August 17, 2020 - League of Wisconsin Municipalities - COVID-19 Update #45
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 18 - 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.
Health Dept and Health Officer Powers, Duties and Enforcement Actions

Last Friday, the Wisconsin Counties Association released a document entitled Guidance in Implementing Regulations Surrounding Communicable Disease: An Analysis of Local Health Department and Local Health Officer Powers, Duties, and Enforcement Actions. The document is the work of an ad hoc committee created by the Wisconsin Counties Association to provide counties and municipalities with local health departments under Wis. Stat. ch. 252 a substantive and procedural foundation for crafting or updating ordinances relating to communicable disease regulations. The committee’s scope was limited to regulating communicable disease under chapter 252. The committee did not delve into other sources of authority for enacting regulations related to Covid-19 (e.g., police power to regulate for the public health, safety and welfare under Wis. Stat. chapters 61 and 62, and emergency powers under chapter 323). As a result, the guidance will be primarily of interest to a minority of municipalities that retain health departments and health officers. However, municipalities wanting to enforce county health department regulations applying within the municipality may find the section on enforcement helpful.

Not surprisingly, committee members came to the table with varying viewpoints and interpretations of the law (e.g., the significance and relevance of the Wisconsin Supreme Court’s decision in Wisconsin Legislature v. Palm, which invalidated DHS Secretary-Designee Palm’s Emergency Order #28, and the Attorney General’s subsequent guidance regarding that decision). The committee worked to reconcile varying viewpoints and it is important to emphasize that, as the title indicates, the document is intended as guidance and not as a definitive statement on the law. The Guidance is not a model ordinance or a template that can be cut and pasted; it emphasizes the importance of working with the municipal attorney or county corporation counsel to create and implement regulations.  

League Legal Counsel Claire Silverman and Eau Claire City Attorney Stephen Nick participated on behalf of the League.
WEBINAR on the WCA's Guidance WEDNESDAY, August 19

To assist in understanding the document, join the webinar which will walk participants through each section of the Guidance.

11:00 A.M. (CST)

Please click the link below to join the webinar:
Passcode: 332826

US: +1 312 626 6799 
Webinar ID: 831 9503 3621
Password: 332826

Sarah Diedrick-Kasdorf, Wisconsin Counties Association; Andy Phillips, von Briesen & Roper, s.c.; and Eric Ostermann, Wisconsin Association of Local Health Departments and Boards.

Q&A During the Webinar
If you wish to ask a question, please use the Q&A feature to type it in. You can unmute at any time to ask a question or comment, but we do ask if you aren't speaking to put yourself on mute to avoid disruption. During the webinar, you may also use the "Chat" feature to ask a question at any time.
In its 35th year, NLC released the 2020 City Fiscal Condition Report during a virtual release event last week with special guest and Chief Economist, Dr. Mark Zandi of Moody’s Analytics. Findings in the report reveal that America’s cities are experiencing the fiscal consequences of this pandemic-downturn at an unprecedented speed – and like recent recessions, it will take years for municipal budgets to recover from the impact of COVID-19. Read more
"We wear masks to keep our community safe. Our City of Superior has adopted a mask resolution for indoor spaces that are open to the public. It is a small action to do our part to protect ourselves, our loved ones, and our neighbors as we support Superior businesses and services. Remember to wear your mask, social distance, and wash your hands!"

Click here to watch the video on YouTube.
The City of Superior worked with the League and UW students to produce this video.
Additional Communication Resources

Learn more about the WEDC #WeAreAllIn campaign.

Encouraging adoption of protective behaviors to mitigate the spread of Covid-19: Strategies for behavior change by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine. The lead author is at the UW and is part of our project.
"How can leaders encourage adherence with these prevention strategies? This rapid expert consultation from the Societal Experts Action Network helps decision makers, at the federal, state, and local levels, identify what is known about strategies to increase adherence to protective behaviors to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. By understanding these strategies, decision makers can choose the ones that work best for their community." Read it here.
Routes to Recovery Question?

Email DOA staff at
The League's Capitol Buzz Newsletter

August 14, 2020 - Equalized Values and Estimated 2021 Personal Property Aid Payments  
August 12, 2020 - Video Service Fee Form Deadline -- August 17
Engaging Local Govt Leaders #CityHallSelfie & #CityHomeSelfie Day was Friday, August 14

Check out all the great Wisconsin Local Government Selfies! The first one to come in was timestamped 3:40 a.m. and there was even one taken in Oshkosh, NE.

Click here to see the album on the League's Facebook page. (Scroll down for the 2020 gallery of photos.)

Scroll down the League's Facebook page to see all of the selfies that were shared from municipal pages.

Did I miss anyone? Please email Gail Sumi at and let me know!
In the News
Lobby group seeks more funding for municipalities
Wisconsin communities face a $400 million budget shortfall due to the pandemic and a lobby group is calling for more aid.

The President of the League of Wisconsin Municipalities is calling on Wisconsin’s Congressional delegation to support the cities and villages that provide the police, fire, ambulance and other essential services.

Zach Vruwink is working as administrative consultant to the city of Rhinelander. He said the federal stimulus money has helped many, but not cities and villages. He said the loss of tax revenue due to the COVID-19 outbreak leaves budgets stressed.

“We’ve got fixed costs associated with providing services at the local level,” Zach Vruwink said. “We’re asking for Congress to consider the support package to enable municipalities like Rhinelander and other places to receive the support they need to continue to fund operations at the level we’re currently providing.”

The CARES Act specifically excluded support for the loss of sales tax revenues to local governments. Vruwink said that left local services hurting.

“Consumers were spending less over the course of the pandemic this year. Wisconsin cities and villages are seeing the Governor’s directives to various departments at the state level. I’m very concerned what impacts might be coming for funding local government.”

Vruwink said those funding reductions will have a “ripple effect,” forcing cuts in local government services and harm to local economies for the next two or three years. Read the article. Click here to comment, like and share the article from the League's LinkedIn page.

Businesses across state saying ‘We’re All In’ to staying open and slowing COVID spread
Having to cut the operational budget by $4.5 million, the City of La Crosse also suffered an economic loss due to COVID.

If this initiative doesn’t work businesses and the state could continue to suffer.

“You can’t stress this enough for how important it is for people to do the right thing, to practice these good hygiene and to wear masks and to do everything we can as individuals and to get us back to economic activity like we expected,” said La Crosse Mayor Tim Kabat.

“Our businesses are really going to struggle and when our businesses struggle, our communities struggle and our schools will struggle,” Hughes added. “As the mayor said, there’s a ripple effect to not getting a handle on this virus.”

‘We’re All In’ provides guidelines and resources to businesses on how to keep employees and customers safe while slowing down the spread and speeding up the recovery. Read the article. Click here to like, share or comment on this story on the League's Facebook page.

Campaign Encourages People to Keep Up the Covid-19 Fight
Green Bay District 9 Alderman Brian Johnson said having a healthy Main Street, is having a community with a healthy heart, and this campaign helps.

“There are those who are understandably alarmed by the public health crisis our community faces,” he said, “and there are those who are equally concerned about the threats facing our local economy. They’re not mutually exclusive and I want to emphasize that it’s OK to be equally concerned about both and it shouldn’t preclude us from driving solutions that must coexist.” Click here to read the article. Click here to like, comment and share the article from the League's LinkedIn page.
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 from ANYWHERE 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.)

The League's 2020 Municipal Attorneys Institute is coming to your home or office!

We have a great program that offers tremendous value for your CLE dollars.  We expect the Board of Bar Examiners to award 10 CLE credits for the program. There will NOT be a printed binder option this year. Conference handouts will be emailed to registrants preceding the Institute. A few days after the Institute, registrants will receive a link enabling them to access recordings of all the sessions.

Online Registration 
Member Registration $125 - Non-Member Registration $150

To see the agenda on our website, click here

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!

The League's Municipal Assessors Institute is Coming to YOU!
September 15 & 16. 

The institute will feature 6 sessions over the two days with 12 credits available.   

League Member Tuition: $100
Non-League Member Tuition: $125

The League’s 122nd Annual Conference will be a series of Small In-Person Regional and Virtual Events.
October 6-8 & 13-15
Registration will go live September 1!

We are busy working out all the details -- for the small, in-person events, valuable workshops, drawings for prizes and a virtual walk/run. (Yes, you read that right.) Look for the special announcement!
Reminder - 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 21st, 2020 with announcements being made in late December.

Reminder - 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.

Reminder - 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

Reminder - 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.
The League’s August 2020 E-Newsletter 
with Opportunities, Events, Grants & Training For You 
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-Muni takes a deep dive into the magazine's articles on the economy and provides direct links to the legal articles.  
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...
Upcoming League Conferences and Workshops
Our priority is your safety and well-being. Decisions on whether to hold, cancel or postpone League events have been made with that priority as our number-one concern.  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: