at least 1/3 and to increase recycling by at least 1/3; adopt internal departmental carbon fees.
Action 7: Lower the environmental footprint of meetings and events in the city.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Stormwater Management
{ BP no. 17 }

Create a legal stormwater utility with different fees (e.g., fees based on parcel size, based on land use).
Achieve 1-star rating and offer commercial property owners decreased fees based upon an increased percent pervious surface coverage.
Achieve 2-star rating AND offer residential owners decreased fees based upon an increased percent pervious surface coverage; use 100% of fees for stormwater program.
Action 4: Create a stormwater utility that uses variable fees to incentivize enhanced stormwater management, minimize the volume of and pollutants in runoff, and educate property owners.     [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 ]  


There exist at least 7 acres of municipal park land per 1000 residents.
At least 20% of total city land area is in protected green infrastructure (parks and protected natural resource areas, trails, publicly accessible school green space).
90% or more of residents are within a 10-minute walk, or within one-half mile of, a park or other protected green/blue space; report your ParkScore
Action 3: Achieve minimum levels of city green space and maximize the percent within a ten-minute walk of community members.     [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 ]  


Inform residents about the ecologic benefits to reducing water softener salt use; shift operation times of large pumps or activities so as to secure a cheaper electrical rate; purchase cheaper 'interruptable rate' electricity; install a peaking generator for load shaving/cost savings as well as backup power. Report ductile drinking water pipe under BP 15.8
Report savings from reduced fluoride levels; evaluate pump efficiency, repair or upgrade to efficient ones and report on anticipated cost savings.
Implement other/longer payback period drinking water facility upgrades such as measurable reduction in chemical use, use of backwash water; soften drinking water and work to eliminate home water softeners.
Action 4: Optimize energy and chemicals use at drinking water / wastewater facilities and decrease chloride in wastewater discharges.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Institute a consumption-based fee for sanitary sewer service rather than a flat fee; study potential cost-savings from deferring water supply additions by demand reduction actions; report ratio of 5-yr. average peak day water use to 5-yr. av. day use (should be under 2.6); report water supply leak % under action 20.3
Adopt a conservation water rate structure (with 25-cent minimum increments between blocks or normal rates), and/or arrange for water users to see their water use history compared to similar users. Report water efficiency achieved through development review/incentives under action 2.5, and report water conservation connection fees under action 3.4
Modify rate structures to target peak-use times and discourage or defer use; report progress toward (Met Council 2040) goal of 90 gal./person/day; create a sustainable water use plan that at least verifies that there is enough water to meet projected needs out 25 years in the metro area and out 10 years in greater MN.
Action 7: Create a demand-side pricing program to reduce demands on water and wastewater systems.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Septic Systems
{ BP no. 21 }

Promote/assist in the design and construction of clustered/shared septic systems; extend central sewer system service.
Constructed wetland treatment, recirculating ozone system in place.
Composting toilets and greywater system in place.
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.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Provide businesses with information on water conservation, pollution prevention and pre-treatment.
City engineering staff assist with design and planning during development review.
Work with multiple businesses to share one system and thus free up space in town currently underlain with multiple systems that preclude higher surface uses that pay higher taxes.
Action 7: Arrange for assistance to commercial, retail and industrial businesses with water use reduction, pollution prevention and pretreatment prior to discharge to septics.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Sustainable Consumption and Waste
{ BP no. 22 }

Report implementation of at least 3 "good" ordinance & licensing BMPs (e.g., license haulers, designate a preferred waste processing facility) from https://www.pca.state.mn.us/sites/default/files/w-sw1-11.pdf Promote use of resource management contracts (RMC-covering recycling and trash) by businesses in your city; report city use of a RMC for government operations.
Report implementation of at least 3 "better" ordinance & licensing BMPs (e.g., develop administrative solid waste standards, cap # of residential trash hauler licenses, require haulers to offer bulky waste/yard waste services) from the web page above; report waste reduction (% or tons, per year) via a RMC with schools, libraries, parks, municipal health care facilities.
Report implementation of at least 3 "best" ordinance & licensing BMPs (e.g., min. market share to maintain hauler license, roll-off licensing, fees, ID, placement) from the web page above; report waste reduction (% or tons, per year) via a RMC with at least one larger venue, such as a manufacturer or a conference center. Document business energy/water efficiency under best practice action 2.4
Action 3: Improve profitability, legal compliance and conserve resources through adoption of ordinance language, licensing and resource management contracts.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


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; drop-site collection of organics; facilitate multiple businesses to collect compostables; include a public outreach program to prevent food waste.
Manage organics via small site composting or anaerobic digestion, and/or set and meet an aggressive program goal, such as % residents/businesses participating or profitability of program; assist with or directly manage yard waste so as to produce and sell a value-added wood chip and/or compost product.
Action 5: Arrange for a residential and/or business/institutional source-separated organics collection/management program.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Resilient Economic & Community Development   Resilient Economic & Community Development

