May 26, 2020 - League of Wisconsin Municipalities - COVID-19 Update #37
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

Tuesday, May 26 - 4:00-5:00 p.m.
Kris Hillmer, Executive Director of the Wisconsin Restaurant Association (WRA)

Join Zoom Meeting

Or Dial 312 626 6799

Meeting ID: 943 2945 2289
Password: 990365

Thursday, May 28 - 9:00-10 a.m.

Join Zoom Meeting

Or Dial 312 626 6799

Meeting ID: 919 6078 3036
Password: 990365

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.
NEW - On Wednesday, May 27, at 12:00 PM Eastern Time, please join the White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs and Senior Administration Officials from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for a national COVID-19 briefing call. We appreciate your continued partnership and coordination in this whole-of-government, all-of-America response to COVID-19. 
Briefing Call Registration Call-In Registration : CLICK HERE
Next League Local Government 101 Webinar is May 29 - Register today!

The League’s 1-day workshop provides a basic framework for governing to both new city and village officials and those who want to brush up on their knowledge of local governance. 
You’ll learn about city and village powers including municipal home rule, hear about how to recognize and avoid conflicts of interest, go home with a quick tutorial on municipal budgeting as well as how to run a meeting and finish with an overview on managing public works projects. In addition, you’ll have that age-old question answered: “what is a walking quorum anyway?”

We're adapting and have converted the May 29, June 5 and June 26 one-day workshops into webinars - with more dates possible. Participants who opt for the online webinar version have the option to take the course all in one day or mix and match the four different modules during any of our offered webinar dates over a 12 month period following their registration. In addition to the online training, participants will have the option of receiving a hard copy workbook or a USB version.  The cost of the program is $70 per person. Details and Registration
TAKE ACTION to support Federal Funding

The National League of Cities is calling on the Senate and White House to embrace a new coronavirus relief bill introduced in the House that allocates $375 billion for the nation’s smaller cities, towns, counties and villages.


Click here to TAKE ACTION TODAY! Contact your congressional delegation, tweet, tell your story and DOWNLOAD A RESOLUTION !
We appreciate your patience!
The League’s attorneys are fielding an unusually large number of inquiries while, at the same time, needing to dedicate a substantial amount of our time to meetings and participating in training sessions for local officials. Consequently, you may experience a delay in response to legal inquiries. We appreciate your patience and will respond to your inquiry as soon as we can. Claire Silverman and Maria Davis
Planning for the Future
Legal FAQs on local authority and information on Emergency Orders and municipal plans for reopening are avail able on the League's website here .
DHSWI Interim Guidance on Large Gatherings
Interim guidance has been posted to the  DHS COVID-19 Avoid Illness page  regarding large gatherings under "Can I hold or should I go to a large gathering?" This includes any event in which large gatherings of people are in sustained, close contact, including, but not limited to, fairs, festivals, parades, and conferences. 
At this time, DHS does not advise large gatherings, and there is no projected time frame available as to when this advisory would change. 5/19/20

NEW - How our cities can reopen after the COVID-19 pandemic
A ten-point preparedness plan for our communities
We will get through this pandemic, too. We will go back to work and school and gather in restaurants and theaters and sports stadiums again. But when we do, cities and their leaders should not simply return to business as usual. Not only does COVID-19 threaten to reappear in subsequent waves if we do not remain vigilant, but there will always be future pandemics to brace against as well. Read the article...

This toolkit details the next steps local leaders must take to stabilize their communities and put them on a path to recovery.

NEW - Open Streets Google spreadsheet of communities worldwide who are closing streets for use by restaurants and retailers during this time. The spreadsheet highlights the community, their policy, and link to the information, where available. 

NEW - COVID-19 Contact Tracing Resource
This resource guide divides these technology-driven efforts into two categories: predicting where COVID-19 hotspots will emerge to help target resources and assisting in contact-tracing efforts to limit the community spread of coronavirus. (Wisconsin munis aren't involved in contact tracing like they are in other states, so this is an FYI.) Download a copy of the resource here . (PDF)

Read the Resolution Beloit's FAQs and additional information including translated into Spanish here .

Comprehensive 73 page plan with signage. Shared with permission.
Disclaimer - Please note, this document is a sample and has not been reviewed for legal sufficiency. Michigan law may differ and we encourage members to consult with their municipal attorney regarding questions of law. 

Implementation of the City of River Falls “Crushing COVID-19: A guide to recovery” will follow guidance and direction from the State of Wisconsin and public health officials throughout its response and recovery to the COVID-19 pandemic. The state’s Badger Bounce Back plan serves as a framework for this guide.  Review the plan... (Please note that the state portion of the plan is being updated.)

