The League of Wisconsin Municipalities E-Newsletter | October 2021
State Limits Shrink Police Departments

One in three Wisconsin police departments had to reduce the number of officers in 2019, as the combination of levy limits and shrinking state support impacted local budgets.

New research from the Wisconsin Policy Forum illustrates in sharp detail how communities across the state are struggling to maintain funding for their police departments in the face of budgets that get tighter every year.
The Wisconsin Policy Forum compared 2018 and 2019 police budgets (the most recent data available). The data showed that both police and fire department budgets in roughly one-third of Wisconsin’s local governments shrank from one year to the next. This occurred in all size communities throughout Wisconsin. First responders, and the people that rely on them, are feeling the pinch.

As Neenah Mayor Dean Kaufert said, "Something has to give." Watch the video.
ARPA Reporting Deadlines Moved Back

Learn more in the League's October 1, 2021 Capitol Buzz here.

The Calculator was created by the League in partnership with the Wisconsin Towns Association with help from the WI Department of Revenue. Read our Media Release on WisBusiness here

The Calculator will download to your computer as an Excel spreadsheet. 
Maximize ARPA Funds with State Grant Programs
In an effort to help communities maximize the impact of their federal ARPA funds, the League continues to highlight state grant programs that municipalities, businesses and community partners can apply for and use in conjunction with municipal ARPA funding.

Additional State Grants Opened Recently

Equitable Recovery Grant Program - Applications Just Launched!
The Equitable Recovery Grant Program will provide $50 million to assist community-based organizations working to increase equity and eliminating disparities, by providing services and programming to Wisconsin residents disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Grants up to $1,000,000 will be provided per eligible nonprofit organization.     

Applications are open through November 5, 2021 and will be evaluated in two separate award allocations:
  • $25 million for health, early childhood, education
  • $25 million for economic support, housing, environmental justice
Interested organizations can find additional information for the Equitable Recovery Grant Program available here.

Tourism Capital Grant Program - Applications Just Launched!
The Tourism Capital Grant Program will provide up to $10 million for local and Tribal governments and tourism-related nonprofits to invest in shovel-ready tourism-related capital projects.
Grants of up to $3.5 million will be awarded through a competitive application process. The grant application will be administered by DOA and will remain open through November 12, 2021.

Eligibility criteria and grant application materials for the Tourism Capital Grant Program, as well as information about an upcoming program webinar and Q&A submissions, are available on the program website.

There are several other grant programs available to local communities to aid in the recovery from the pandemic including:
"Non-Exclusive List of ARPA Eligible Uses" by the DOR is available online here.

ARPA Plans Google Spreadsheet - see what other Wisconsin municipalities have planned and share your own plans.

For more on ARPA, visit the League's ARPA resources.
Compendium of US Wastewater Surveillance to Support Covid-19 Public Health Response

EPA recently released a compendium that details various COVID-19 wastewater surveillance programs across the nation from 2020 to early 2021, led by federal, state, local, and tribal agencies and associations, universities, and the private sector. It explores federal and other funding sources, developing and implementing wastewater surveillance programs for SARS-CoV-2, and uses case studies to provide implementation insight and lessons learned. The document additionally guides those interested in implementing wastewater surveillance in the future by elaborating on funding, project management, results, and potential actions to prevent the continued spread of COVID-19.
Video Gambling Machines
The Wisconsin Department of Revenue (DOR) asked us to share the following information with you:

"Some of you may be aware of retail locations in your jurisdiction that received a direct letter from the DOR. There have been a growing number of retailers who have illegally placed machines in their establishments. DOR enforcement agents are being increasingly called to those establishments. Those retailers are risking felony charges and confiscation of the illegal gambling machines. Retailers are encouraged to contact their attorney to discuss whether they are in violation of Wisconsin gambling laws. Violation of the law may result in the following:
• Class I felony offense for commercial gambling (sec. 945.03(1m), Wis. Stats.)
• Fine of up to $10,000, imprisonment, or both (secs. 945.03(1m) and 939.50(3)(i), Wis. Stats.)
• Class A misdemeanor offense for permitting premises to be used for commercial gambling (sec. 945.04(1m), Wis. Stats.)
• Seizure of video gambling machines (sec. 968.13, Wis. Stats.)
• Revocation of alcohol beverage license or permit (sec. 945.041, Wis. Stats.)
• Discontinuation as Lottery retailer (sec. 565.10(3)(a), Wis. Stats.)
• Closure of business as a public nuisance (sec. 823.20, Wis. Stats.)
• Penalties for "Class B" or Class "B" establishments are slightly different (sec. 945.03, Wis. Stats.)"
Reminder -
Public Comment Period and Hearing On Waterbody Assessments Rule
The Wisconsin Dept. of Natural Resources (DNR) will hold a public comment period and public hearing on a proposed rule pertaining to how the DNR conducts waterbody assessments using biological indicators. The rule describes how the biology of a lake, stream or river—such as its plant, algae, fish or insect communities—is used to assess its overall health. It also establishes biological indicators used to determine whether a water body is responding to elevated phosphorus levels. Finally, it updates water quality criteria for dissolved oxygen and establishes new criteria for oxygen and temperature for lakes with coldwater fish.

