August 3, 2020 - League of Wisconsin Municipalities - COVID-19 Update #44
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

NOTE - Notice and call-in information will be provided on the League's website if there is no newsletter.

Tuesday, August 4 - 4:00-5:00 p.m.

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. Notice and call-in information will be provided on the League's website if there is no newsletter that week.
Important - Please take action! This is the MOMENT!

As the August recess nears, the days are numbered for Congressional action on passing a 4 th stimulus package containing state and local emergency relief. 

This week is critical for negotiations around the next COVID-19 relief package .

Here's a link to a simple  fact sheet from the National League of Cities  explaining the need for federal aid for local governments, and here is another link to  additional resources .  But here's the bottom line : The Senate version of the bill includes some flexibility in how state and local governments may spend existing CARES Act dollars, but it does not provide additional financial support for lost revenue. The House bill provides relief for the estimated $400 million in lost tax and utility revenue that Wisconsin cities and villages will incur. We need the Senate and the House to reach a middle ground that includes both flexibility AND support for lost revenue. 

On July 15 the League worked with the Governors's Office and other local government associations to send a  joint letter  to the Wisconsin Congressional delegation urging passage of a stimulus package containing financial assistance for state and local governments. Read the letter  here .  
Contact information for the Wisconsin Congressional Delegation is available  here .  

Baldwin, Colleagues Urge Significant New, Flexible Funding for State and Local Governments
"U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) joined her colleagues, led by Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), in sending a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) requesting that he support the funding amount and proposed funding flexibility for state and local governments that was included in the HEROES Act passed by the U.S. House of Representatives. The funding includes $500 billion for states, $375 billion for local governments and $20 billion each for territories and tribal lands." Read the letter here.
Governor Evers Issues Statewide Mandatory Mask Order

Gov. Tony Evers declared a Public Health Emergency and issued an Emergency Order requiring individuals to wear face coverings when indoors and not in a private residence, with some exceptions as clarified and defined in the order. The order was effective at 12:01 a.m. on Saturday, August 1, 2020, and will expire on September 28, 2020. 

Video Service Provider Fee Report Form Due August 17

To replace the income your municipality is losing in 2021 from a state-mandated reduction in Video Service Provider fees municipalities impose on cable companies (VSP fee), municipal clerks must electronically file Form SL-310, the Video Service Provider Report, with the Department of Revenue no later than Monday, August 17, 2020. The form is available on  My DOR Government Account .
The form requests the following information:

  • Percentage (video service provider fee) rate imposed as of December 31, 2019
  • Any rate changes during 2019
  • 2019 estimated gross receipts of the video service providers within your municipality
  • 2019 video service provider fee collected
  • Note: You must also attach documentation supporting the amounts reported (ex: video service provider notification with gross receipts and fee paid)
Face Coverings While Voting & Conducting Elections - COVID-19
by the Wisconsin Elections Commission

The Wisconsin Elections Commission's comprehensive Q & A regarding wearing masks while voting and conducting elections can be found here .
WHEDA Accepting Applications for Rural Affordable Workforce Housing Pilot 

The Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority (WHEDA) is now welcoming applications for the rural affordable workforce housing pilot. Applications are due Aug. 31. Information about this initiative, including the rural affordable workforce housing initiative plan and application documents can be found here .

The pilot will work with stakeholders from at least three rural communities to develop partnerships and processes that ultimately will benefit communities statewide. Participants at listening sessions organized by WHEDA cited many factors contributing to Wisconsin’s shortage of rural, affordable workforce housing including rising construction costs, limited developer interest due to the smaller scale of rural projects; aging housing stock; few affordable rental options; zoning, infrastructure challenges; and limited financing for new construction and renovation projects. 

WHEDA's rural affordable workforce housing initiative includes the pilot effort and supplemental financing tools designed to better serve rural communities by overcoming gaps in existing A recorded webinar with information about the application process is posted to WHEDA’s webpage along with any needed updates to the FAQs .

For questions about the application process, email: . To keep up with information about the pilot and other WHEDA initiatives, sign up to receive emails here .
Do you have a state trunk or connecting highway running through your downtown?

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, may allow a temporary parklet solely for outdoor dining use and as long as there are no adverse impacts to the safety, maintenance and operation of a state trunk or connecting highway. This is to assist with economic recovery since WisDOT has received requests to utilize additional space on the right-of-way to accommodate social distancing guidelines.  Get the details here... Click here to share, comment and like this information on the League's Facebook page.
"We wear masks to keep our community safe. Our Village of Shorewood has adopted a mandatory mask ordinance for indoor spaces that are open to the public. It is a small action, and an effective way to do our part to protect ourselves, our loved ones, and our neighbors as we support Shorewood businesses and services. Remember to wear your mask! We can still see your smiling eyes and we will know that you care. Let’s all do our part to protect our community. #WeAreAllIn"

Click here to watch the video on YouTube.
The Village of Shorewood published this video in conjunction with the League of Wisconsin Municipalities and students from UW-Madison. If you'd like your own video, please email Gail Sumi at
Routes to Recovery Question?

