ST. CLOUD -- St. Cloud Mayor Dave Kleis delivered his 14th annual State of the City address Tuesday afternoon at the current St. Cloud Technical High School.  We aired the speech live on WJON.

A big part of his over one-hour long speech focused on roads and traffic.  Kleis says, even though he doesn’t think traffic congestion is all that bad, he does say it is time to create another Mississippi River crossing in the city.

33rd where the new Tech is going to be we're adding more lanes, we need to just take those lanes across the Mississippi River and plop them down over in Haven Township and connect Highway 15 and Highway 10.  That will reduce traffic on Highway 23, 2nd, and 3rd significantly.

Kleis says this isn’t a new idea, in fact, it was first introduced into the city’s comprehensive plan back in 1967.

Kleis says he’d like to make this idea a high transportation priority as much as the effort to widen Interstate 94 and to bring the Northstar Commuter Rail extension to St. Cloud.

Crime fighting and crime rates were also a highlight for Kleis.  He says, despite what most people think, there has been a five-percent reduction in overall crime in St. Cloud during the past 30 years.  He says that includes in the downtown area…

Downtown quite frankly, if you look at statistics, is one of the safest places in the city.  There's a lot of things happening in downtown.  You've got a tremendous resurgence in the downtown and a community that is committed to it.

St. Cloud recently swore in 10 new officers, which is the city’s largest class ever.

Kleis also talked a lot about the school’s 120-year history and some of the prominent residents who have graduated from the school over the years.

Kleis also looked ahead to the future of the building, with a couple of key community events.

We did a RFP for a developer to come forward to transition this building.  An open house is planned for May 7th.  There will also be a farewell celebration for the community the alumni folks are putting together on June 11th.

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