SARTELL -- Commercial growth is expected to be a key focal point for Sartell officials this year.

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During Tuesday's State of the City Address, Mayor Ryan Fitzthum says they've spent a lot of the time in the last year working on their future land use plan, which included a new citywide zoning map, in hopes to grow commercial business.

We believe there is a great opportunity to grow our commercial base. We are going to see a influx of commercial development that has been in the works for month or even years.

Fitzthum says the extension to connect Scout Drive to Dehler Drive will have a huge impact to the Sartell's future growth and development.

We view that as a significant economic driver for the city of Sartell. We view it as a regional attraction to bring regional services to Sartell. We have hundreds of acres available there.

The city was awarded $5.5-million in state bonding money last year for the project, which is slated to begin this fall.

Fitzthum says it's a delicate balance maintaining a neighborhood community feel while attracting new business.

He says there are currently two new residential developments happening -- Northern Meadows and the Gates at Blackberry.

Fitzthum says as for new businesses, there have been rumors of Dunkin Donuts coming to Sartell, however it's only speculative at this point as no formal plans have been submitted.

Other initiatives this year include the opening of the SCHEELS Athletic Complex, reconstruct of the old pedestrian bridge, and a continued focus on engaging with businesses and residents.

 

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