June 15, 2020 - League of Wisconsin Municipalities - COVID-19 Update #40
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, June 16 - 4:00-5:00 p.m.

Oshkosh City Manager Mark Rohloff and Finance Director Max Gagin will discuss their process for tracking expenses during the pandemic.    See their spreadsheet here (this will download to your computer.)

Join Zoom Meeting

Or Dial 312 626 6799

Meeting ID: 943 2945 2289
Password: 990365

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

NEWSLETTER SCHEDULE - A reminder that going forward the League's Special Edition Covid-19 Newsletter will be sent as needed rather than weekly. The regular E-Newsletter, sent mid-month with grants, trainings and other opportunities will be sent later this week. Our E-Muni, the deep dive into the League's magazine with direct links to resources sent the 4th week of the month will also hit inboxes later this month. Subscribe here: http://bit.ly/LWMsubscribe

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.
Highlights
PSC Votes to End Moratorium on Charging Late Fees for Utility Delinquencies  

The Public Service Commission (PSC) voted unanimously on June 11 to lift a moratorium on disconnections and other penalties that was put in place following executive orders issued by Gov. Tony Evers in March.

Municipal utilities will be allowed to again charge late fees for debts incurred after July 15, to require proof of identity and residency and to require a cash deposit for service starting July 31. 
League of Wisconsin Municipalities Tool Kit for Implementing Municipal Safer at Home Restrictions

When the Wisconsin Supreme Court struck down DHS’s Emergency Order 28, Safer at Home, as invalid and unenforceable on May 13, local governments were presented with the question of whether to adopt and enforce local safer at home restrictions to quell the spread of COVID-19 within their communities and to ensure local health facilities have adequate capacity for dealing with COVID patients. Municipalities without a health department must abide by any safer at home restrictions imposed by the county health officer. If the county health officer has not issued a county safer at home order, municipal policymakers have the discretion to issue safer at home orders to prevent or minimize the spread of COVID-19 within their communities, pursuant to their emergency powers under Ch. 323. While m ost communities as of early summer 2020 have decided not to enact local safer at home orders, the League has prepared this Local Safer at Home Tool Kit in case circumstances change in the future and local policymakers become interested in adopting safer at home orders to address a surge in COVID-19 cases within their community. The Toolkit explains municipal authority to adopt and implement safer at home restrictions, includes sample local safer at home orders, and provides links to county level COVID -19 data and metrics to support local safer at home orders. Access the League's tool kit .
Legal FAQs on local authority and information on Emergency Orders and municipal plans for reopening are avail able on the League's website here . The new tool kit is also posted to that page.
Share this! "We're All In" Small Business Grants Application Opens TODAY! (June 15)

Funded by the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, the "We’re All In" Small Business Grant Program will provide $2,500 grants to 30,000 Wisconsin small businesses to assist with the costs of business interruption or for health and safety improvements, wages and salaries, rent, mortgages and inventory. The application is only open through June 23.

Details of the program are here . Click here to share this opportunity from the League's Facebook page to your own or your municipality's Facebook page.
COVID-19: CARES Act Provider Payments
The Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) is accepting applications from specific types of health care providers to receive pandemic relief funds. These funds are meant to offset losses and expenses incurred during March, April, and May 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The funds for these payments were provided to the State under the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

Included in the list of five different recipient categories are:

4) Emergency Medical Service Agencies

More information here .
Next League Local Government 101 Webinar is June 26 - 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?”

The June 26 one-day workshop will be provided as a webinar - 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
If you haven't yet > TAKE ACTION to support Federal Funding

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

WHETHER YOU ARE A CITY OR VILLAGE AND NO MATTER YOUR SIZE, TAKE ACTION THROUGH THE NLC TO SUPPORT FEDERAL FUNDING

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
More signs for you to download and customize.
Thanks to Mary Zimmerman, Communications Manager, C ity of River Falls who made these resources available to all of us.
Download this PDF for use at your Village Hall! Thanks to Michelle Tucker, Support Services Mgr., Germantown for making this available to everyone!

What are your plans for public spaces? Add them to the League's Covid19 Public Space Response Strategies Google Doc

City/Village Hall, Streets, Parks, Parking Lots, Community/Senior Center, Library, etc. You can see what other communities are doing and add your own plans to the Google Doc here . (Modeled on the WPRA pool document.)

Click here for the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) Resources for Public Facilities.
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

Reminder - CDC guidance for dog park users includes bringing as few items into the park as possible; not sharing common items like water bowls; limiting pet to pet interactions; and sanitizing hands after using any common items/touchpoints in the park.  Read it 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). 
SUPPORTING BUSINESSES/COMMUNITY
Customizable Signs! Want to provide signs for your local businesses that they can customize?

