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NARRATIVE: The City of Cedar Rapids focuses on problem solving, continuous improvement and finding 
new ways to improve services to our community.  There are a number of Initiatives and programs 
supported by our Mayor, Council, City Manager and Director team that continue to push our City and 
Utilities to embrace the Ideals of Utility of the Future (UTOF).     

Cedar Rapids has begun “Pursuit of Sustainability”.  This journey has been occurring for a number of 
years, and is one that will continue as a way of dong City business for many future decades.  Recent 
activities:  hired a Sustainability Coordinator for the purpose of consolidating efforts that have been 
under way for many years in areas of energy use efficiency,  vehicles Idling reduction,  solid waste 
reduction, promotion of public green space parks, increase participation in public transportation, low 
impact development policy, promotion and adopting re-use and recycling, use of electronic record 
keeping, continual efficient production of clean drinking water and  reclaiming energy from waste water  
treatment.    

Cedar Rapids Water Pollution Control Facilities has been operating an Anaerobic Treatment process for 
over 15 years.  Approximately 2.5 MGD of Industrial waste streams are converted to Bio-gas for use in 
our Sewage Sludge Incinerator each day.  Our goal and mission is to maximize the use of Bio-gas 
produced and find waste streams that could be utilized to increase our production of Bio-gas.  Future 
plans include possible fuel cell development, gas turbine to produce electricity and possibly supply gas 
directly to the market via pipeline. 

Cedar Rapids Community Services Center has been leading efforts in Sustainable infrastructure policy in 
the area of storm water control.   Recent activities involve policy implantation for use of permeable 
pavers, rain gardens, detention basins focused on detention, infiltration and water quality.  Other 
practices; rain barrels, converting parking areas to permeable paving and adding organic matter to soils 
in lawns and public green spaces to improve soil infiltration.  City of Cedar Rapids has funded 50 % cost 
share programs for citizens and businesses to install practices described, and incentivizing this 
investment by lowering the annual fees for storm water utility charges for those who participate. 

Cedar Rapids Utility Group has been awarded a grant from USDA through Regional Conservation 
Partnership Program (RCPP) address water quantity and nutrient pollution in the Cedar River 
Watershed, upstream from source water wells.  The City is leading a project team called Middle Cedar 
Partnership Project (MCPP) consisting of 16 partners including agriculture, municipalities, county 
government, regulatory bodies, and private land owners; all of whom are committed and working 
toward installing practices on the landscape to improve water quality and reduce water quantity to the 
Cedar River.  (Please see attached informational bulletin for more information)  This project has just 
finished first year of 5 year commitment plans to resubmit application to expand and extend the 
partnership to the future. 

Cedar Rapids Utility believes watersheds belong to all people living, working within, downstream and 
collectively working toward real water quality improvements by sharing resources is the path to success 
in improving water quality.   

 

ORGANIZATIONAL CULTURE