Mayor Dave Kleis held his annual State of the City Address this afternoon, with Minnesota Lieutenant Governor Tina Smith in attendance, he spoke to some of the concerns from the people of his city.
In Tuesday’s address, Kleis spoke to a crowded room inside the still under construction YMCA building by Whitney Park.
“This is the first time I’ve had this in a building that was still under construction,” says Mayor Kleis
Kleis went over the results from the last year that were mailed to each of the 30,000 households around the area… and with good response
“We got a response rate from the survey of 17%, for those of you who know surveys, 5% response is a good survey,” says Kleis
According to the survey results, some of the main issues facing St. Cloud residents are public safety, road construction, traffic and the Northstar line. Kleis also addressed the fact that despite low unemployment in the area, 14.5% of people live in poverty.
“The reality is challenging, we have some of the lowest unemployment rates in history. We need to work on and focus on correcting this gap,” Kleis affirmed.
Overall, 94% of the people who responded to the survey approved of the city. Kleis and the City are making strides to make that number go even higher.
Kleis also mentioned two sites the city would like to redevelop, one of those is the Empire Apartment building on the west bank of the Mississippi, which is currently low income housing. Kleis said as well that they were in favor of bringing the Northstar to St. Cloud.