ST. CLOUD - St. Cloud Mayor Dave Kleis has unveiled a plan to bring some new high tech street lights to much of the city. During his "State of the City" address today (Tuesday) he talked about the plan for lights, cameras and information.

He says, "We're going to replace all of our lights, in areas downtown or where it makes sense. Along the new trail we're going to put cameras, with the ability to do amber alerts and get out information."

Kleis says the plan is to eventually replace all 2,653 of the city's public street lights with the new high tech models. He says it will take about 22 months, after they get final approval.Kleis says there will be no additional cost to the rate payer or property owners. And, it will increase public safety.

New St. Cloud Street Lights. Photo by's Jay Caldwell

Kleis has talked about re-opening Friedrich Park twice before in his "State of the City" speeches. He's optimistic that the third time is the charm. Kleis says he has brokered a land swap with St. Cloud State University, who owns the park in east St. Cloud, and plans to open it for walking by this August. And, Kleis says, if the city can get some state bonding money next year, more improvements will be added. 

He says, "We'll be asking the state for some bonding dollars to fully see the potential of the park. There's some water issues with the quarries, but we'll be able to open that up fully with a bonding request for next year in the range of about $6 million. But it will open this year for trails, and in the future for swimming."

Friedrich park was a big swimming destination back in the 1920's and 1930's. It's been closed to the public since the mid 1970's.

Downtown St. Cloud is a happening place to be. That's the message from Kleis, "There's a less than three percent vacancy rate downtown. Thanks to Downtown Council President Pegg Gustafson, and all the folks that are on the board, downtown St. Cloud is really booming."

Kleis says, despite a few restaurant closings here and there, the city of St. Cloud still boasts a total of 165 restaurants, with 50 of those located in the downtown.Kleis also highlighted a lot of downtown projects that will be happening this year, including: the new parking ramp, the Liberty Square, the Beaver Island Trail extension, and the new condominiums.