WAITE PARK -- With 2017 in the books, Waite Park officials are focusing on the year ahead by providing the community a better tomorrow.

The annual Waite Park State of the City Address was held Wednesday afternoon at the Waite Park American Legion.

Mayor Rick Miller says they've had several high accomplishments as a community this past year.

"I think we've done very well. We've gotten some things done like opening a Public Works facility we've needed for about 20 years. I think we are going in the right direction."

Some of the key projects that started in 2017 and is expected to wrap up this year include an outdoor fitness court, the construction of the Silver Leaf Hotel project, expected to open this spring, the Lake Wobegon Trail extension, which should be ready by early summer, and the painting of the "Smiley" water tower to reflect their new branding.

Miller says over the next year they will continue to be dedicated to the community in the services and amenities they provide.

"I still like to see our Senior Center grow a little bit and have more people use it. I think the Lake Wobegon trail will be a great asset to our citizens, and I'd like to see River's Edge Park finished."

Miller says the amphitheater continues to be a high priority in 2018. City officials continue to work with state officials to receive bonding money for the project. If all goes well construction could begin by this summer with completion in 2020.

Other high points presented at the State of the City Address included the achievements of the police department. Chief Dave Bentrud says they were able to add two full-time officers to their staff, incorporate body cameras and Smart Phone technology in their department and build on their community outreach programs. He says in 2018 they will look to hire a part-time community service officer.

Fire Chief Jim Alshire says in 2017 they responded to 179 total calls. The department also bought a new fire truck. Alshire says they continue to see a high number of false alarm calls and hope to combat the problem in 2018. He also adds they continue to need volunteers to be apart of their department.