This is the second public comment period and hearing for this rule (Natural Resources Board order WY-23-13). An earlier version of the rule was submitted to the legislature in 2020 but was recalled by DNR to review comments received at the legislative hearing. The revised version of the rule contains germane modifications to address these comments.

Comment period - Sept. 7 to Nov. 1, 2021. The hearing will be held via Zoom on Oct. 25 beginning at 10 a.m. Please see the notice for more information and a link to join the hearing. WY-23-13NoticeOfHearing.pdf
Register Now for one of our four Small Community Forums
If you live in, work in, or help shape your small community and/or region, please attend one of these Forums. You'll connect with representatives from a variety of statewide resources and discuss with your regional neighborhood what your community needs and can do to grow and thrive into the future.
Hayward: Tuesday, October 26th
Fountain City: Wednesday, October 27th
Spring Green: Tuesday, November 2nd
Weyauwega: Thursday, November 4th
Brought to you in partnership by the League of Wisconsin Municipalities, Wisconsin Rural Partners, Arts Wisconsin, USDA, UW-Extension, Wisconsin Downtown Action Council and the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation.
Register here now! (Space is limited in some of the venues.)
Leading the Change: Deep Resilience–Smart Communities
5th Local Government Summit
Wed., October 27, 8:30 am-12:00 pm - Free
The Wis. Academy of Sciences, Arts & Letters
Headlining speakers at this year’s Summit include top scientist Steve Vavrus from the Nelson Institute for Climatic Research, whose understanding of the ways that climate change impacts local Wisconsin communities will be valuable for your strategic planning and day-to-day work in local government. The Summit will connect you with experts and peers working on important issues like building carbon-neutral affordable housing, outfitting local utilities to be resilient and sustainable, and creating forward-thinking transportation solutions for local Wisconsinites–all before lunchtime! 

Thanks to the Wisconsin Office of Energy Innovation, Summit registration for local government and tribal officials is free. Registration for other participants is $25. Register> 
Wis. City/County Mgt. Assoc. Women’s Leadership Seminar
Friday, November 12
Hotel Retlaw, Fond du Lac
The Women’s Leadership Committee, an initiative by the WCMA, is pleased to present the 4th Annual Women’s Leadership Seminar. This day-long seminar provides an opportunity to come together to promote professional development, networking, and overall support for women in the profession. Everyone, regardless of gender or level in the organization, is welcome to attend!

Details (PDF). Register online at:
40th Annual Government IT Symposium: Elevate Your Game
November 15-18, 2021
November 15 | In-Person Pre-Conference at the St. Paul River Centre
November 16-18  | Virtual Three Day Conference
Sponsored by the Minnesota League of Cities & Others

Join us as we celebrate the 40th anniversary of the country's longest running government IT event! The Government IT Symposium brings together over 1,000 IT leaders and professionals from across the spectrum of government agencies and systems, along with their private and civic sector partners, for three days of engagement, inspiration and information.

With a focus on collaboration, innovation and service, this year’s VIRTUAL Symposium and IN-PERSON Pre-Conference will address critical and timely issues for multi-function, multi-sector government audiences. This is THE place to join your colleagues and focus on using IT innovations, integration and intelligence to support the public good!
2021 Salute to Local Government
November 17, 11:30 AM - 1:30 PM
Italian Community Center, Milwaukee
Wisconsin Policy Forum and proudly sponsored by the League

Join the Wisconsin Policy Forum for the 29th Annual Salute to Local Government awards! The celebration recognizes the positive impact public sector ingenuity and excellence has on taxpayers and communities throughout Wisconsin. Award categories showcase local governments and school districts for innovative problem-solving, efforts to advance racial equity, and intergovernmental and public-private cooperation. We also honor individuals in the public sector for excellence and lifetime achievement. This year a “Pandemic Hero” award will be highlight extraordinary effort during the pandemic.
Join the next LGE/ Certified Public Manager® Colleague Group

The CPM Program provides the education and training needed to meet the unique demands and challenges of public management, strengthening administrative, technical, and interpersonal skills through a combination of classes, activities, and written applied projects. Through 18 months of classes, participants will form a learning community with other public sector professionals, engaging with an intensive broad-based management curriculum that hones their management and program delivery skills.

The next Colleague Group begins November 9, 2021. Applications are due October 25, 2021. For a full schedule, and an application, please visit:
Subscribe now to the League's New Cybersecurity Newsletter.