As states begin to transition from shelter in place to open for business, we’re about to embark on yet another COVID-19 learning curve: How will we accommodate health and safety guidelines in our facilities and office buildings? How will colleges and universities safely welcome students back to campus? What will the "new normal" look like in terms of space planning and facility management? Read the list of top 7 concerns by Cartegraph here...
Reminder - Wisconsin Park and Recreation Association Monitoring Pool Closures
WPRA has created an  online document  to monitor pool closures across the state, as of Monday, May 11th, 65 agencies have provided data. Pool closures are based on many factors including government restrictions, financial projections, public perception and above all the health and safety of Wisconsin communities. On a poll of 42 agencies conducted May 1st, half had not yet decided whether or not they will be opening at all this Summer, approximately 25% intend to make that decision this month (in May). 
Sign on to support your community's Creative Businesses and Jobs
Thanks to Arts Wisconsin for taking the initiative, we're asking Wisconsin's mayors, village administrators, and city council and village board members to sign on to a letter to state and federal officials showing support for their community's creative businesses and jobs. 

“The arts and culture sector is an essential vehicle for healing and the equitable and sustainable redevelopment of cities and villages throughout Wisconsin,” says Jerry Deschane, League Director. “We encourage local officials to consider this investment for economic vitality, vibrant communities, and civic engagement.”

Click here for the letter and use this form to add your name.

Destination Door County Travel Sentiment Visitor Survey
To obtain insight on the travel outlook in Door County for the remainder of 2020, Destination Door County conducted an online travel sentiment visitor survey. On May 14, 2020, an invitation to take the survey was emailed to 233,540 people in Destination Door County’s visitor database. Responses were collected May 14 to May 18, 2020. Completed survey responses totaled 10,432. Results here (PDF) More resources at Destination Door County .

 "We're All In" Initiative and grant program
Learn more on the WEDC website here... Click here to share this program from the League's Facebook page to your own or your municipality's page.

DEADLINE IS TONIGHT (May 26)! WEDC's Ethnic Minority Emergency Grants provide $2K for diverse #smallbusinesses in #Wisconsin with up to 5 employees with losses due to #COVID19 . Details here.

REOPEN GUIDELINES by industry or type of business from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC)
Click here to share the Guidelines from the League's Facebook page to your own or your municipalities page.
In the News
Wisconsin order halting evictions expires Tuesday
Those who haven't been able to pay rent during the pandemic could be facing eviction, starting this week.

A state order halting evictions expires Tuesday. Landlords whose tenants have not been paying rent, can file eviction notices. Read the article here...

Officials in Columbia and Sauk counties: Pandemic's not over despite court order
Officials in Columbia and Sauk counties hope residents won’t feel a false sense of security during the COVID-19 pandemic as more businesses and public spaces begin to reopen.

The city of Portage announced Friday that more park amenities including playgrounds, park shelters and the skate park reopened and the city fire station and police station would be reopened to the public beginning Tuesday.

That doesn’t mean they believe the pandemic is over.

“In spite of what the (state) Supreme Court decision rendered, COVID-19 is still with us,” City Administrator Shawn Murphy said, “and so we are strongly encouraging people to maintain 6 feet of social distance.” Read the article...

‘Nothing like we’ve ever seen:’ Memorial Day crowds at reopened Lake Geneva beach ‘raise concern’
Riviera Beach reopened in time for Memorial Day weekend after a contentious 4-3 vote by the Lake Geneva City Council followed by the resignation of its longtime manager over public safety concerns. Read the article...

Advocates say Wisconsin must act as surge of homelessness looms amid COVID19 pandemic
With the COVID-19 pandemic savaging the economy and eliminating jobs, the Wisconsin Coalition Against Homelessness wants the state to take decisive action to address a surge in homelessness it says may be unrivaled since the Great Depression.

The coalition, which has offered proposals that helped the state make advances on homelessness in recent years after decades of inaction, is now offering a three-pronged strategy to fund more services, create more low-income housing, and move the homeless into family-supporting jobs with an annual cost of $70 million. Read the article...

Rock County leaders hold a press conference to explain the county's Rock Rebound plan.
"As you know, it's a new virus and there are still many unknowns about it. I do want to point out that it hasn't gone away. It isn't less contagious or lethal. There's no vaccine and there's treatment and so the state stay at home order bought us some time to make sure that we had the capacity and capability to care for those most adversely affected. It allowed us to make sure that we could increase testing, increase case investigation and contact tracing for better monitoring. Make sure that we can increase hospital capacity capabilities and PPE availability and overall increase awareness and best practices for the community at large and then it also allowed us to start planning...." Statement by Rock County Health Officer Noel Sandoval. Watch the Live Channel 3000 video on the League's Facebook page here .

Satya Rhodes-Conway: House bill will support our first responders in Madison and across Wisconsin
Nicole Marie Hall is a local hero. While she might seem like a mild-mannered accountant, she spends her days making sure our Madison firefighters have the personal protective equipment they need to rush patients to the hospital and respond to the COVID-19 crisis safely. In her free time, she also puts her sewing skills and fabric stash to work making over 650 face coverings for other city colleagues who serve the public every day.

Carrie Hemming-Cotter, a licensed paramedic, firefighter and nurse, has been a Madison police officer for 25 years. She works every day on the Police Department’s COVID-19 task force to make sure officers stay as healthy as possible, while continuing to provide vital services to Madison residents and visitors. She helped implement a screening process and other plans for our officers so they could stay safe and monitor their own health, and a plan to sanitize our squad cars after each transport. Read the Mayor's column...

