WAITE PARK -- Just a month into the job and the new Waite Park Planning and Community Director is making his mark on the city.

After spending the past eight years as the planning assistant in Mankato, Jon Noerenberg now shifts his focus in continuing the growth in Waite Park.

"I thought Waite Park gave me a great opportunity to take the skills I learned in Mankato and transition to a smaller community that offers a lot of room for development and growth," says Noerenberg.

He says the transition into the position has been easy but still needs to adjust to a new system and how things work.

"The most difficult part has been learning the new city code. After working with a written document for so long it gets committed to memory and now I have to go back and make sure I got the right answer," says Noerenberg.

With multiple projects already in the works, such as the four hotel developments, Noerenberg feels he has come at an exciting time. He is also busy working with multiple parties who are interested in the vacant K-Mart and Space Aliens buildings.

"You get a number of interested parties and they may circle around a bit, some may come with a proposal some may not. But the K-Mart building is the big one right now seeing that building vacant soon long is something no one wants to see," says Noerenberg.

Noerenberg says he is excited for this opportunity with the city of Waite Park and looks forwards to continue to help the increasing growth in the area.

"It's a marathon not a sprint, it takes time you don't see things overnight. I hope in a number of years I'll be able to look back and see I made a positive difference," says Noerenberg.

Noerenberg was offered the position back in February and fills the hole left by former building inspector Bill Barber who retired in October.

Waite Park now joins Sauk Rapids, Sartell, and St. Cloud to have a planning and community development director on their staff.


New Waite Park Planning and Community Development director Jon Noerenberg talks about move to the city. (Photo: Alex Svejkovsky, WJON)