April 7, 2020 - League of Wisconsin Municipalities - COVID-19 Update #19
COVID-19 Coronavirus Update
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League COVID-19 Virtual Roundtable Conference Calls
This call is for City/Village Officials,
including mgrs./adm. & Staff Only

April 7 - 4:00-5:00 p.m. - We're going back to the roundtable format.

Join Zoom Meeting

Or Dial 312 626 6799

Meeting ID: 459 115 667
Password: 990365

April 10 - 9:00-10:00 a.m.

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 and call-in information will be provided on the League's website and in these Special Edition newsletters, which will also be sent as needed.
POLICY ISSUES
Elections
Guidance on Reporting of Election Results


"One common question we're getting from the media is whether there will be any election results tonight after the polls close at 8 p.m.

The answer is no.  Here's why :

The U.S. Supreme Court decision also did not alter the provision in Judge Conley’s amended order which prohibits the reporting of results until April 13. In order to ensure consistent compliance with that order, the number of ballots will be counted on Election Night but votes will not be counted until April 13. 

The U.S. Supreme Court decision did not alter the Election Night Procedures guidance posted at this link:  https://elections.wi.gov/index.php/node/6819 . If you have not done so already, please review that communication and provide it to election inspectors. The Commission plans to post additional guidance regarding procedures for April 13 later in the week.

We'll update later on what information may be available tonight from clerks regarding the number of ballots cast, etc."

Click here to share this guidance from the League's Facebook page to your own Facebook page.
Elections - In the News

Masks, Gloves, Barriers: Election Clerks Adjust To Coronavirus Pandemic
Wisconsin voters head to the polls Tuesday despite the coronavirus pandemic and a late push by Democrats to postpone the election. We examine how cities and villages are holding the election while health authorities continue to urge social distancing. Listen to the interview of Jerry Deschane, League Executive Director, Tracy Hartman, Clerk in Oneida County and Satya Rhodes-Conway, Madison Mayor on WPR...

(Statewide) Election day live blog: No, you cannot get a ballot e-mailed to you; love and commitment (to democracy) during pandemic
Reporters from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and the USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin are covering our contentious spring election on Tuesday, April 7, with updates from election sites around the state. Read the blog here...


Check out the Wisconsin Elections Commission Election Day blog here .
Additional Policy Issues
Reminder - Wisconsin DNR Issues Environmental Compliance Roadmap During COVID-19

Under Gov. Evers’ Safer at Home order the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources will prioritize responding to imminent threats or complaints related to public health, safety and the environment over routine, on-site audits and inspections. The regulated community can go here for a one-stop location to request case-by-case assistance due to likely compliance issues associated with COVID-19. All state laws and regulations remain in effect, unless otherwise suspended by the governor.   
 
The DNR is committed to doing what we can to help those impacted by COVID-19 while continuing to protect environmental quality, public health and safety. The DNR is sensitive to the challenges posed to its regulated community, such as wastewater and air permittees and landfill license holders.  

All entities should make every effort to comply with their environmental compliance obligations. Where full compliance may not be possible due to COVID-19, the DNR created an environmental compliance roadmap for regulated entities. 
 
The DNR advises local governments having a spill or a compliance problem that poses an imminent or actual threat to health or the environment to report it immediately by calling toll free 1-800-943-0003 and selecting “1.” This number is monitored 24 hours a day.
   
For non-emergency situations, the DNR is providing this online process as a means for the regulated entities to request advance compliance assistance from the DNR. This process should be initiated by directly emailing the main DNR contact for the facility or by using the online web form to request case-by-case compliance assistance. 

The DNR will monitor these systems daily during regular business hours. Where safe compliance alternatives are approved in advance by the DNR, regulated entities will be required to maintain records adequate to document implementation of authorized alternative compliance options. 
Gov. Evers #SaferAtHome Shelter in Place Emergency Order


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

Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC)
Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions
From the League's past COVID-19 Newsletters

Can be accessed here .
Federal
Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA)
Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) Update
 
On April 1 the Department of Labor (DOL) issued a 124 page document with temporary regulations to implement the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). The regulations are now final. 
 
We are reviewing the regulations and how they impact previous opinions we have given and the FFCRA Sample Policy that is available on our website. Based on our reading of the regulations to date, we expect that revisions will be necessary and updates will be provided once our review is complete. We are hosting a webinar on the FFCRA for League members on April 14, 2020 at 1 p.m. Registration below.
 
In the meantime, DOL has posted a recorded webinar on the FFCRA on its site and is offering assistance with questions. To view the webinar visit https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/pandemic
 
The DOL Wages and Hours Division (WHD) invites webinar viewers to call the agency’s toll-free help line at 866-4US-WAGE to speak with a trained WHD professional about any questions they may have.

NEW - While the regulations are final, the DOL is still seeking input on the content of the current compliance materials, which may be found at https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/pandemic .
 
If you are interested in providing feedback, please see the information that was provided in the League’s April 2 COVID-19 newsletter . Anyone who is interested can participate online at https://ffcra.ideascale.com through April 10, 2020.
HR6201 Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) Webinar
For League Members Only! Free
April 14, 1:00 - 2:00 p.m.

The League of Wisconsin Municipalities is hosting a webinar for League Members on HR6201 Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) on Tuesday, April 14, 2020 at 1:00 - 2:00 p.m.

The US Department of Labor recently released guidance on how to administer sick leave and expanded family leave under the FFCRA. We will dive into the details.

This session will include an overview of FFCRA by Attorney Lisa Bergersen of EngageHR Law, LLC. We will address many of your frequently asked questions as well as allow time for participants to ask questions of their own.

Registration open through Monday, April 13
Register using this link:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.
Coronavirus Aid, Relief, & Economic Security
(CARES) Act
Reminder - Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act

The  CARES Act was signed into law March 27 . Provisions in the Act helpful to municipalities are summarized by the National League of Cities  here .

Wisconsin Legislative Fiscal Bureau CARES Act Memorandum

The Wisconsin Legislative Fiscal Bureau has prepared a memorandum explaining the major provisions of the CARES Act relating to state and local governments, and the potential amount of funding Wisconsin may receive. Please note, this information is preliminary. Available information relating to the CARES Act is incomplete at this time and subject to rapid change as additional guidance and information is provided. As a reminder, municipalities should track all costs incurred that relate to the COVID-19 situation. 
Reminder - COVID-19 Emergency Declaration – Applying for Public Assistance
On March 13, 2020, President Trump declared the ongoing Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic of sufficient severity and magnitude to warrant an emergency declaration for all states, tribes, territories, and the District of Columbia.
  • State and local governments are eligible to apply for Public Assistance. 
  • Eligible emergency protective measures taken to respond to the COVID-19 emergency at the direction or guidance of public health officials’ may be reimbursed under Category B of the agency’s Public Assistance program. FACT SHEET on ELIGIBLE EXPENSES
  • FEMA assistance will be provided at the 75 percent Federal cost share
  • Local governments and other eligible public assistance applicants will apply through their respective state. In Wisconsin contact Eric Learn, the State Public Assistance Officer at WEM, 608-242-3200, for more information.
  • The application deadline for the COVID- 19 disaster public assistance has been indefinitely extended by FEMA. FEMA waived the ordinary 30 day application deadline that would have otherwise closed on April 12. 
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
NEW - How to Apply for FEMA Reimbursement Webinars
The “Grants Portal” is the online system FEMA uses to administer their Public Assistance (PA) program. In order to participate in the PA program, and receive reimbursement for disaster related costs, applicants must register for an account and submit a Request for Public Assistance (RPA) in the Grants Portal. Please see this document (PDF) with dates for Grants Portal webinar trainings. There are multiple sessions on Tuesday, April 7; Thursday, April 9; and Friday, April 10. Local governments are eligible to apply for Public Assistance and are considered the “Applicant” under the FEMA Public Assistance program.

“Applicant” session topics:
  • How to register and set up a new account
  • Submit a Request for Public Assistance
  • Upload documents and create tiles
  • Navigate the system throughout the grant process
 
Registration links are embedded in the attached document.
 
Please contact FEMA-Recovery-PA-Grants@fema.dhs.gov or call the Grants Portal Hotline at 1-866-337-8448 with any questions.
If you don't find what you need or if you have resources to contribute,
please email Jerry Deschane.
Communications
REQUEST - Please send us your photos typifying your experience during this challenging time for publication in the League's May magazine

Photos will be placed in chronological order. Our goal is to provide a look back at what was happening with you and with your municipalities during these few weeks. It doesn't matter what kind of work you do in service to your community, please share a photo or two!

Photos can be from your work with the City or Village or from your personal experience.

Send your photos straight from your Smartphone in the highest resolution possible to Sandy at league@lwm-info.org

Subject line should be easy for Sandy to flag: Photo for League magazine

In the body of your email, please include:

  • Municipality Name
  • Submitted by or Photo Taken by (so we can give you credit)
  • Date photo was take 
  • Short Caption - just a sentence or two explaining the photo.

We will include as many photos as we can. We will be accepting photos until April 10. You can submit more than once.
In the News

Public Bodies Find New Ways to Meet
Believe it or not, this has been a relatively quiet time on the open government front.

In my role with the Wisconsin Freedom of Information Council, I often field calls from reporters and citizens regarding the problems they are experiencing getting access to public meetings and records.

In recent weeks, those calls are down, way down, from maybe two a day to one a week.

This is happening during a time of tremendous upheaval in how meetings are being conducted in Wisconsin, now that they cannot take place in an actual group setting.

Literally thousands of state and local public bodies are having to implement new methods and embrace new technologies to allow their members and the public to attend meetings through their computers and phones. It’s a vast and transformative undertaking.

I suspect that this has not worked perfectly in any quarter, but I have heard complaints from none. That’s a good thing. Read the story...

WE CAN GO THE DISTANCE TOGETHER: 10 WAYS YOU CAN DO YOUR PART
The University of Wisconsin-Madison Communication Collaborative for COVID-19 Response has developed 10 essential steps to limit the spread of COVID-19. They reflect the overall need for maintaining a physical distance from each other, washing you hands and staying home: Read the article...
Please consider sharing Facebook posts from the Wisconsin Dept. of Health Services Facebook page to your own Facebook page. Scroll down their page to see what they've posted.

Copy and paste this explanation of #SaferAtHome into your posts:

To slow the spread, limit close interaction to the same 5 people TOTAL, NOT different small groups."  #SaferAtHome
Webinars and Training
The FEMA Grant Programs Directorate’s Procurement Disaster Assistance Team (PDAT) is offering a one-hour training webinar for each FEMA region on procurement standards related to COVID-19.

April 8 - 10:30 a.m. for Region 5

The target audience for this training opportunity includes local emergency management personnel, and Public Assistance applicants. The training will cover how to properly contract during emergency or exigent circumstances when using federal funds according to 2 C.F.R. §§ 200.317 – 200.326. 
Information and registration here (PDF).

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HR6201 Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) Webinar
For League Members Only!
April 14, 1:00 - 2:00 p.m.

The League of Wisconsin Municipalities is hosting a webinar for League Members on HR6201 Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) on Tuesday, April 14, 2020 at 1:00 - 2:00 p.m.

The US Department of Labor recently released guidance on how to administer sick leave and expanded family leave under the FFCRA. We will dive into the details.

This session will include an overview of FFCRA by Attorney Lisa Bergersen of EngageHR Law, LLC. We will address many of your frequently asked questions as well as allow time for participants to ask questions of their own.

Registration open through Monday, April 13
Register using this link:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

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Local Government Essentials
Programs brought to you by the Local Government Center at UW-Madison Extension

Alcohol Beverage Regulation and Licensing – Part 1
Wednesday, May 20, 2020, 1:00-3:00 p.m.
Under state law, Wisconsin municipalities issue and renew alcohol licenses. New municipal clerks and others looking for a refresher on the basics of alcohol licensing will benefit most from this session. Learn about the different types of licenses, license qualifications, notice requirements, and other statutory requirements as your municipality prepares for the upcoming license renewal period.
Presented by Attorney Carol Nawrocki of the Wisconsin Towns Association and Attorney Claire Silverman of the League of Wisconsin Municipalities.

Alcohol Beverage Regulation and Licensing – Part 2
Wednesday, June 3, 2020, 1:00-2:00 p.m.
Part 2 is intended for both new and continuing officials who want to stay up-to-date with recent changes in the law, current issues, and Wisconsin Department of Revenue resources related to alcohol licensing. In addition to providing these updates, Mr. Quam will be available to answer any questions you submit ahead of time, and if time, those questions posed during the presentation. To submit questions, please email them by Wednesday, May 1, 2020 to  lgc@extension.wisc.edu .
Presented by Tyler Quam Special Agent-in-Charge at Wisconsin Department of Revenue, Alcohol and Tobacco Enforcement Unit.
General Resources
DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH SERVICES
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. 

LATEST UPDATES
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:
PLEASE NOTE
Upcoming League Conferences and Workshops
Our priority is your safety and well-being. Decisions on whether to hold, cancel or postpone League events will be made with that priority as our number-one concern. 
 
Municipal Building Inspectors - April 15-17 - postponed.
League's Local Gov 101 Workshops - three programs were scheduled for May. We are working to provide these as webinars. Please stay tuned.
 
Decisions about the June programs, which include the Clerks, Treasurers & Finance Officers Institute, the Municipal Attorneys Institute and an additional Local Gov 101 Workshop will also be made with health and safety in mind. We will provide notice in our newsletters and on our website regarding those and future workshops. Details on cancellation policies and more...