March 25, 2020 - League of Wisconsin Municipalities - COVID-19 Update #10
COVID-19 Coronavirus Update
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League COVID-19 Virtual Roundtable Conference Call
This call is for City/Village Officials,
including mgrs./adm. & Staff Only

Thursday, March 26, 2020 - 4:00-5:00 p.m.

Tomorrow's newsletter and the League's website will have new call-in instructions.

If you aren't able to connect or have a question after participating, please contact Jerry Deschane at email .

We will schedule additional calls as needed. Notice will be provided on the League's website and in these Special Edition newsletters, which will also be sent as needed.
Gov. Evers Announces #SaferAtHome Shelter in Place Emergency Order

Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation  Essential Business Listing
Listen to the Governor’s March 24 media conference on the  League’s Facebook page  and on the  Dept of Health Services YouTube  Channel.

The League staff will be analyzing the impact of the Order, including the affect on the election. We will provide information as we have it to include in this newsletter and on the League's COVID-19 page.
City of Green Bay sues state officials to delay spring election and move it to mail over coronavirus concerns
GREEN BAY - The City of Green Bay is suing state officials to delay the spring election and move it to mail, arguing an in-person election will endanger poll workers and residents amid the growing coronavirus crisis.  Read the story here..

Note: The League is watching these legal actions closely. The League is not a party to either action and does not have a position in favor of or opposed to delay or all-absentee voting. Our role is to make sure that the court has all the relevant information it needs to make a sound decision.
Public Service Commission

Additional Details on PSC Order Altering Public Utility Tariffs
On March 24, 2020, the Public Service Commission issued an emergency order (in Docket 5-UI-120), effective immediately, temporarily altering all public utility tariffs, including those of municipal water and electric utilities.

Deadline for Municipal Utilities Annual Reports Extended to June 1
Earlier today, the Public Service Commission sent the following notice to municipal water, sewer, and electric utilities: Given the timeline in Governor Evers' Emergency Order #12 and the uncertainty surrounding the length of the declared public health emergency, the Commission is further extending the deadline for filing 2019 PSC Annual Reports to June 1, 2020 for all utilities.     

Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ on Assessment Practices During COVID-19 from DOR
On March 25, 2020, the Wisconsin Department of Revenue (DOR) posted a guidance on its website in response to local government questions on property assessment and taxation due to COVID-19. The guidance is based on current law. The department explained in a note to municipal clerks that in light of the difficulties that will be presented during this calendar year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the department is looking into ways to provide greater flexibility to local governments – even identifying changes that require legislative action.

Read the "Property Assessment and Taxation Information" guidance here
Frequently Asked Questions
From past COVID-19 Newsletters

March 20, 2020

Summary of the recently enacted Federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act

HR 6201 Families First Coronavirus Response  SUMMARY  

HR 6201 Families First Coronavirus Response  Paid Sick Leave  

March 19, 2020

Wisconsin Elections Commission’s Latest Actions Regarding Spring Election Preparedness
Answer: See the League's website here .

Effect of DHS’ Order #5 on Municipalities
(Prohibitions on gatherings of 10 or more people)
Answer: See the League's website here.

Can Restaurants Providing Meals for Carry-out and Delivery Sell Alcohol?
Answer: See the League's website here .

Municipal Emergency Powers During COVID-19
Answer: See the League's website here .

Complying with the open meetings law during the COVID-19 health emergency.  
Answer: See the League's website here . Includes Wis. Dept. of Justice guidance we received March 16, 2020.

Spending to address COVID-19 and the Expenditure Restraint Program .
Answer: See the League's website here. Includes guidance we received from the Wis. Dept. of Revenue on March 13, 2020.

Reminder - Continuing to conduct meetings in these times  

The  Office of Open Government  in the Wisconsin Department of Justice has issued two advisories indicating that governmental bodies may meet remotely during the COVID-19 public health emergency and still comply with the open meetings law.  March 16 Advisory March 20 Advisory

Local Government Options for Conducting Meetings Remotely (PDF) by Curt Witynski, Deputy Executive Director, League of Wisconsin Municipalities explains the options and the Advisories. It has been shared with the other local government associations, including the Clerks Association.

Reminder - Coordinating with Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)

Updated additional guidance from FEMA here .
Includes "What Local Governments Should Do."

Note: FEMA recommends that local governments follow the guidelines for Procurement Under Grants Conducted Under Exigent or Emergency Circumstances .”

The National League of Cities CitiesSpeak blog on seeking FEMA assistance .
If you don't find what you need or if you have resources to contribute,
please email Jerry Deschane.
What could someone say to you...
Survey Now Available in Several Languages

Taking survey can help thwart COVID-19, spread Wisconsin Idea
In a fast-moving response to COVID-19, the University of Wisconsin–Madison and the League of Wisconsin Municipalities are joining forces to help slow the spread of the disease. And they need your help. Read the article... Share the League's Facebook post...
Share this with your residents to your Facebook Page

The US faces 'severe blood shortage' as coronavirus outbreak cancels blood drives and regular donations. Read the USA Today story here...

Share the League's Facebook post to your own page.
Small Business & Downtown Support

Wisconsin's Small Business Administration (SBA) office is offering daily webinars to answer your questions regarding the SBA's Economic Injury Disaster Loans , for small businesses owners impacted by COVID-19.

Register now.

10 am webinars:

2 pm webinars:

City of Racine to Launch Small Business Emergency Fund in Wake of COVID-19
City of Racine – During the COVID-19 crisis small businesses will be forced to make some tough decisions as they will be the first to economic impacts of the virus. The City of Racine is taking a proactive step in trying to assistance businesses by redirecting $250,000 in federal funding to create a Small Business Emergency Fund for businesses that are under distress from the recession caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Read the media release...

WEDC announces targeted grants to small businesses suffering losses due to coronavirus emergency
In another step toward assisting small businesses that suffer losses related to the COVID-19 health emergency, the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) is creating a program to provide grants to targeted businesses throughout the state, WEDC Secretary and CEO Missy Hughes announced today.

The WEDC Board of Directors on Tuesday approved $5 million in funding for the program, which will be known as Small Business 20/20 (SB20/20). SB20/20 will provide grants of up to $20,000 to targeted businesses with no more than 20 employees to cover rent and to meet payroll expenses, including paid leave (including sick, family and other leave related to COVID-19). Read more...
COVID-19 is a virus that has not previously infected humans and information about its rate of spread and its effects is still largely unknown, which makes it incredibly important to be highly cautious in dealing with the current situation. 

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services will continue to provide the most up-to-date information regarding COVID-19. You are encouraged to monitor the site for updated guidance as the situation continues to evolve.

Want to share relevant and credible information to your Social Media?

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) on Facebook & on Twitter (Scroll down to see more recent posts.)

The Wisconsin Dept of Health Services (DHS) on Facebook & on Twitter.

And the League's social media: