By Liz Verley, Staff Writer
Royalton was recently honors as a Minnesota GreenStep City.
This honor is bestowed upon cities that have completed steps toward environment sustainability goals..
Partnering organizations of the program include the League of Minnesota Cities, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, the Division of Energy Resources at the Minnesota Department of Commerce, the Clean Energy Resource Teams, the Great Plains Institute, the Izaak Walton League and the Urban Land Institute of Minnesota.
GreenStep Cities is a free and voluntary program designed to help Minnesota cities achieve their environmental sustainability goals through implementation of 28 best practices. Each best practice can be implemented by completing one or more specific actions from a list of four to eight actions in the areas of transportation, building and lighting, environmental management, land use and economic and community development.
Royalton was honored for completing step two of the program.
“GreenStep is a unique program. It is totally voluntary and you don’t have to jump through hoops,” said Royalton Mayor Andrea Lauer.
“If cities take a look at the areas of Best of Practices” they would find they are already doing many of them,” she said.
Some examples of the actions taken by the city of Royalton include showing a 9.6 percent decrease in kilowatt hours from 2007 to 2010 for the city hall, a 14.6 percent decrease at the fire hall and a 16.9 percent decrease at the public works building.
The city has installed motion sensor lights for the break room and bathrooms and installed a program-mable thermostat in the Council Chambers.
Royalton also is participating in the Small Cities Development Program to assist local businesses and residents to make energy upgrades.
The city replaced the existing traffic signals with energy efficient LED lights. The change in lights saves the city approximately $1,000 a year.
Lauer said, “I see no reason why we won’t continue in the program through step 33. We will continue to put out more information on the program to our residents through our city newsletter which is published six times a year.”