WAITE PARK -- An opinion article saying Waite Park is one of the worst places to live has city officials claiming otherwise.

According to the website Roadsnacks, the article rated Waite Park as the 10th worst place to live in Minnesota.

However, Mayor Rick Miller says the writer should think twice.

"Top of my head would say this person doesn't know Waite Park," says Miller.

The article uses date and facts to analyze cities with over 5,000 people and rate them based on population, unemployment rates, education, median income, housing vacancy and high crime.

The reason Waite Park makes the list is because it has the work crime, per capita, rate in Minnesota. In 2013,1 in 9 residents were a victim of some type of reported theft.

Waite Park Police Chief Dave Bentrud says don't buy into the "per capita" number.

"When you are a regional center you are going to draw people in and that's going to put more demands on your public-safety resources," says Bentrud.

Miller says Waite Park is a growing city and has become a place people not only want to live but come to visit.

"We have three major highways that all go through Waite Park, so you have thousands of people coming into the city everyday for the mall, movie theater, Quarry Park, and soon several new hotels," says Miller.

Bentrud says they also did a survey in 2013 focusing on their crime stats within the city and found a majority of their arrests were for people who don't live there.

"A little over 80 percent of all of our arrests that year were for individuals who did not live in our city," says Bentrud.

Miller says with a city that offers so many amenities you may see some increase in smaller crimes, but residents who call Waite Park home believe it's a great place to live.

"I don't know anyone that has left Waite Park because they thought it was a lousy town to live in or they were afraid," says Miller.

The Roadsnacks article was again only an opinion. In an article back in June, has Waite Park as one of the best places to start a business.


Welcome to Waite Park sign. (Photo: Alex Svejkovsky, WJON)