April 15, 2020 - League of Wisconsin Municipalities - COVID-19 Update #23
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

Friday, April 17 - 9:00-10:00 a.m.

Join Zoom Meeting

Dial in 1 312 626 6799

Meeting ID: 459 115 667
Password: 990365

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

Newsletter schedule - the League's next COVID-19 Newsletter will be sent on Monday, April 20.

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.
Did you see yesterday's Capitol Buzz?
April 14, 2020  - Assembly Passes COVID-19 Legislative Package
NEW - Tracking Expenses - Helpful Guidance and Templates

Grants Portal Account and Request for Public Assistance FEMA

Note: FEMA assistance will be provided at a 75% Federal cost share.

Spreadsheet Templates are available on our website here .

Thanks to Sharon Eveland, Clintonville and Kevin Lahner, Waukesha for providing these resources!
Survey Results Already Having an Impact!
The United States Conference of Mayors and the National League of Cities conducted a joint survey to assess the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on cities, villages and towns with input from more than 2,400 local officials. The resulting infographic and fact sheet paint an urgent picture that Congress cannot ignore.
Our message is already being heard—see the Washington Post and Associated Press .

Thanks to everyone that filled out the survey! Now, if you haven't yet, please take action!
Contact Your Congressional Delegation!
Co-Sponsor the Coronavirus Community Relief Act
The majority of America’s cities, villages and towns are not eligible for direct relief under the CARES Act, due to the 500,000 population threshold. The House has offered a proposal to address this specific funding issue - we need you to ACT NOW to build momentum. 

H.R. 6467 was introduced on April 7. The bill provides $250 billion in funding to all local governments with fewer than 500,000 residents. 

These members of Congress heard the message that cities, towns and villages below the 500,000 population threshold need direct federal aid to face mounting challenges related to COVID-19. This bill seeks to create a new fund dedicated to supporting local governments, regardless of population. 
Reach out to your members in the House to ask them to support this critical legislation. Bipartisan support from Republican and Democratic Members of Congress is key. 

Click through to the National League of Cities Take Action  page to learn more. If it doesn't let you click through, please contact your Congressional Delegation by email. Thank you! 
Board of Commissioners of Public Lands (BCPL)

Thanks to Tom German, BCPL Executive Secretary for joining us on the League call on Friday, April 10!

Contact Tom at ​​ tom.german@wi.gov ​(608) 267-2233

More information about the funding that the BCPL has available to municipalities is on their website here .
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. 

League's Local Gov 101 Workshops - three programs were scheduled for May and one for June 5th.  All four of these will be provided as webinars.

 NEW - Clerks, Treasurers and Finance Officers - CANCELLED! Please mark your calendar for June 9-11, 2021 (yes, that is next year!) at the Tundra Lodge in Green Bay.  

Decisions about the other upcoming programs, including the Municipal Attorneys Institute, 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... 
NEW - Notice and Certificates of Election, Oaths, and New Terms
Read Claire Silverman’s memo detailing the notice and certificates of election requirements, oaths and new terms here  
Important - Absentee Ballot Tracking Information
From the Wisconsin Elections Commission MyVote website:

"Election participation information may take up to 30 days to appear in your voter record. Absentee ballot tracking information will only display up to Election Day for each election. Please use My Voter Info to check the My Voting Activity section and verify your participation for the 2020 Spring Election and Presidential Preference. Clerks have begun recording election participation, but it may up take to 30 days for this process to be completed."

Click here to share this information from the League's Facebook page to your own or your municipalities page.
The latest municipal absentee ballot data - posted by the Wisconsin Elections Commission to their Blog on 4/13/20 9:35 a.m.

Attached below is an updated spreadsheet of municipal-level absentee ballot reports. The report ran at about 9:20 a.m. today, so the numbers will be slightly larger than the 7:30 a.m. county reports.

Remember, these numbers are based on data entered by Wisconsin clerks, some of who may still be behind because of the incredible workload they've been dealing with trying to serve the voters of our state. So, the actual numbers are likely larger than those in the spreadsheet. How much larger is impossible to say until we see unofficial election results later tonight.

Elections - In the News
These represent just a sampling of the election news.
Scroll down for additional "In the News."

Dennis McBride will be Wauwatosa's next mayor
Dennis McBride, the former president of the Wauwatosa Common Council, will be city's next mayor.

McBride beat Ald. Nancy Welch by securing 60% of the vote. 

He will replace former Mayor Kathleen Ehley, who served in the role since 2012 and announced in November she would not seek re-election. Read the story...

Youth reigns: Appleton voters choose Jake Woodford as next mayor in odd, prolonged election
"I feel great, and I'm so appreciative to the people of Appleton for putting their trust in me to serve them this way," Woodford told The Post-Crescent late Monday from his home, where he was practicing social distancing because of the coronavirus pandemic. Read the story...

