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    City of Two Harbors  


Background Information

County:   Lake
Population:   3,745
GreenStep City category:   B

Full-time equivalent city staff (approx.):   45

Participating township, county, school:
Lake Superior School District 381

GreenStep City resolution:   Click here to view the file.
GreenStep City status and date:   STEP 2 (06/23/2015)

GreenStep Coordinator

Dan Walker
City staff
dwalkertharbors@frontier.com
218-834-8803

City web page relating to sustainability/GreenStep activities:
http://www.ci.two-harbors.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: 11     2-star actions: 6     3-star actions: 1    







Buildings and Lighting   Buildings and Lighting

Efficient Existing Public Buildings
{ BP no. 1 }

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 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 ]  


Replace lighting in 50% of structures with Dark-Sky compliant, energy efficient lighting technologies.
Replace lighting in 75% of structures with Dark-Sky compliant, energy efficient, automatic dimming lighting technologies.
Replace 100% city-owned parking lot lighting with Dark-Sky compliant, energy efficient, automatic dimming lighting technologies.
Action 7: Replace city-owned parking lot/ramp lighting with Dark-Sky compliant, energy efficient, automatic dimming lighting technologies.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Replace 1/3 of city's existing traffic signals.
Replace 2/3 of city's existing traffic signals; replace half and document savings.
Replace 100% of city's existing traffic signals.
Action 8: Replace the city's existing traffic signals with LEDs.     [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 ]  


Mixed Uses
{ BP no. 8 }

Ordinance allows mixed uses.
Ordinance: requires residential-only PUDs to be adjacent to commercial development or to be served by frequent transit; encourages EV charging stations.
Ordinance: requires a mix of uses; requires installation of EV charging stations.
Action 3: Modify a planned unit development ordinance to emphasize mixed use development or to limit residential PUDs to areas adjacent to commercial development.     [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), OR document the increase in employeer-offered transportation fringe benefits, OR report a Walk Score of 70+ or an increase in your city's Walk Score.
Be recognized as a Bicycle or Walk Friendly Community, OR require routine installation of infrastructure, such as bike parking, for all new multifamily and non-residential developments, OR 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.


Environmental Management   Environmental Management

Urban Forests and Soils
{ BP no. 16 }

Certified for current year.
Certified for 30 or more years, or recent recipient of a Growth award.
Certified for at least 10 years with an annual tree budget (for maintenance, planting, replacements, removals) of at least $8 per resident (4X the Tree City requirement) or have calculated and publicized the financial and other benefits of trees to your city.
Action 1: Certify as a Tree City USA.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


A minimum number of trees planted by the city each year, OR at least 2-3 trees planted for each city tree lost.
An overall city tree canopy of at least 30% and/or a canopy above 60% for residential areas; use I-Tree for tree inventory of trees on City property or city-wide; include tree replacement money in Pavement Management Program budget.
Have in the city tree canopy no more than 5% of any one species, 10% of any one genus, and 15% of any one family; have an overall city tree canopy of at least 40%, with canopy over parking lots (~50%), canopy over residential (~60% - 75%), canopy over commercial/industrial; use iTree to quantify benefits of your urban canopy.
Action 3: Budget for and achieve resilient urban canopy/tree planting goals.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Street trees are provided on both sides of at least 60% of the main downtown street at intervals averaging no more than about 40 feet, excluding driveways, utility vaults and street portions inhospitable to trees. Report living snow fences under action 9.3
Major effort providing or offering residents / businesses trees to plant on private property.
Maximize climate resilient tree planting/landscaping on the entire blocks along mainstreet by, for example, funneling money from a business improvement district to alley plantings, pocket/corner parks, parking lot plantings behind buildings, a community depaving party, and the like.
Action 4: Maximize tree planting along your main downtown street or throughout the city.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Enact an ordinance that preserves/replaces trees and soils and encourages resilient, non-invasive landscaping. Report protection of large wooded areas by means of zoning or development review under best practice action 10.3
Address tree preservation and soils conservation on both public and private lands; enact requirements such as removing requirements to establish turf grass (this does not refer to removing maintenance standards for turf grass) and permitting resilient, non-invasive native landscaping throughout the city.
Adopt quantitative performance metrics; require approval of a tree preservation plan before development (tree inventory, tree saving zones, soil preservation measures, tree replacement for damaged/destroyed trees at a 2:1 ratio or greater).
Action 5: Adopt a tree preservation or native landscaping ordinance.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Parks and Trails
{ BP no. 18 }

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 ]  


Create an annual event (can be in cooperation with other organizations) or ongoing 'adopt a park' effort for volunteer trash cleanup of open space, buckthorn removal, etc. for parks or selected public open space areas. Report gardens plots in city parks under BP 27.3
In addition to cleanup and removal of exotics (1 Star), engage community members in annual restoration of natural areas (replanting shoreland buffers, restoring prairie, etc.).
Create and fund an annual city-wide event for cleanup and restoration, engaging residents in most neighborhoods and creating a public promotion around the event.
Action 8: Develop a program to involve community members in hands-on land restoration and stewardship projects.     [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 ]  


Create a program backed by ordinance for inspecting household/business gutters, foundation drains, sump pump connections, drain tile, lateral service lines, and/or inspections of city-owned sewer lines; report types of water system preventive maintenance. Report an adopted wellhead protection plan under action 6.3
Make sewer inspections mandatory at the time of property transfers, street reconstructions; require repairs or provide incentives such as 50% reimbursement to property owners to make repairs or enact utility bill surcharges for owners who are non-compliant with I&I standards; report water system leak detection and water meter calibration, replacement and automation.
Report outcomes from I&I and water loss programs, such as miles clay pipes relined, # of disconnects, % clearwater reduction, GPD removed, water supply leaks (unaccounted/non-revenue water loss; should be under 5%), money saved at the wastewater treatment plant, capital costs avoided by being able to defer capacity additions.
Action 3: Establish an on-going budget and program for decreasing inflow and infiltration into sewer lines and losses in drinking water systems.     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Assist local businesses and institutions with water conservation measures; assist businesses in pre-treating and lowering volumes and toxicity of sewer inflows.
Reuse water (sell reclaimed water) from a wastewater plant for nonpotable ag-processing, irrigation, cooling or power plant uses; require businesses to take steps to keep grease out of sewer lines.
Co-generate electricity and heat through anaerobic digestion at the wastewater treatment plant; comp plan/zoning that guides businesses using high volumes of non-potable water to within 2-5 miles of a waste water treatment plant.
Action 6: Implement a wastewater plant efficiency project (co-generation, water reuse) or a program for local private business operations (water conservation, water reuse, business co-location).     [Click here for self-reported city details ]  


Resilient Economic & Community Development   Resilient Economic & Community Development

Local Food
{ BP no. 27 }

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; donations from markets/gardens to food shelves.
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.