WAITE PARK -- After a difficult year, Waite Park officials are planning to set the stage this year. That's the message given during Wednesday's State of the City address.

Mayor Rick Miller says as he reflects on last year, he's proud of how the city overcame such a trying year.

You can prepare for all the disasters in the world, and we do that, but no one could have prepared for a pandemic. I think we did alright, we handled it very well.

As far as development within the city, Community Development Director Jon Noerenberg says Waite Park saw roughly $7-million in redevelopment projects.

Those project included the completion of the two-hotel complex, Park Event Center and Mavericks restaurant, exterior renovation of the Marketplace Mall and reconstruction of the Ultimate Sports Bar, which is slated to open this year.

Get our free mobile app

Miller says as for this year, they're asking the legislature for approval to bring a new half-cent sales tax to the voters to help fund several regional projects.

We're hoping to get approval from the state legislature so we can start thinking about building and take it to the voters in 2022. If we get their approval we can start working on fixing some of 10th Avenue, we can make our connection to the Glacier Ridge Trail, and the most important thing for us is a new public safety building.

As for the police department, Chief Dave Bentrud says 2020 was a good year for them. They started a reserve officer program, improved technology, promoted two new sergeants, including their first female sergeant, and were awarded a COPS grant to hire three more officers this year.

Miller says they are also looking forward to what he hopes to be full year of use at The Ledge Amphitheater, which remained closed last year due to the pandemic. As of now, no national acts have been announced.

Last year's Waite Park State of the City Address was canceled due to the pandemic.

 

10 Pet Peeves Only Minnesotans Understand