“The Wayzata boys basketball team is replacing three key starters from its 2021-22 state runner up squad. Drew Berkland, Carter Bjerke and Ryan Harvey all graduated, leaving senior guards Spencer Hall and Hayden Tibbits as the two returning starters. One of those starting spots will likely be filled by 6-foot-8 junior Jackson McAndrew. He played a key role off the bench last season and this summer collected six offers to play division I college basketball. The Lake Conference will institute a shot clock this season for all conference games. Wayzata head coach Bryan Schnettler was not in favor of the move but doesn’t think it will make much of a difference for his team. The shot clock will not be used for non-conference or post-season games.” From CCX Media.
“The Wayzata boys’ hockey team skated to its first Turkey Trot tournament championship since 2015 Saturday, beating Maple Grove 5-1. The four-team tournament, which also included Edina and Moorhead is sponsored by CCX Media and hosted by Wayzata. Jibber Kuhl and Jake Mattson each scored two goals in the title game and three in the tourney to lead the Trojans. Goalie Will Ingemann saved 47 shots in the tournament and posted a .940 save percentage. Lucas Busch scored the lone Maple Grove goal in the title game. Wayzata had defeated Moorhead 3-2 in the semifinals Friday while Maple Grove blanked Edina 2-0 in its semifinal game. Wayzata plays at Duluth East in its next game on Saturday. Maple Grove’s next game is Thursday night at Anoka.” From CCX Media.
As is customary the Friday after Thanksgiving, the Wayzata community celebrates the holiday season by getting together to Light up the Lake.25November2022Light up the Lake WayzataJoin the festivities as the Wayzata Chamber of Commerce hosts Light up the Lake4:30-7pmPanoway
Join the Wayzata Chamber of Commerce and the City of Wayzata for the annual tree lighting ceremony, horse drawn carriage rides, reindeer, hot cider, and more! From 4:30-7pm on Lake Street and the Wayzata Depot.
The varsity Wayzata Girls Basketball program and the youth based Wayzata Girls Basketball Association kicked off another season on Thursday November 17th at the Wayzata Gymnasium.
Wayzata Girls Basketball Coach Julie Stewart and WGBA Director Chad Greenway were among the persenters.
Every attendee received a t-shirt, each high school class of girls participated in a skit, and a number of contests were conducted. Click this link for more information on the Wayzata Girls Basketball Association. View the girls varsity schedule here.
On behalf of our crew at Wayzata.com including my wife Elisha and our three daughters Nikki, Jenny, & Katie, we want to wish you a very happy Thanksgiving!
We are very grateful to live and work in such a wonderful community and to be able to serve you in your life and the lives of your friends and family.
The Wayzata Volleyball team has won another Class 4A title, beating Lakeville North easily in three sets: 26-24, 25-12, 25-23.
“The Wayzata volleyball team swept Lakeville North in the championship match of the state Class AAAA tournament, giving the Trojans a third consecutive state title. The Trojans beat the Panthers 26-24, 25-12, and 25-23. The team also won state championships in 2019 and 2021. There was no state tournament in 2020. Olivia Swenson led Wayzata in kills in the title match with 14. Avery Jesewitz added 10. Wayzata finished the season with a 30-4 record.” From CCX Media.
Editors note: An earlier version of this post indicated Wayzata Volleyball has won 2 state titles.
First responders and law enforcement officers are difficult to come by in 2022 with fewer recruits and more competition between departments.
Wayzata is experiencing this just like the rest of the nation, with the fire and police departments needing to be creative to meet the needs of the community. Meanwhile budget demands weigh heavy and the landscape of public safety continues to evolve.
Fire Chief Kevin Klapprich and Police Chief Marc Schultz discussed the challenges their departments are faced with and what they are doing to keep Wayzata safe.
Chief Schultz has heard of the perception that crime is on the rise in Wayzata. While there has been an uptick in certain types of incidents across the state, Wayzata remains on par with where it has been in recent years.
Traffic complaints were among the categories to see the most significant increase in 2022. This can be attributed with more construction finishing, the restrictions of the COVID-19 pandemic easing and the Panoway attracting more visitors. Some may believe the Panoway is a catalyst for driving overall criminal incidents upward, but Schultz said that would be oversimplifying the facts.
“To attribute that to the Panoway is a bit unfair,” he said. “I don’t think we can attribute it to just one thing. It’s bringing a lot of people who may not have visited us before to our town. A lot of different elements changed at the same time.”
Schultz referred to the pandemic keeping people isolated from each other and inspiring more outdoor seating at restaurants. Meanwhile the nationwide turmoil stemming from the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis may have encouraged people to seek activities outside of Minnesota’s most populous city.
Graffiti, property damage and thefts from vehicles were also among the more notable upward trends in calls, along with some vehicle thefts. Violent crimes, including carjackings which have become more prevalent in the Minneapolis metro were largely not seen in Wayzata though.
“In a lot of the perceptions that the public sees is what they see in the media,” Schultz said. “It doesn’t mean we’re immune to those trends. Those are indicators that trends are changing and we certainly have to deal with that.”
The police department is currently staffed with 15 sworn officers. Increased traffic, particularly from visitors, puts an added strain on the officers on duty. They cannot be everywhere at once as Schultz notes. That is why the department is constantly looking into new ways of policing. Not as a replacement for boots on the ground, but to enhance its ability to cover the community.
Automated license plate readers
One of those force multipliers is a newly implemented system of automated license plate readers. A pilot program in Wayzata started in just the last two weeks with the installation of readers which capture still images of license plates, automatically reporting if a vehicle law enforcement is looking for, such as a stolen vehicle or an owner with a warrant, enters Wayzata. Officers will be immediately notified if such a vehicle passes by the reader. This information can also be shared with other departments within the system.
Schultz said the system has already proven useful.
“We had a catalytic converter stolen off a car in broad daylight last week,” he said. “We got a still photo of the suspect vehicle and that has helped the investigation.”
The investigation is still open but the results are encouraging so far. Schultz hopes to see more readers installed by the end of the year.
Wayzata’s K9 unit
Speaking of force multipliers, the force added a K-9 unit this earlier this year. Loki, the K-9 officer, has proven to be more trustworthy than his namesake, giving the department an additional officer.
“If you have an officer responding to a scene and that officer is a K-9 unit, now you have two officers for some extra backup,” Schultz said. “That also allows us to help neighboring agencies if they need assistance.”
Police Department is a full time union shop
The chief looks forward to adding more officers to his roster after the council approves funding for more positions for 2023. The council is expected to move on this item by the end of the year. Once positions are opened up, Schultz know the challenge is only beginning.
“Gone are the days where we can just sit back and have applicants come to us,” he said. “We’re going out to state and regional career fairs. We’re reaching out to folks and not being so reactive to hiring opportunities. We want to be proactive. I liken it to the NCAA football recruiting style. We want to invest in them right away.”
Officers will be paid about $31 to $42 per hour in 2023 with market adjustments of 3 percent scheduled for the following years through 2025. They are hired as part of the Minnesota Labor Union.
Short fire crew
To put it simply, the Wayzata Fire Department is short on firefighters. This tracks with departments nationwide, but the department needs more firefighters and more support overall.
There are 23 firefighters in the department which is seven short of being fully staffed. Chief Klapprich estimates it has been about 10 years since the department has had a full staff and even then there may have been an opening.
Klapprich has been with the department for 44 years. His father Paul, who also served as chief, was in the department for 49 years. Kurt Klapprich, the chief’s brother, is an assistant chief and has been with the department for 40 years.
Needless to say, the Klapprich family has been instrumental in keeping the Wayzata Fire Department going and consequently keeping the community safe. Yet, due to budget constraints at the city level, Klapprich has not been hired as a full-time fire chief. You will not hear him complain. In fact, he said he feels lucky to work for the people he does.
“I don’t want trouble between the firemen and their boss,” he said. “All I can do is give them the info on ‘Here’s what I’m spending.’”
“At some point they’re not going to have a choice,” Klapprich added, referring to the decision to hire a full-time fire chief. I’m not saying I will see it. You might not see it. Personally, I think at some point there are going to have to be duty crews. It might go as far as full-time people.”
The chief reported he spends an average of 26 hours on administration per week, which does not include responding to fires, training or holding meetings.
“That 26 hours is basically keeping us floating,” he said. “With a full-time guy here there’d be a number of other things that could happen.”
Deputy City Manager Aurora Yager confirmed during a city council workshop that those hours are “just to meet the basic administrative and management duties of the position.” She also explained the need for a full-time fire chief as recommended by a 2021 department study.
Klapprich understands firefighting is a major commitment and the commitment to training might be daunting for some. The first year is the hardest in terms of training and getting up to speed. Beyond that, firefighters continue to train weekly.
Part time but on duty 24/7/365
The commitment goes beyond what happens in the fire station or on scene. Wayzata’s firefighters leave their jobs and families to respond to calls. They are on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week throughout the year, including holidays.
The department responds to about 370 calls per year, many of which last at least a few hours. Chief Klapprich is usually at every call, and at least 9 people will respond to a call and often up to 12. That means half of the department is tied up with a call. Firefighters occasionally have overlapping calls as well, meaning they are called to another incident while already responding to something.
Klapprich said the department is getting the job done right now, but he understands how fragile the situation could be. There are as many as five firefighters who are eligible to retire with full pensions at any time. He has one person on military leave and another on medical leave.
Fire Department is part time & not union
Firefighter benefits, as described on the city’s official website, include a wage of $12 per hour for responding to calls, training and meetings. They receive a pension which pays out at a lump sum at the minimum age of 50 and a $15,000 basic life insurance policy, which the city pays for.
With a fully staffed fire department, Klapprich could see another two fire trucks hitting the streets for a call, increasing the speed at which a fire is quelled and the overall reach of the department should multiple incidents happen concurrently. The fire department does not have a union at this time.
New ladder truck on order
Speaking of fire trucks, the city council approved a purchase agreement with MacQueen Emergency for a new ladder truck on Nov. 1. The current ladder truck in use has been with the department since about 2003. According to Klapprich, the department has been seeking a new ladder truck for at least five years.
The ladder truck is a crucial component to effectively fighting a fire. It increases the speed at which firefighters can douse a fire with gallons of water by about four times, Klapprich said. Additionally water can be sprayed from above which can be more advantageous in some situations.
The estimated cost for a new ladder truck is about $1.5 million.
Even with the purchase agreement in place, Klapprich expects it to be another two years or more before the new ladder truck is here, due to waiting lists in the aftermath of supply shortages.
“The Wayzata volleyball team is back in the state championship for a third straight season following a three-set sweep of Rogers Thursday morning. The Trojans beat the Royals 25-15, 25-14, and 25-23. Olivia Swenson led the Trojans with nine kills. Katie Kelzenberg recorded six kills and Stella Swenson five. Stella Swenson had 19 set assists while Sophia Johnson recorded four aces. Wayzata recorded 9.5 team blocks compared to 3.5 for Rogers. Anya Schmidt led the Royals with 12 kills. Top-seeded Wayzata (29-4) plays second-seeded Lakeville North (29-4) for the Class AAAA title Saturday at 7:00 pm at Xcel Energy Center. The Trojans won the big-class tournament in 2019 and 2021. There was no tournament in 2020 because of Covid-19. Rogers plays East Ridge in the third-place match.” From CCX Media.
“Wednesday marked one of the NCAA’s National Letter of Intent signing days, when high school seniors can commit in writing to colleges for athletics. Both Maple Grove and Wayzata hosted large ceremonies before school Wednesday in various sports including baseball, basketball, cross country, lacrosse, soccer, softball, swimming, tennis, track and field, and volleyball. The next big NLI day comes December21 for football.” From CCX Media.
“The Wayzata volleyball team won its state quarterfinal round match Wednesday, sweeping unseeded Burnsville 25-20, 25-20, and 25-18. Olivia Swenson led the Trojans with 14 kills while Katie Kelzenberg added 10. The top-seeded and defending state champion Trojans are now 28-4 on the season and play in the state class AAAA semifinals Thursday at 9:00 am at the Xcel Energy Center.” From CCX Media.
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