Isanti mayor projects growth during ‘State of the City’

Isanti Mayor George Wimmer spoke to the Isanti Area Chamber of Commerce Feb. 19 to discuss the state of the city. Photos by Urmila Ramakrishnan

Isanti Mayor George Wimmer spoke to the Isanti Area Chamber of Commerce Feb. 19 to discuss the state of the city. Photos by Urmila Ramakrishnan

Isanti Mayor George Wimmer projected business growth during his annual State of the City address hosted by the Isanti Area Chamber of Commerce Feb. 19.

Wimmer said there were 11 new and expanding businesses in 2013.

“Activity is dramatically increasing,” Wimmer said during the presentation at Spectacular Events Banquet Center.

He also discussed how business from neighboring cities would affect Isanti.

“I don’t consider Cambridge our competitor,” Wimmer said. “Cambridge and Isanti, we’re growing together. We are going to be one community within the next decade or two. East Bethel will probably be our main competitor.”

From right: Isanti City Council Member Sue Larson; Isanti Chamber President Tracy Neifert; Isanti Police Chief Ron Sager; Isanti Middle School-Minnesota Center Principal Randy Pauly; Jackie Moen with Training Connections; and Cambridge-Isanti School District Superintendent Ray Queener listen to the State of the City address given by Isanti Mayor George Wimmer.

From right: Isanti City Council Member Sue Larson; Isanti Chamber President Tracy Neifert; Isanti Police Chief Ron Sager; Isanti Middle School-Minnesota Center Principal Randy Pauly; Jackie Moen with Training Connections; and Cambridge-Isanti School District Superintendent Ray Queener listen to the State of the City address given by Isanti Mayor George Wimmer. 

Wimmer expects a $2 million average increase in property evaluation by the end of the year.

“This will be something that will be very achievable for us,” Wimmer said.

Residential homestead property, or primary residence housing, went from 74 percent in 2010 to about 11 percent. This was mostly due to a rental ordinance and an increase in rental properties after a spike in foreclosures during the housing crisis.

Since 2009, 486 foreclosed properties have been sold. There have also been 10 empty lots sold in the last year.

Wimmer also touched on public works and safety issues.

The city is looking at prospective replacements for Police Chief Ron Sager when he retires Feb. 27.

Wimmer also wants to create a private investigator position to handle long-term cases.

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