One monthly in-depth issue and alerts as needed. 

Questions or suggestions? Contact the League's Robin Powers at email.
Reminder -
Important Notice Impacting League Handbook Orders!

The League's office building is closed until the building's structural issues have been resolved. All of our services will continue as always with the exception of certain Handbook orders.

You can order the following Handbooks as a PDF on our website here:
  • Handbook for Wisconsin Municipal Officials - Completely updated in January 2017. PDF Available!
  • Handbook for Wisconsin Police and Fire Commissioners - Completely updated in January 2019. PDF Available!
  • Municipal Licensing and Regulation of Alcohol Beverages - Updated in July 2021. PDF Available!

Orders for any of our other many Handbooks will be fulfilled when we are back in the office. We will let you know when that is the case.

City orders Downtown building with Paisan's closed due to 'structural concerns' Read the article
Wondering about Covid protocols at the League's In-Person Meetings? 

Review this updated PDF for details. 

Thanks to the League's Board President, Waunakee's Todd Schmidt for the smile. He'll see you at the League's Annual Conference in Green Bay October 20-22.
Water Utilities Partnering for Success
October 27, 2021 - Web Conference - 9:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Early Bird Fee available through 10.21.2021 
Water utilities are grappling with all sorts of challenges, among them staff retirements, hiring challenges, limited financial and staffing resources, aging infrastructure, technology and security, and varying regulatory requirements. 
• Quality, Price, and Scale: Why Bigger is Better
• Water System Partnerships
• What Is the Big Deal About Regionalization?
• Forming Partnerships to Overcome Barriers
• Where Is the Industry Headed?

Wisconsin EMS Association (WEMSA®) Conference
October 28-30
Rothschild, WI

Mitigating Urban Heat Islands with Trees
October 28, 2021 || 9:00–10:15 am Central Dr. Laura Jackson, Sustainable & Healthy Communities Research Program, U.S. EPA, and Dr. Dave Nowak, i-Tree Team Leader, U.S. Forest Service
This two-part presentation will provide information from current research on how trees can be used to mitigate the effects of urban heat islands. Dr. Nowak will discuss the importance of trees in mitigating heat islands and results from various studies related to trees and heat islands. He will also discuss how tree effects on air temperature are being incorporated in the i-Tree modeling suite. Dr. Jackson will share fine-scale maps of heat islands and vegetated "cool" areas from the EPA's work on EnviroAtlas. She will also discuss case studies in Durham, NC and Portland, OR where EPA helped target street tree plantings to reduce urban heat islands in low-income neighborhoods.

The League's Police & Fire Commission Workshop
November 3, 2021 in Wisconsin Dells
Wilderness Resort, Glacier Canyon Conference Center
Focus on Energy Training and Education
Visit for a complete list of training opportunities.

“Leading for Racial Equity Series: Learning and deconstructing structures of power and privilege in state and local government”
Wednesday, November 3, 2021– –10:30 am to 12:00 noon, FREE.
Local Government Education - UW Extension
Even when we don’t recognize them, many of our local government programs are built on structures of power and privilege. This webinar will help identify and break down these structures in the pursuit of developing more equitable and inclusive local governments. During the webinar, you’ll develop a shared understanding of concepts related to deconstructing inequitable systems and navigating change through a lens of racial equity and inclusion, build a shared understanding of the historic roots and present-day manifestations of inequity, and begin to explore the conditions needed, for self and for organizations, to undergo and sustain change toward racial equity and inclusion. This session will be led by the nINA Collective, a multicultural group who bring decades of experience and expertise in systems change, equity and inclusion capacity building in local government. To register, please click on the registration link below 

National Foundation for Women Legislators 2021 Annual Conference
November 8-10, 2021
Memphis, TN
Scholarships Available
The League's Human Resources for Small Communities
Three one-hour long webinars
November 9-11, 2021
10AM each day
“Wisconsin Broadband Summit”
Tuesday, November 16, 2021–9:00 a.m.- 12:00 p.m. – Community Economic Development.
Explore how communities can increase broadband access and move closer towards digital equity. Registration:

“Local Government Fundamentals”
Tuesday- Wednesday, November 16-17, 2021– Transportation Information Center
Learn about the state’s relationship with local government and why these relationships are beneficial so that you can make sound decisions. Examine how you can ensure that the work you are doing is not only ethical, but also follows current public standards of conduct. Cost: $150. Registration:

Show Me How: Brownfields Redevelopment in Economically Distressed Areas
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

“Leading for Racial Equity Series: Understanding Individual, institutional and systemic levels of oppression in state and local government”
Wednesday, December 1, 2021–– 10:30 am to 12:00 noon, FREE
Local Government Education - UW Extension
Systems of oppression can occur at all levels and are often unrecognized by those within local governments. During this webinar, you’ll sharpen your understanding of how systems of oppression operate at the individual, institutional and systemic levels, learn applications for addressing multilevel systems of oppression in organizations, and begin identifying and exploring equity project goals and implementation strategies. This session will be led by the nINA Collective, a multicultural group who bring decades of experience and expertise in systems change, equity and inclusion capacity building in local government. To register, please click on the registration link below: 
The League's Municipal Water Issues Web Series
December 7, 8, & 9, 2021 via Zoom
12PM each day

“Leading for Racial Equity Series: From tolerance for diversity to deep systems change for equity in state and local government”
Wednesday, January 5, 2021– 10:30 am to 12:00 noon, FREE.
Local Government Education - UW Extension
Tolerance of diversity isn’t enough, local governments need to intentionally be equitable and inclusive in order to better serve their communities. This often involves changing local government systems. Through this webinar, you will understand organizational change management frameworks, learn how to integrate transformative leadership throughout your organization, and analyze the complexities of diversity, inclusion and equity and its application at the organizational level. This session will be led by the nINA Collective, a multicultural group who bring decades of experience and expertise in systems change, equity and inclusion capacity building in local government. To register, please click on the registration link below:


Leadership, Management and Workplace Skills Classes
Community and nonprofit funding and grants, educational offerings, and key resources


The Very Popular Municipal Dam Grant Application period is OPEN! 
The 2021 Biennial Budget increased the Dam Safety Grant appropriation and provided $10 million for Dam Safety Grants. The Biennial Budget also changed the cost-share amount so that Grants now provide a cost-sharing opportunity for eligible engineering and construction costs for dam maintenance, repair, modification or abandonment and removal up to a maximum of $1,000,000.00. The DEADLINE IS MARCH 4TH, 2022.

Rental Assistance Funding
U.S. Treasury’s Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) program makes funding available to assist households that are unable to pay rent or utilities. The funds are provided directly to grantees such as states, U.S. territories, local governments, and (in the case of the first round of funding) Indian tribes. Grantees use the funds to provide assistance to eligible households through existing or newly created rental assistance programs. To learn more about how to apply for emergency rental assistance in your state, please visit this link. Information in Spanish for renters can be found here, and information in Spanish for landlords can be found here

July 1 marks the opening of the DNR’s Urban Forestry 2022 Urban Forestry Grants application period.

American Transmission Company (ATC) announces the opening of applications for their Community Planting and Pollinator Habitat Grant Programs. Applications for these programs are accepted July 1 through September 30 each year, and recipients are selected by the end of the calendar year.

The WiPERC Onroad Vehicle Data Collection Incentive Program is available through Dec. 31 for U.S. EPA-certified on-road vehicles purchased or converted to propane. 

DNR Surface Water Grant Funding
More than $6 million is available to provide cost-sharing grants to support projects in the following areas:
• Education, outreach and organization development
• Planning for protection and restoration
• Restoration of surface water and shorelands
• Management plan implementation
• Aquatic invasive species prevention & control

Download the grant application from the “Applying” tab. Fill out the sections labeled “pre-application” and submit it to by Sept. 2. This rough project outline and draft budget will help the DNR understand what you are looking to propose and help them provide technical assistance and feedback before the complete application is due on Nov. 1.

Innovation Matters Funding Opportunities, Publications, Events and Learning is the latest USDA Rural Development Newsletter. This issue includes the new Rural Community Toolkit which is a Tool to Increase Vaccine Confidence in Rural Areas.
Subscribe to the USDA newsletter.

Thanks to the Green Tier Legacy Communities staff at the WDNR for putting these lists together. Learn more about how your municipality can benefit from the popular and growing Green Tier program for local governments chartered by the League and others in 2010.

GTLC Funding Opportunities
October - December 2021
As a service to Legacy Communities, the Department of Natural Resources compiles funding opportunities that we believe you will be interested in. This list includes upcoming funding applications that are due by October – December of 2021, and also includes funding opportunities available year-round. If you are intending to apply for any of the grants listed below, or others not included, please notify so we may continue to inventory funding opportunities of interest to Legacy Communities.

Year-Round Opportunities
Other State/Federal Grants 

Additional Resources 

Questions? Contact Will Erikson | (608) 267-3763

Thanks to the Daniel Foth, Local Government Education Specialist at Local Government Education for this list.

•Federal Grants – Grants.Gov -
•State of Wisconsin Grants – DOA -
•The Foundation Center,
•Research Libraries - Funding Information Network locations,
•Madison Community Foundation,
•The Community Tool Box,
•The Wisconsin Philanthropy Network,
•Council on Foundations,
•Chronicle of Philanthropy,
•Inside Philanthropy,
•Local Government Center,