WAITE PARK (WJON News) -- Connecting the Vision, that was the theme of this year's Waite Park State of the City Address.

The annual city update was held at The Ledge Wednesday afternoon.

City Administrator Shaunna Johnson says they've spent the last year working on their strategic planning process and how their vision will shape the city for the next twenty years.

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She says they've narrowed down their focus to three main goals.

We're really focusing on Public Safety, Industrial and Commercial Development to help grow our tax base, and then Entertainment and playing off The Ledge. We see ourselves as a community that can utilize those things and build off those key areas in the next three to five years.

Johnson says one of the key dominos to fall was the passing of the half-cent sales tax, which will be used to build a new public safety facility.

She says they are still a year away from even breaking ground.

We're still figuring out what exactly we are building and whether it will be a police and fire station. That fire study is really a key component for this and I anticipate within the next few months we will start seeing some of those recommendations and begin to sift through those things.

City officials have already been touring multiple Police and Fire stations across the state to get a better idea of what amenities they want to see in their new building.

Other takeaways include the city's focus for redevelopment such as housing to mixed-use developments, the welcoming of a new police chief, the collaboration with the Boys and Girls club to bring a Community Outpost, and the first concert of the 2023 season featuring Dwight Yoakam next Thursday.

Johnson says they are also waiting on the State Legislature to see if they will received any state funding to help with phase two of the amphitheater project.

The legislative session ends on Monday.





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