WAITE PARK - Everything is looking bright in Waite Park.  That was the general tone of today's (Wednesday) 6th annual State of the City address delivered by Mayor Rick Miller.

Miller says the city is looking forward to more development in 2013.  Biolife Plasma is going to build a new facility in part of the vacant lot next to Menards.

Rejuv Medical's expansion on 10th Avenue North, and the planned construction of a senior housing development and a new apartment complex next to the Sauk River were also highlighted.  One of the biggest challenges facing the city is the addition of nearly 1,000 new residents, due to the annexation of about 600 acres of land formerly in St. Joseph Township.

The city's department heads gave most of the presentation.  Some of the other highlights.

Police Chief Dave Bentrud says they've been averaging 8,000 calls for service the past several years.  He expects that number to increase to about 9,000 this year.  But, he says the number of serious crimes has been declining.  Thefts are the number one reason people call the Waite Park PD.  Bentrud says they are offering businesses awareness training for "active shooter" situations.  The Waite Park Police Department has 15 officers and three civilians on their staff.

The Waite Park Fire Department has 30 volunteer fire fighters, most of which have bee on the department for over 20 years.  They are looking for new recruits.  The Fire Department is willing to work with businesses on pre-planning for fires.

The Public Works Department is looking at some regular maintenance expenses for the City Hall building, which is nearly 20 years old.  They are evaluating the roof, and the heating and air conditioning system.