Facing death threats and no pay, mayors are the front-line commanders of the coronavirus pandemic
Despite the challenges, Madison, Wisconsin, Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway laughed when asked if she’s second-guessing her decision to run for the post last year. She didn’t get much “normal” time in office before the pandemic hit. She’s made difficult decisions such as keeping her city’s restrictions in place after the state Supreme Court struck down the governor’s stay-at-home order.

She’s already thinking ahead to how she hopes Madison can come out stronger.

“The pandemic has really highlighted the gaps in our society. It’s brought even more attention to the racial disparities and economic disparities,” Rhodes-Conway said. “I think we have an opportunity, as we start to grow our economy again, to grow something that is more equitable, that is more sustainable.” Read the article here...
Frequently Asked Questions f rom the League's past COVID-19 Newsletters have been updated and c an be accessed here .
If you don't find what you need or if you have resources to contribute,
please email Jerry Deschane.
Reminder - Now might be the time to access Additional Resources through UniverCity

"The state of local government is up in the air with all the uncertainty of COVID-19. Wouldn't it be nice to have a partner helping you think through how your locality will bounce back? It could mean a revised economic development plan, or an improved mechanism for communicating with citizens or localities, or rethinking how county services will be offered, or how to think differently about tourism in this uncertain time. 
UniverCity Year is a flexible three-year partnership where local governments pitch ideas to UW-Madison, and they match you with courses and resources on campus that help you think through your approach to those issues. It could be COVID-19 response, or affordable housing, or water quality/nutrient management, or parks/recreation. We are willing to be flexible to adapt to this new reality, so your projects don't have to be fully formed. If you'd like to talk more about your options or questions, reach out to Gavin Luter, , Managing Director of the Program. 

To see deliverables for projects in places like Monona, Brodhead, Durand, Monroe, and Stockholm, see
The application is HERE ."
Reminder - Wondering what municipalities across the United States are doing?

Mayor's Innovation Project Live City Response Feed

"Our live city response feed provides you with a curated list from around the country, making it quick and easy to access the most relevant ideas for city leaders. Submit your own innovative policies here ." To see the city responses so far: 
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...
Webinars and Training
Next League Local Government 101 Webinar is May 29 - Register today!

We're adapting and have converted four of the one-day workshops into webinars - with more dates possible. Participants who opt for the online webinar version have the option to take the course all in one day or mix and match the four different modules during any of our offered webinar dates over a 12 month period following their registration. In addition to the online training, participants will have the option of receiving a hard copy workbook or a USB version. The cost of the program is $70 per person. Details and Registration
WEBINAR | The Road to Earned Sick Leave: What We've Learned | Thursday, May 28, 11:30 PM CST
Please join CityHealth for a webinar, “The Road to Earned Sick Leave: What We've Learned”. Earned sick leave policies are an essential part of protecting our communities from infectious diseases like COVID-19. The conversation on how cities can adopt or strengthen their earned sick leave policies will feature Dr. Colleen Bridger, Assistant City Manager, San Antonio, TX, Dr. Rex Archer, Health Department Director, Kansas City, MO and Katrina Forrest, National Director of Partnerships, CityHealth. Register Here

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

Alcohol Beverage Regulation and Licensing – Part 2
Wednesday, June 3, 2020, 1:00-2:00 p.m. (Part 1 was May 20.)
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 .
Presented by Tyler Quam Special Agent-in-Charge at Wisconsin Department of Revenue, Alcohol and Tobacco Enforcement Unit.

When Revenues Fall Short – Weathering the COVID-19 Recession
UW Madison Extension’s Local Government Center
June 9, 2020, from 10:00 am to 11:30

Wisconsin municipal governments are already feeling the COVID 19 recession’s impact, and it is likely to get worse before it gets better. Further, Retail and Main Street have taken an economic hit in our current environment. Non-essential businesses have lost sales and workers, and community leaders and economic development professionals are concerned about the future of local business districts. Room taxes and other revenues are significantly off across all sectors. This webinar will provide data and practical information on the potential revenue loss impacts on municipalities and how to anticipate and mitigate those impacts.

We bring together experts from Ehlers, KerberRose, the Wisconsin Policy Forum, and UW Madison Extension’s Community and Economic Development program, each of whom will provide data, practical advice, and potential solutions for local governments to consider as they deal with revenue shortfalls for 2020 and beyond.

Agenda details 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 - All spring and summer Local Gov 101 programs are being provided as webinars. Details here .

League's Municipal Attorneys Institute has been Rescheduled to September 2-4 at Stone Harbor in Sturgeon Bay! Registration will open in June.

Decisions about the other upcoming programs 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... 
League Handbooks

The following Handbooks are now available as a PDF at a reduced price for email delivery.

  • Handbook for Wisconsin Municipal Officials - PDF Available!
  • Handbook for Wisconsin Police and Fire Commissioners - Completely updated in Jan. 2019.  PDF Available!
  • Municipal Licensing and Regulation of Alcohol Beverages - Completely updated in Sept. 2019. PDF Available!

Physical PRINT copies of ALL Handbooks are also still available but on a delayed weekly shipping basis.    You can order Handbooks online here .
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: