The Shakopee City Council passed a motion Tuesday evening to adopt the Minnesota GreenStep Cities program, making Shakopee the 125th city in Minnesota to participate. Shakopee can qualify for the program by pledging to adopt best environmental practices for the city.
Some examples of best practices could include installing LED lights in city buildings and streetlights, purchasing electric police cars and increasing the city’s green infrastructure, Director of Planning and Development Michael Kerski said.
City Administrator Bill Reynolds said he first heard about the program two years ago, and he wasn’t interested at first.
“But then I recognized the value it brought forward,” he said.
With its participation in the program, Shakopee will have access to economic savings, partnerships with sustainability experts, access to funding resources at GreenStep City and recognition as a sustainable city. Kerski said within the next budget cycle, the city of Shakopee should buy a few hybrid police vehicles to test the cost-savings and predict how much they could save the city in the long-run.
Council member Matt Lehman was the only member opposed to the city’s participation in the program. He said he was concerned with the price of car batteries if they police department switched to Hybrid vehicles, and the amount of voltage used. He also said he didn’t think climate change is something the government should participate in.
“I’m not one of those climate crazy people,” Lehman said. “I think when the government gets involved they usually make it worse.”
Participation in GreenSteps was on the city staff’s list of goals to accomplish for the year. The motion passed four to one.