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Willmar City Council to hear update on code enforcement and rental housing inspections

After adding the position of rental housing inspector to city staff in January, it is found that deficiencies in city ordinances prevent the Planning and Development Department from serving the community to the best of its ability.

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WILLMAR — The Willmar City Council will hear an update on code enforcement and rental housing inspections at its meeting Monday, June 20, at 6:30 p.m. at Kandiyohi Health and Human Services, 2200 23rd Street Northeast.

The city council approved the addition of a rental housing inspector to the Planning and Development Department in January. The move has been a benefit to the department, freeing its other inspectors for residential and commercial plan reviews during the busy construction season, according to Planning and Development Director Justice Walker.

However, shortcomings in the city's current ordinances prevent the department from serving the community to the best of its ability. It is currently evaluating and intends to bring back macro-level changes that are necessary to help better serve the community at a later date, according to Walker.

Some of the issues that will be addressed are the length of time between rental unit inspections, implementing safety measures like requiring all rental units to have a fire extinguisher present, and implementing a crime-free housing program, also according to Walker.

Jennifer Kotila is a reporter for West Central Tribune of Willmar, Minnesota. She focuses on local government, specifically the City of Willmar, and business.

She can be reached via email at: jkotila@wctrib.com or phone at 320-214-4339.
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