Green Business Development
{ BP no. 25 }

Promote business assistance providers on your city web site on an ongoing basis, or identify how the city has promoted business assistance to at least 5 for-profit or non-profit organizations about audit/assistance programs within the past year. Report outreach to just tourism businesses under action 25.3; report work on business operations related to water under action 20.6; report promotion of PACE financing under action 26.3
Participate on a 1-time basis in a campaign organized by an assistance provider; report outcomes from these visits (# of businesses assisted, by whom, sampling of results/improvements made, such as energy or waste reductions). Report assistance to businesses on water conservation and wastewater pretreatment (could be from a city utility) under actions 20.6 and 20.7
Create an ongoing city-organized business assistance program AND report results (financial/environmental outcomes).
Action 2: Create or participate in a marketing/outreach program to connect businesses with assistance providers, including utilities, who provide personalized energy, waste or sustainability audits and assistance.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Collaborate with local organizations, such as a local business group or a business assistance provider, to produce a multi-pronged branding effort (beyond just information on a city or chamber web site) promoting diverse businesses located in/nearby the city. Report local tourism, local purchasing by the city, and local food under action 25.3, and best practices 15 and 27, respectively.
Compile a list of locally owned businesses located in/nearby the city and promote them and their products (such as compost, books, arts & crafts).
Create incentives for buying and investing locally; create a local currency or (discounted) local dollar gift certificates; report results of your buy local efforts, including specific benefits to the local economy; enact policies that support emerging and existing locally-owned businesses.
Action 7: Conduct or participate in a buy local campaign for community members and local businesses.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Local Food
{ BP no. 27 }

Remove restrictions to food gardening/raising of chickens/bees in residential areas. Report beehives on city property under action 18.5
Proactively zone for & allow by right food gardening/raising of chickens/bees; report one or more developments that have dedicated, permanent and managed growing space, such as resident garden space, and/or related facilities (such as greenhouses). Report under GreenStep action 3.5 adopted city guidelines that prevent the restriction of food production through homeowner (HOA) agreements (CC&Rs).
Work with a rental building owner to establish a community garden, farmer's market or CSA/food buying club drop-point within 1/2 mile; establish tax incentives to use vacant lots for urban agriculture.
Action 2: Facilitate creation of home/community gardens, chicken & bee keeping, and incorporation of food growing areas/access in multifamily residential developments.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Summarize what exists in the city: a farmer's market, urban ag businesses, etc.
Report on supportive actions taken by the city such as use of city land for a farmer's market, garden plots in city parks, hiring a garden/market coordinator, supporting season extension techniques such as hoop houses or greenhouses; a winter farmer's market; donations from markets/gardens to food shelves.
Report a permanent conservation easement on a school forest, orchard, garden; report on percent of housing units within a 1 mile of a healthy food source (farmer's market, community garden, CSA drop point, and stores with an NAICS code of 445110 or 445230); convert top level of a parking ramp for a local food growing business.
Action 3: Create, assist with and promote local food production/distribution within the city:     [Click here for self-reported city details ] a. A farmer's market or co-op buying club.

b. An urban agriculture business or a community-supported agriculture (CSA) arrangement between farmers and community members/employees.

c. A community or school garden, orchard or forest.


Business Synergies and EcoDistricts
{ BP no. 28 }

Energy/water reuse includes: reuse of non-contact industrial cooling water; reuse of hot water from a laundromat by a nearby greenhouse; use of waste heat from a crematory to heat a nearby recreation center and its pool. Record projects under best practice action 20.6 where a city wastewater plant sells reclaimed water for nonpotable ag-processing, irrigation, cooling or power plant uses, or when the plant co-generates electricity and heat and sells it to businesses.
Describe how the city facilitated at least one such project.
Report how the city is, on an ongoing basis, helping businesses complete these reuse projects and how many completed projects exist.
Action 2: Document that at least one business/building uses waste heat or water discharge from another business.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Climate Adaptation and Community Resilience
{ BP no. 29 }

Develop targeted emergency communications in appropriate languages (or get access to existing versions) to address the specific vulnerabilities of each population group in your community to each type of event.
In consultation with the county, every two years review the county (or city if there is one) Hazard Mitigation Plan and identify who is responsible for city preparedness, emergency response, and recovery efforts for each type of event. Routinely participate in updating the Plan. (Category A & B cities must achieve a 1-star rating plus either a 2- or 3- star rating for Step 3 recognition).
In consultation with the county, designate appropriate facilities available to the public as community safe shelter for each type of event as applicable. Arrange for adequate provisions (including potable water) and backup power for 5-7 days. Develop coordinated strategies with private sector critical facilities and document agreed upon procedures.
Action 1: Prepare to maintain public health and safety during extreme weather and climate-change-related events, while also taking a preventive approach to reduce risk for community members.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Implement 2 Star level plus either: (a) all applicable low-cost ($) mitigation options for additional asset type(s), OR (b) medium-cost ($$) or high-cost ($$$) mitigation options for any of the asset types, based on 1-percent AEP flood protection plus 3 feet.
Implement all applicable low-cost ($) mitigation options for a specific type of assets/operations (such as lift stations, headworks, water intake/distribution/storage, booster stations/pumps, or treatment plants), based on 1-percent annual exceedance probability (AEP) flood protection plus 3 feet.
Use the CREAT risk assessment (or the like) to help understand and adapt to extreme weather; take into account infrastructure stressors (such as age), updated precipitation data (Atlas 14), and climate change trends or projections.
Action 7: Protect water supply and wastewater treatment facilities to reduce physical damage and sustain their function during extreme weather events.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]