Email DOA staff at

Reminder: Program Guidance for Local Governments

On Friday, June 19, the Department of Administration released a Routes to Recovery Program Guidance for Local Governments providing information on what COVID-19 related expenses incurred by municipalities in response to the pandemic are eligible for reimbursement under the $190 million grant program funded by the federal CARES Act’s Coronavirus Relief Fund. With one exception, the Guidance seems to allow more types of COVID-19 related expenses to be reimbursed than Department of Administration staff had initially said would be allowed when the program was first announced two weeks ago. 

The Routes to Recovery Key Takeaways (PDF) is posted to our website here on the "Financing Impacts" page and may be updated as warranted.   
The League's Capitol Buzz Newsletter

July 30, 2020  - Statewide Mask Mandate; Shared Revenue Not Affected by Recent Agency Cuts
July 13, 2020  - Supreme. Court Invalidates Veto Changing $90 Million Supplemental LRIP Funding in State Budget
Click here to share this video from the League's Facebook page to your own.
"As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread in Wisconsin, a diverse coalition of the state’s leading advocacy organizations have partnered on a message to the public urging preventive measures to reduce the virus’ spread. Representing some of Wisconsin’s leading health care and business organizations – as well as local governments – the coalition today launched a public service announcement (PSA) encouraging the use of social distancing, proper handwashing techniques and wearing protective masks."
Covid by the Numbers

Forward Analytics (Check out the time lapse by county information.)

Space Science and Engineering Center - University of Wisconsin - Madison

Harvard Global Health Institute
WEDC We're All In Resources
Planning for the Future
Wisconsin Department of Tourism - Travel Pledge

"As you consider travel during these uncertain times, we ask that you follow local guidelines and regulations put in place by the destinations you visit and their businesses. While you’re here, be sure to follow proper safety precautions and social distancing.

We also ask that you read and support Wisconsin’s Travel Pledge, created to ensure a refreshing and safe adventure is here for you when you’re ready." Learn more...
In the News
'I got wiped out:' Germantown officer hospitalized with COVID-19 warns others to 'protect themselves'
A Germantown police officer spoke with FOX6 News Monday, July 27 about his battle with COVID-19. Matt Schubert has been an officer in Germantown for more than 20 years, but in the last two weeks, he's gone from seemingly healthy and fit to seeing his body and mind wrestle with the disease -- a fight that's not over. Read the article.... Click here to share or react to the article on the League's Facebook page.

More Than 330,000 Absentee Ballots Already Returned for August 11 Partisan Primary
More than 330,000 voters statewide have already returned their absentee ballots for the August 11 Partisan Primary, according to the Wisconsin Elections Commission.

As of Monday morning, 836,469 absentee ballot applications have been reported received by municipal clerks. Those clerks also report sending 821,378 ballots and receiving 331,097 back. 

Meagan Wolfe, Wisconsin’s chief elections official, urged voters to return their absentee ballots as soon as possible to ensure they are received by the deadline of 8 p.m. on Tuesday, August 11.  

“We want everyone’s vote to count, so complete and mail your absentee ballot as soon as possible,” Wolfe said. “The post office advises it may take a week for mail to get from you to your clerk’s office, so don’t wait.” Read the release...

Opponents explore pair of options for challenging statewide mask order
Opponents of Governor Tony Evers' statewide mask order, which went into effect Saturday, are exploring two different options for challenging or outright ending the new mandate. Read the article...

'Please do something': As COVID-19 swept through WI food plants, companies and government failed to protect workers
... In one of the most comprehensive examinations of conditions at food plants during the pandemic, [MJS] investigation shows major Wisconsin facilities did not take adequate safety measures weeks into the crisis, putting thousands at risk. As outbreaks grew, government authorities failed to crack down on some of the most troubled plants, despite warnings from workers and their advocates. ... At least 1,527 Wisconsin workers at 83 meatpacking and food processing plants have tested positive ... including eight who died ... Many victims are Hispanic immigrants, including undocumented workers. ... interviewed 36 employees at five Wisconsin food plants that had COVID-19 outbreaks, with four of the plants having more than 20 confirmed cases. Smithfield Foods in Cudahy, Calumet Diversified Meats in Pleasant Prairie, American Foods Group in Green Bay, Echo Lake Foods in Burlington, Birds Eye in Darien. Details CDC/OSHA reqs, Voces, UMOS complaints and response. Brown Co stopped reporting data in May. Still waiting for DHS data. Some company reps respond, others do not. Read the article... (Summary by Wispolitics.) Click here to share this article from the League Facebook page.
WHEDA Foundation Grant
By the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority

The deadline to apply for the 2020 WHEDA Foundation Grant is August 21,2020. The Program's mission is to assist in the improvement of the state's housing for special needs populations such as veterans, physically impaired or disabled persons, domestic abuse victims, runaways, homeless persons, and more. 

A total of $1,040,000 will be awarded for the 2020 cycle with awards to be announced in December. The grants are for physical improvements such as rehabilitation, accessibility features and new construction. Since the inception of the Housing Grant Program in 1985, the Foundation has awarded close to $25 million dollars to help communities improve housing for those in need.

For application materials and to apply, visit:  On this page you will also find a list of past award winners and a list of projects that were completed with funds granted.  Applications are due by August 21 st , 2020 with announcements being made in late December.

PFAS Stakeholder Meeting
By the DNR

You are invited to participate in the third Stakeholder group meeting for rulemaking efforts related to PFAS surface water quality criteria. This meeting will be a virtual listening session held on August 27, 2020 beginning at 9:30 am, and can be accessed via Zoom at .

During the previous stakeholder meeting on March 23, 2020, DNR staff presented the approach used to calculate water quality standards using the formula in NR 105, including the calculated range of potential values for PFOS and PFOA. Presentations and a recording of that meeting can be found on the NR105 rule webpage .

At the meeting on August 27, DNR would like to hear from stakeholders on recommended approaches to implementing these criteria, as well as alternative or supplemental approaches to minimizing PFAS in surface water. While continuing to develop surface water quality standards, DNR is also considering:

  • How to most accurately calculate costs of compliance with PFOS/PFOA criteria. (DNR has data on Michigan’s experience with effluent levels, treatment costs and source reduction, but similar information for Wisconsin permittees is very limited);
  • A statewide (multi-discharger) variance;
  • Developing guidance to implement the existing narrative standard for “no toxics in toxic amounts”; and
  • A technology-based effluent guideline for industrial sources.

You are invited to share your thoughts on implementation either verbally, via a PowerPoint presentation, or through informal comments. If you wish to make a presentation, please coordinate with Meghan Williams at by August 24.

The Water Quality Bureau is committed to working with our partners and stakeholders to ensure all options for effective regulation and control of these compounds to protect public health and the environment are considered during the rulemaking process.
Webinars and Training
Adjusting Your Allowable Levy Limit
Wednesday, August 19, 2020, 10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
During this session, Wisconsin Department of Revenue staff will walk through the available adjustments to your allowable levy limit, including reporting requirements on the Levy Limit Worksheet. We will be focusing on Secs. D and E of the Levy Limit Worksheet. This session will  not  include exceeding the allowable levy limit via resolution or referendum.
Presented by Valeah Foy, Deputy Division Administrator of State and Local Finance, and Andrea Newman-Wilfong, Revenue Auditor, Wisconsin Department of Revenue.

Join us for the League's Chief Executives Workshop -
Register Today!
August 25, 26, 27 - 11:30 - 1:30 each day - Webinar
Thanks to the Municipal Property Insurance Company (MPIC) for sponsoring the Workshop!

The League’s Chief Executives Workshop is coming to you!

The 2020 Chief Executives Workshop will be held in your office this year. Due to the pandemic, the League’s annual municipal leadership event will be held virtually. Join us August 25-27 for three lunch and learn programs from 11:30am – 1:30pm. Each day’s workshop will consist of a guest presenter or moderated panel discussion followed by a question and answer period with the speaker or panel, which will then lead into an open-ended roundtable discussion.  

Tuesday, August 25:  Never Waste a Crisis: Silver Linings within the Pandemic -- Scott Botcher, Fox Point Village Manager; Scot Simpson, River Falls City Administrator

Wednesday, August 26:  State Finances, Shared Revenue, & the November Election -- Jason Stein, Research Director, Wisconsin Policy Forum; Charles Franklin, Director of the Marquette Law School Poll

Thursday, August 27:  Leading Amid Conflict – Mayor Mike Palm, Baraboo; Mayor Anissa Welch, Milton; Mayor Dan Devine, West Allis. Moderated by Eric Giordano, Executive Director, Wisconsin Institute for Public Policy and Service.

$50 for all three lunch and learns. Join us for one or join us for all – the price is the same. One lunch is included. Your registration includes a $10 certificate for either Culver’s or Kwik Trip.

Registration deadline is close of business August 24, 2020. Refunds minus $10 administrative fee will be granted for cancellations received by five business days prior to event (Aug 18.)

Avoiding Common Mistakes
Brought to you by the League in partnership with   League Mutual    (LWMMI)
September 10 - 9:00 - 4:00 with an hour break for lunch - Webinar

Attendance is  free  for League members insured by LWMMI; for League members not insured by LWMMI, the League has reduced its usual one-day training registration fee to $50. 

What will you learn?
These sessions will focus on scenarios inspired by real-life examples to illustrate how controversial decisions, compounded by poor municipal governance, can quickly spin out of control. 

League attorneys, Claire Silverman and Maria Davis, will provide an overview of the legal framework governing body members must use when making decisions and explore how deviating from that framework can expose municipalities to liability, damage the municipality’s reputation, and hijack the municipal agenda. 

On the HR side of things, Lisa Bergersen of EngageHR Law, LLC will help attendees navigate a number of human resources and employment law compliance issues that come up with some frequency including wage and hour, harassment/discrimination/bullying, family and medical leave laws, and social media. Lisa will also cover best practices in areas such as handbooks, workplace safety, counseling/discipline/terminations, and documentation.        Details and registration

You don't want to miss!
The League's Local Gov 101

September 11 - Zoom Webinar

• Organization & Powers of Cities and Villages
• Recognizing and Avoiding Conflicts of Interest
• Budgeting & Financial Oversight
• Procedures for Local Government Meetings
• Managing Public Works Activities

Thanks to our sponsors!
League Mutual      and      Stafford Rosenbaum LLP
The League’s 122nd Annual Conference  w ill be a series of Small In-Person Regional and Virtual Events.
October 6-8 & 13-15

We are busy working out all the details -- including locations for the small, in-person events, valuable workshops, drawings for prizes and a virtual walk/run. (Yes, you read that right.) We will be updating our website soon!
Boost your connections on LinkedIn!

Comment on this post on the League's LinkedIn page to connect with people working in municipalities or interested in municipal issues. Once you've commented, take a look at the other people that have commented and reach out to connect with them.

The League's strength is the community we've created and since LinkedIn is a great way to connect, we can use LinkedIn as a tool to enhance those connections.
The August 2020 The Municipality
The League takes our role as a convener of the national dialog on racial equity seriously. From the columns by Milwaukee Common Council President Cavalier Johnson and Reggie Jackson to Eric Giordano's "I am White and Privileged. Now What?" and Waukesha Mayor Shawn Reilly's statement, we ask that you read this issue. Join us for the Chief Executive Workshops session on Racial Equity or the Annual Conference Workskhop or convene your community, What role does local government and do you, as a leader in local government, have in moving toward racial equity? 

Read it online here...

Note - if you work for a League member municipality and previously shared a magazine with colleagues but would now like your own, please send an email with your mailing address to There is no additional cost.

 ICYMI - The  July E-Mun i  takes a deep dive into the magazine's articles on the economy and provides direct links to the legal articles. 

A plethora of Opportunities, Events and Funding are provided in the  July E-Newsletter .  
TELL US! The League’s Community Equity and Inclusion Survey through Polco/National Research Center
Gathering a diverse range of voices, that may not be heard otherwise, is key to the decision-making process. Polco/National Research Center has developed the Community Equity and Inclusion (CEI) Survey and made it available to anyone who wants to field it in their community. (Polco is a Wisconsin based company so they are particularly interested in your input!)

The League is fielding this 20-question survey statewide – please take the survey here !   Click here to share the survey from the League's Facebook page to your own or your municipalities. All responses are confidential. Respondents do have the option of setting up an account to be notified if there are additional surveys your community chooses to publish. 
Since the League survey will only capture data by county, we encourage you to field your own Community Equity and Inclusion Survey for data specific to your residents . The CEI Survey is  free  for local governments to use on Polco and it’s easy. Learn how to post your community specific survey:   Community Equity and Inclusion (CEI) Survey How To  and assess how welcome people feel in your community.
Polco is free for other surveys!
If you would like to survey your residents on other issues, you can do so for free! Polco's online engagement tool is used in hundreds of communities around the country to receive civil and reliable input from verified residents. Polco knows that budgets are tight, so they've released a free version of Polco with everything you need to engage your community online. Contact Cory Poris Plasch at or 630-476-0763 for more information. 

Covid-19 Surveys! The National Community Survey™ CARES (The NCS™ CARES)
To assist local governments in gathering data, Polco's research team (National Research Center, NRC) created The National Community Survey™ CARES (The NCS™ CARES), which offers local leaders essential resources for creating a robust and data-informed recovery plan. The survey tools and online platform allow local leaders to directly engage residents and ensure accurate and actionable feedback. Learn more here (PDF)
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...
The League’s  July 2020 E-Newsletter 
with Opportunities, Events, Grants & Training For You 
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. 

Decisions about 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: