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Willmar Police Dept. receives new equipment, praise for traffic safety enforcement from state

WILLMAR — A state agency representative had praise this week for the Willmar Police Department’s traffic safety enforcement efforts.

As a result of its good work, the department received a LIDAR (light detection and ranging) unit, which can more accurately pinpoint vehicles exceeding the speed limit than a radar unit.

The LIDAR was presented by Tom Kummrow, law enforcement liaison with the TZD (Toward Zero Deaths) program of the Office of Traffic Safety of the Minnesota Department of Public Safety.

Kummrow presented the $2,500 unit to Willmar Police Chief David Wyffels during the City Council’s Monday night meeting. The LIDAR unit was awarded to the department as a grant incentive for stellar participation efforts in TZD.

Kummrow said he looks at the enforcement activity in Willmar. He said the city has a great department that has the right objectives in mind. He said it has nothing to do with officers liking to write tickets.

“I believe that the officers and starting with the chief on down, the perception is we want traffic safety,’’ he said. “To achieve that, enforcement’s part of that.’’

Also Monday, the council received a status report on Willmar’s 2012 Small Cities Development Program grant from Jill Bengtson, executive director of the Kandiyohi County Housing and Redevelopment Authority, McLeod County HRA, and Willmar HRA.

In 2012, the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development awarded $1,076,162 to Willmar and Raymond to implement a residential and commercial rehabilitation program.

Under the terms of the 2012 Small Cities Development Program grant, the city is required to conduct a status hearing to provide information and receive comments from citizens on the projects funded by the grant.

The program allocated $480,000 for 32 homeowner rehab projects; $196,350 for 17 renter-occupied rehab projects; and $267,800 for eight commercial rehab projects. Administration took $132,012.

Rehab and repair examples include but are not limited to window and door replacement; roof replacement; siding replacement; foundation repairs; electrical, plumbing and heating repairs; insulation installation; handicap accessibility improvements; and correcting building code violations.

In other business, the council:

* Approved the low bid of Duininck Inc. of Prinsburg in the amount of $2,421,172 for the MinnWest lift station/Lakeland Drive sewer project. Council approval is contingent on approval from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. A higher bid of $2,950,837 was submitted by Quam Construction of Willmar.

* Approved the low bid of $33,500 from Glieden Enterprises of Belgrade for crack-sealing 2.49 miles of city streets this year. The city received higher bids from two other firms.

* Approved permits for four archery ranges in residential areas under new rules established by the council. Council member Bruce DeBlieck abstained from voting because he applied for one of the permits.

David Little
David Little covers the Willmar City Council, Willmar Municipal Utilities and other city news.
(320) 235-1150