By Jim Nash
This past week we were notified that a national consumer advocacy company called Nerdwallet had declared Waconia the #1 city in all of Minnesota for young families.
This was a fantastic recognition and was for many of us the validation of something that we have known for a long, long time!
Ask any resident who lives here; they will give you dozens of reasons why Waconia is a wonderful place to live!
NerdWallet looked at several things as they measured the cities they looked at, and I think that in the case of Waconia; they were spot on when they declared us #1 they are:
1. Good Public Schools? Yes we do! And excellent private schools as well!
2. Can you afford to live there? I think that Waconia is extremely affordable and we on the council continue to strive to keep taxes and fees low and lowering them when we can.
3. Is the city growing and prospering? Yes we are! We have seen many new home starts in the last few years (far more than surrounding areas), business starts, existing businesses expanding and growing, and we continue to expand our infrastructure that is so important to growth. Something that was particularly interesting to me was the in the timeframe of 1999-2011 the median income in Waconia rose 43.2 percent. That is a tremendous increase and one that speaks to the desirability of living here, working here, and investing in the community
I think there are other things that are reasons why we have such a great city that did not make the list of criteria but are solid reasons why we are a great family city.
1. Tremendous opportunities to plug into the community: We have so many things that are available to be involved in for families. Community Ed sports for children, events like Nickle Dickle Day, the county fair, water sports and great fishing on Lake Waconia, music and band festivals, our many excellent parks, proximity to the Dakota Rail Trail, and a beautiful and vibrant downtown!
2. A sense of excitement and service! On any given weekend you can find something really fun and exciting to do in Waconia. We are an extremely busy city that offers the family things like Farmer’s Markets, shopping events, successful sports teams, and things like the Wounded Warrior softball tournament, Relay for Life, the Waconia Rodeo, and the many events like them. Your calendar can be full of great things to do, and you never have to leave the city.
3. A sense of community: As the father of six children who has kids ranging from 5-17 I can tell you this. When we go to a park, or a sporting event, a school activity, to the grocery story, or are doing something downtown, we ALWAYS see people that we know. There are many communities that I have lived in that cannot say this. They are spread out, detached from one another, and don’t have the same feel as Waconia.
Why you ask? Simple, Waconia is such a unique place, filled with great people and families that it can only create and foster a tight knit feeling.
We have a wonderful place to live, and I was so proud when I heard about this neat recognition, I am honored to serve you all here in our #1 city, and I’m excited to see where the next few years take Waconia! I know that it will be great!
Jim Nash is the mayor of Waconia.