Thanks to Leslie Flynn, Communications Coordinator, Oak Creek for creating these and providing them for everyone's use.
In addition, Wauwatosa has provided a loan program, elements of which include:
  • Working capital loans up to $10,000 to businesses located in the City with an active storefront or office that also meet certain criteria. See more details within the Financial Affairs packet.
  • A five to seven loan year term at an interest rate of 2% per year with payments deferred for the first six months
  • Applicants submit a loan application and supporting documentation. See more details within the Financial Affairs packet.
  • Loan funds will be available for six months from the dates businesses are allowed to reopen in accordance with applicable law, unless program funds are fully disbursed sooner. Learn more here.
In the News
Risk Ranking Of Everyday Activities For COVID-19, According To An Infectious-Disease Expert (via Business Insider )
Click here to share this video from the League's Facebook page to your own or your municipality's page.
The risk of becoming exposed to the COVID-19 coronavirus increases in some cases and decreases in others. Dr. Susan Hassig, an epidemiologist at Tulane University, shares how to think about managing the risk of everyday activities for yourself. She recommends analyzing situations by looking at the distance you will be able to maintain with others, the diversity of households in the area, and the duration of your activity and interactions. All of this can change if you are high risk or interacting with someone who is high risk, as even moderate situations can lead to major consequences.
UW System's 13 schools will be open this fall, but how they operate will vary from campus to campus
"We're far enough along in our planning to say that we will provide in-person instruction this fall," Rob Cramer, the system's vice president for administration, said. "We've provided our universities with guidance and we are turning the decisions and announcements over to them now."

But that doesn't mean everyone will be back, or that everything will be back to normal. Questions still remain at each campus about housing, dining halls, the mix of classes that will be in-person vs. online, and how COVID-19 testing and tracing will be managed. Read the article...

Public health workers fighting virus face growing threats
In the battle against COVID-19, public health workers spread across states, cities and small towns make up an invisible army on the front lines. But that army, which has suffered neglect for decades, is under assault when it’s needed most.

Officials who usually work behind the scenes managing tasks like immunizations and water quality inspections have found themselves center stage. Elected officials and members of the public who are frustrated with the lockdowns and safety restrictions have at times turned public health workers into politicized punching bags, battering them with countless angry calls and even physical threats. Read the article...

La Crosse has 10 new COVID cases
La Crosse County reported 10 new lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19 Sunday.

Nine of the 10 cases involve people in their 20s — five men, four women. There was no information available about symptoms. Read the article...

First death from COVID-19 recorded in Green County
"We are facing extraordinary circumstances and continue to urge everyone to maintain physical distancing and practice several key health behaviors," said RoAnn Warden, director of Green County Public Health. "COVID-19 is in our communities and being spread by individuals who don’t even know they have it. This virus is real, it is deadly, and we will need to continue physical distancing until there is a cure or vaccine." Read the article...

A discussion about how to reform policing
The killing of George Floyd in police custody shows how far the country has to go; the resulting protests have pushed the Minneapolis City Council to take the previously unthinkable step of pledging to dismantle its Police Department. But what does that mean, and what should other cities do? We brought together five experts and organizers to talk about how to change policing in America in the context of broader concerns about systemic racism and inequality. Read the article... 
The June 2020 League's The Municipality magazine is focused on New Officials and includes articles on leadership, dealing with the "The Outlier" on your governing body, additional costs associated with the pandemic, important legal distinctions that make governing different from running a business and much more.

Read it online here...
POLICY ISSUES
Frequently Asked Questions f rom the League's past COVID-19 Newsletters c an be accessed here .
If you don't find what you need or if you have resources to contribute,
please email Jerry Deschane.
Opportunity
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, gavin@cows.org , Managing Director of the Program. 

To see deliverables for projects in places like Monona, Brodhead, Durand, Monroe, and Stockholm, see  https://univercity.wisc.edu/ucy/
 
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: 
 
Communications
Wisconsin Connect Covid-19 Resource

Looking for a great public health supported Covid-19 resource to share with your community? Wisconsin Connect has information in English, Spanish, Hmong, and Chinese Mandarin. Information is updated frequently and is brought to you in partnership with the Wisconsin Department of Health Services.

  • Let's Talk - Share your thoughts or ask a question.
  • ALL ABOUT COVID-19 - Risks, symptoms, testing, isolation, recovery, and more
  • Covid-19 Fact Checker - Don't know what to believe. Find the facts.
  • Prevent and Protect - Up to date advice for keeping yourself, your family, and your community safe.
  • Calming
  • Resource Center
  • Coping - Job loss, handling kids, worry, conflict, grief ... and more


Connect to these resources here . Click here to share it from the League's Facebook page to your own or your municipality's page. You can also download the photo and post it as a link on your municipality's Covid Resource page.

This is a project funded by the UW School of Medicine and Public Health from the Wisconsin Partnership Program.
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...
Webinars and Training
Next League Local Government 101 Webinar is June 5 - 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
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 - Only ONE more Local Gov 101 program is being provided as a webinar. Details here .

League's Chief Executive's Workshop will be provided as a series of webinars. Please stay tuned for the details.

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

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: