Folks who want to construct a building with a good bit of help from the city of St. Paul better be prepared to go green.

The City Council adopted a resolution Wednesday that requires any new building project that uses $200,000 worth of city or Housing and Redevelopment incentives to follow so-called sustainability guidelines.

Builders would get to choose from a few types of environmentally-friendly standards with the goal of reducing costs, increasing energy efficiency and cutting carbon emissions.

Among the requirements:

• Three-quarters of solid waste from construction and demolition must be recycled.

• Landscaping must use 50 percent less water than traditional developments.

• Energy use information must be recorded and submitted to the state.

A group comprising representatives from businesses, government, nonprofits and other stakeholders spent the past two years crafting the building policy, said Anne Hunt, environmental policy director for Mayor Chris Coleman.

"This has been a long time coming," said Council Member Russ Stark. "The next frontier is existing buildings."

Nobody spoke in opposition during a public hearing on Wednesday.

2010 budget adopted

There will be fewer rec centers, higher fees, and money committed to building a pool at Como Park under the 2010 budget approved Wednesday by the City Council.

St. Paul's total budget, before transfers and other accounting moves, would be $626 million, up about $6 million from 2009. After accounting adjustments, which include transfers among departments, the total budget would be $538 million, about $2 million less than 2009. General-fund spending is lower than 2009, as well.

The city's portion of the property tax levy will rise by 6.8 percent, the lowest increase in four years.

"In general, we have a really good budget," said Council President Kathy Lantry.

Pigeon waste ordinance OK'd

The council approved an ordinance that clarifies the responsibility of property owners to keep building exteriors and sidewalks clear of pigeon droppings.

Bob Kessler, director of the Safety and Inspections Department, said his office and building owners and managers have been discussing the pigeon problem for months and think they have a plan.

Contraceptive-laced feed dispensers will be placed on the roof of at least four buildings in the spring, and the city will close up open areas on skyway bridges where pigeons roost and add spikes to ledges to deter the birds from roosting there.

Chris Havens • 612-673-4148