Spring election results announced; Lee, Cornford and Stakston-Wiedemann elected to Coon Valley Village Board
Coon Valley Village Board
Westby City Council Read the story...

A political newcomer beat two aldermen to become Oconomowoc's mayor
"At a time of uncertainty and considerable stress in our community, we have a lot of challenges and also many opportunities ahead," Magnus said. "I am honored to become the next mayor of Oconomowoc and humbled by the incredible community support we received these past few months.

"We are fortunate to have Ald. Ellis and Kowieski on the current council to help guide and support the council in the years ahead. The addition of three new council members; Matt Mulder, Charles Schellpeper and John Zapfel bring new energy and ideas for our city. We have a bright future." Read the story...

Oconto County spring election results roll in
Interim Gillett mayor wins seat
Veteran trustee, newcomer elected to Suring Village Board Read the story...

Xiong wins nearly 2 to 1 margin in Eau Claire City Council race
Read the story... (paywall)

Kim Smith ready to 'get back to work' as Onalaska mayor
Early Monday night, Kim Smith officially became the first woman to be elected as mayor of Onalaska.

Smith, who had served as interim mayor since December, when she was appointed as a placeholder after former mayor Joe Chilsen resigned, said she’s excited to put the campaign behind her and “get back to work.” Read the story...

Challenger unseats Dane Village President
Dane County has posted the unofficial results of the April 7 election, showing that Mary Lou Hyatt has won the election for Dane Village President. Read the story...

VIDEO | Unofficial April 7, 2020 election results in City of West Bend
The City of West Bend canvassed results from the April 7, 2020 election. Those were announced in the council chambers at City Hall on Monday afternoon in West Bend. City administrator Jay Shambeau summarized the unofficial election results from the City of West Bend. Read the story...

Katie Rosenberg defeats incumbent Robert Mielke to be next Wausau mayor
Rosenberg was elected to the Marathon County board in 2016, where she has served ever since. On her website,  she lays out her plan  as mayor of Wausau.
"I am really ready to get to work on behalf of my neighbors and the residents of Wausau, and even the greater region," she said Monday. Read the story...

'HOLY BALLS:' Incoming Wausau Mayor Katie Rosenberg tweeted as election results came in, and the internet took notice
Rosenberg, a heavy user of social media in her personal and political life, said the Twitter take was her immediate reaction to seeing the first election results in her race. She didn't intend for the message to go viral, she said.

"It’s what I felt," Rosenberg said of the tweet. "I was excited. You don’t want to give a whole spiel until you’re positive" about the results.

Rosenberg isn't concerned about the tweet looking bad for Wausau, she said. She believes the tweet is in line with her character and she has been blunt on Twitter in the past. She didn't mean to offend anyone, she said, and believes people who voted for her appreciate the take.

"I’m a serious person, too, so I’m ready to seriously get to work," she said. Read the article...
Additional Policy Issues
Reminder - WI Dept. of Health Services Guidance on Hospital Surge Facilities - What Municipalities Need to Know

The memorandum is in response to the current challenges that our health care facilities are facing specific to bed capacity for individuals presenting with COVID-19 as well as individuals relying on health care facilities for non-pandemic concerns. The anticipated bed shortages throughout the State of Wisconsin are addressed on a regional and municipal level as potential surge capacity.

The purpose is to establish the process for hospitals and critical access hospitals to expand their acute care inpatient services temporarily during the COVID-19 public health emergency. 

Ann Hansen, Director
WI Department of Health Services, Bureau of Health Services

Henry Kosarzycki, Director
WI Department of Health Services, Office of Plan Review and Inspection
NEW - Utility Employees Now Considered Essential - Eligible for Testing

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) added critical infrastructure employees to the “Tier 1/Category A” for those who may receive priority COVID-19 testing from a health care provider, if that employee is demonstrating symptoms of COVID-19. Common symptoms include: fever (over 100.5°), coughing, shortness of breath, headache, and body aches/tiredness.
Critical infrastructure employees who are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and want to be tested should contact their own health care providers and request a test. Health care providers have a form defining who is eligible to be tested. DHS added a check box for critical infrastructure employees under “Tier 1/Category A” as an eligibility qualification for a COVID-19 test. Employees may need to mention this to their health care providers, as this is a change from current eligibility guidelines. DHS is pushing out revised forms to health care providers, but it may take some time for the providers to be aware of the change.
Please note that testing for asymptomatic workers is NOT recommended at this point in time, as testing people without symptoms provides no assurance that they will stay symptom/disease-free. 

Chairperson Rebecca Valcq
Wisconsin Public Service Commission
Reminder - Water Utility COVID-19 FAQs 

Q: How should a municipal utility contact the Public Service Commission to request to opt-in to waiving credit card fees for its customers during the COVID-19 emergency?
A. The utility should file its request on the PSC’s Electronic Records Filing (ERF) system. Please upload an application letter to ERF under your Utility ID [XXXX] requesting the tariff change. 

If your utility has more than one service type, you must file a separate application letter for each service type. The name of the ERF submission should be:

o “Request for Temporary Service Rules Waiving Credit Card Fees in Response to COVID-19 – Water”
o “Request for Temporary Service Rules Waiving Credit Card Fees in Response to COVID-19 – Electric” 
o “Request for Temporary Service Rules Waiving Credit Card Fees in Response to COVID-19 – Gas” 
• The application letter must include the preferred effective date, and if your utility has more than one service type (ie. water and electric), the letter must indicate which service type the request pertains to. 
• By default, the waiver will be effective as of 3/24/20. If the utility prefers a later effective date, please include the preferred date in the letter.

Once PSC Records Management accepts the request, Commission staff will open a tariff amendment docket by service type (TE, TG, or TW).

Please Note: If your utility has more than one service type, the Commission will open a new, separate docket for each service type. You will receive a response from the Commission for each docket. The response will include the utility’s new, temporary service rule language authorizing the utility to waive the credit card fees.

Please contact our Utility Inquiry Line: PSCRecordsMail@wisconsin.gov or 608-266-3766 for help with this process.

The League's COVID-19 Utilities page has been updated to include this information.
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 Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
Reminder - FEMA Public Assistance (PA) Program Information Update

Eric Learn, State Public Assistance Officer, Wisconsin Emergency Management, provided the following clarifications about FEMA Public Assistance:
  1. Eligible Election Costs – The cleaning and disinfecting of public spaces including polling sites is an eligible cost, however election related costs are not. Costs must be tied to eligible Category B Protective Measure activities; running elections, while very important, would not fall under the Cat B umbrella. So, the time and supplies needed to clean/disinfect the public spaces would be eligible costs, unfortunately the additional costs associated with printing extra absentee ballots, postage, and time preparing/mailing/counting the ballots would not be eligible costs under FEMA’s PA program. This Fact Sheet provides a description of COVID-19 eligible expenses under the FEMA Public Assistance Program.
  2. Loss of Revenue – is not an eligible expense under the FEMA PA program.
  3. Pay Policies – FEMA determines the eligibility of overtime, premium pay, and compensatory time costs based on the Applicant’s pre-disaster written labor policy. Pay policies established after event would not be eligible.
  4. RPA Deadline – There has been some misinformation distributed that the deadline to submit a Request for Public Assistance (RPA) is April 12, 2020. This is incorrect! FEMA has extended the deadline nationally and it will remain open for the duration of the Public Health Emergency.

If there are any questions or concerns, contact:

Eric Learn
State Public Assistance Officer
Wisconsin Emergency Management
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. 
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.
Reminder - R & R Insurance Sample FFCRA Employee Leave Request Form

Thanks to R & R Insurance for sharing their Employee request form with us for you to use. Find it here .

The League's COVID-19 Employee Policy page.
Coronavirus Aid, Relief, & Economic Security
Reminder - COVID-19 Update: A Deeper Dive – Community Development Block Grants Under CARES - Husch Blackwell Strategies - April 7, 2020

House Democratic Leaders have begun to brief the Democratic Caucus on the outline of the next phase of COVID-19 Response legislation and it appears that the next stimulus package will focus on replenishing funds for programs established in Congress’s $2.2 trillion virus relief bill signed into law last month but the Speaker also noted that the next stimulus bill should assist state and local governments, with an emphasis on smaller municipalities with fewer than 500,000 residents. 

The CARES Act did include $150 billion in relief resources for states and in today’s “Deeper Dive” we focus on how Community Development Block Grants under the CARES Act can be leveraged by state and local governments to address the COVID-19 crisis.

Read the full breakdown of the new updates and deep-dive analysis here .
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. 
If you don't find what you need or if you have resources to contribute,
please email Jerry Deschane.
Take this POLCO Survey and Pass it along!

"Given the gravity and complexity of the current COVID-19 public health and economic crisis, we are taking steps to bring resident voices to even more local decision-makers.

Polco and National Research Center (NRC) are measuring the impact of COVID-19 on people and communities nationwide. We hope you will take a few moments to share your experience by completing this short survey.

Your input can help guide actions for communities across the country.
Survey results will be shared with official government organizations to help them understand impacts on residents and help communities respond to the crisis and plan for recovery. Your responses are confidential and private. Polco/NRC does not report any individually identifying information. This information is solely for aggregate demographic analyses.

Thank you for taking this survey. Responses received by April 17 will be included in our report. We appreciate and value your voice on this issue." 
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...
Ohio's Ping Pong video

Have you seen this excellent 20 second video? If not, watch it and then share it >

Click here to share this video from the League's Facebook page to your own or your municipality's page.
How to join the Wisconsin Historical Society COVID-19 Journal Project
The Wisconsin Historical Society is inviting state residents and those with a connection to the state to keep 30-, 60-, or 90-day journals in whatever format works best for the author. They can be written, recorded as audio or video, photographed or expressed through artwork.

Journals will be collected and become part of the society's permanent archives as it strives to document the COVID-19 pandemic. To take part, go to https://wisconsinhistory.org/records/Article/CS16333

Journaling through the COVID-19 pandemic to record history
The project is modeled after a similar initiative during the Civil War when some Wisconsin troops were issued journals and asked to document their war-time experience. Some of those journals are now part of the vast archives at the society, which was founded in 1846 in Madison. Read the story...

In the News

Wisconsin health officials say a slower rate of coronavirus spread is evidence social distancing is working
Wisconsin's confirmed cases of coronavirus are doubling much slower than they were a month ago, and state officials say that's evidence that Gov. Tony Evers' stay-home order is working.

The Department of Health Services said in a Tuesday afternoon news release that in early March, the overall number of positive test results in the state was doubling every three-and-a-half days — leading to projections of 22,000 confirmed cases by April 8 and between 440 and 1,500 deaths in the state.

Over the past two weeks, that doubling time has increased to 12 days.

The state's count of confirmed cases increased by 127 on Tuesday to 3,555, with 170 deaths. Read the article...

Jonathan Patz: Reason for hope against the novel coronavirus
Despite the grim headlines about the escalating health, economic and social toll of COVID-19, recent news from California provides reason for hope. Estimates this week from the first state to mandate a shelter-in-place directive show more then 600,000 hospitalizations from COVID-19 will be avoided by mid-May for California. Similar good news from a British study showed that at least 59,000 lives — and perhaps as many as 120,000 lives — were saved by physical distancing.

While the human costs of COVID-19 are clear, so are the steps we must take to protect our families, neighbors and community. Physical distancing (also labeled social distancing) must be our top priority to stop new cases of COVID-19 from overwhelming our health care system. Read the column...

The Virus That Shut Down Wisconsin: The Great Flu Pandemic of 1918
In December 1918, the State Board of Health declared that the "Spanish flu" epidemic that had just swept the state would "forever be remembered as the most disastrous calamity that has ever been visited upon the people of Wisconsin or any of the other states." A century later, the terror and devastation wrought by the tiny influenza virus still ranks it as one of the most terrible tragedies in the state's history. Read the article... or Comment on it and share it on the League's Facebook page...
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
Join the Facebook Politics & Government Outreach Team to learn how government, politics and advocacy partners can leverage Facebook Live during this unprecedented time, and have your questions answered in real time. To sign up for one of the two training sessions Facebook is offering, click the corresponding link below:

Wednesday, April 15th, 2020 2:00 – 3:00 PM CST
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.


Creative Wisconsin Day webinars, presented by Arts Wisconsin
April 16, 2020 - The League is a sponsor of Creative Wisconsin Day

How to Be an Effective and Informed Advocate, 10 – 11 am
While so much is changing quickly, one thing remains the same: the arts and culture are essential. Learn how to be an effective arts advocate with Anne Katz, Director of Arts Wisconsin. It’s important to to put a human face on the work and the impact it has on people, communities and economies. Learn tips and tools, including how to write an op-ed, letter to the editor, or advocacy letter.  There will be a Q&A section at the end of the webinar.

Get to know regional and statewide service and advocacy organizations, 11 am – 12 noon
With Anne Katz, Director of Arts Wisconsin; Gail Sumi, Director of Communications, League of Wisconsin Municipalities; Laurie Fellenz, Director of Wisconsin School Music Association and Wisconsin Music Educators Association; and David Lee, Director of Imagine MKE. There will be a Q&A section at the end of the webinar. 

Listening sessions with Arts Wisconsin and Wisconsin Arts Board
Next sessions: Friday, April 17, 2020, 9-10 am and Tuesday, April 21, 7-8 pm
Arts Wisconsin and the Wisconsin Arts Board host Zoom listening sessions with Wisconsin’s creative sector each Friday at 9 am as the COVID-19 crisis continues, to share perspectives on the impact of the pandemic on work and life, and brainstorm recommendations on actions to take locally and globally. In addition, we’re starting an evening session, to be held every two weeks, to expand participation in the conversation.  
To participate in all sessions: 


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
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: