March 26, 2020 - League of Wisconsin Municipalities - COVID-19 Update #11
COVID-19 Coronavirus Update
Explain it this way!
" To 🛑 the spread, limit close interaction to the same 5 people TOTAL,
NOT different small groups."  #SaferAtHome
Is someone forwarding these emails to you? Do you want to subscribe? Sign up here.
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.

Join Zoom Meeting  

Or Simply Dial in
+1 312 626 6799
Meeting ID: 728 496 257

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 #SaferAtHome Shelter in Place Emergency Order

NEW - Emergency Order #12 Impact on Municipalities  (PDF) by Steve Zach, Boardman & Clark LLP 

Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC)

Frequently Asked Questions

Federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA)
Sample Employee Policy and Guidance
At this time, a policy is not required to implement paid leave under the FFCRA. This sample policy has been prepared for municipalities choosing to use a policy and to provide a more-detailed explanation of the FFCRA’s requirements than contained in the Department of Labor’s Notice poster. Note, municipalities are permitted, but not required, to exempt emergency responders from paid leave under the FFCRA. This sample policy excludes emergency responders. See “Considerations for Use of Sample Policy” on the first page for additional information.  Read the guidance here.

Governor's Emergency Powers
The scope of Governor’s emergency powers does not include suspending statutes. Read more about the Governor’s emergency powers in this recent Legislative Council Information Memorandum on: AUTHORITY OF PUBLIC HEALTH OFFICIALS DURING A PUBLIC HEALTH EMERGENCY
Frequently Asked Questions
From past COVID-19 Newsletters

March 25, 2020

Impact on property assessment and taxation by DOR
See the League's website here.

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 - 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.     

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.
We go to work for you. Please stay home for us!

We know that you have been working hard to keep your community safe and services available. Thank you!

You can download this hot off the press "We go to work for you" graphic as a PDF here .

This work is the result of the League's partnership on messaging with UW Madison that we initiated March 16. Stay tuned for more.

COVID-19 Crisis Communication: How to Make Your Messages Hit Home Webinar by the NLC

As a local or community leader, communication to residents is critical to a unified response and safe way through a crisis like the COVID-19 pandemic. Local leaders: tune in to hear about communications strategies you can use to help ensure voluntary compliance with public health safeguards. Hear from and ask questions to Hud Englehart, managing partner at Beacon Advisors and professor of Crisis Communication at Northwestern University. Register for the webinar...
In the News

Coronavirus: Cites And Villages React To Stay-At-Home Order
Creative problem solving at the local level, elections and partnerships during the #Coronavirus pandemic was the focus of today's interview with the League's President and City of Wisconsin Rapids Mayor Zach Vruwink. We care for our friends and neighbors. The Mayor also emphasizes the need for Personal Protective Equipment! Listen to the interview here...

Online Voter Registration Available as of March 25 at noon

Stop calling dispatch to ask about the governor's safer at home order
Local sheriff's offices and emergency management are begging people to stop calling dispatch centers to ask questions about the governor's safer at home order.

Milwaukee resumes construction permit reviews with new precautions
Lewandowski in a printed statement said safety is the highest priority.

“That means full compliance with building codes and complete adherence to public health recommendations by our teams as well as our customers,” she said. “We are in a challenging time, and, like everyone, we are adapting the way we do business.” Read the story...

Walton mayor talks more about his frank Facebook rant about coronavirus
WALTON, Ky. (WKRC) - The mayor of a small town in Kentucky is getting international attention following an online rant about the coronavirus. It appears the mayor of Walton posted what a lot of people are thinking.

Walton, Kentucky, is four-square miles of “friendly” about 30 minutes south of Cincinnati. And many people there are just as scared of coronavirus as anywhere.

“People need to listen and take it seriously,” said Walton resident Linda Thacker. “People is gonna get more sicker and it’s not gonna stop.” Read the article... or Comment/share/like on the League's Facebook page...

No Contest
Local Spring Elections Feature Few Choices for Wisconsin Voters
In this analysis, limited to the state’s largest cities and counties to ensure a manageable scope, we examine competition for board and council seats since 2012. While at first glance the ongoing COVID-19 crisis might seem to overshadow such concerns, it also could be argued that effective leadership at the local level has never been more critical. Consequently, a decline in the number of contested elections is worthy of deliberation and possible action by policymakers in the future. Read the analysis on the Wisconsin Policy Forum website...
Reminder - Small Business & Downtown Support

Wisconsin's Small Business Administration (SBA) office is offering daily webinars to answer 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:

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: