News Categories: General News

01 Apr
By: MAT Staff 0

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) and Operating the Township

Townships can expect to be impacted by the COVID-19 virus and the efforts now underway to slow the spread of the illness. This article addresses how townships may hold board meetings during the public health emergency, planning for operations during the emergency, protections for employees subject to quarantine, and additional information on COVID-19.

On March 13, 2020, Governor Tim Walz declared a public health emergency related to the COVID-19 infectious disease and directed the Minnesota Department of Health to issue guidance on how to prevent and manage the spread of COVID-19. The latest information from MDH can be found here: https://www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/index.html . Recommendations from MDH are changing frequently, so please check this site often.

Board Meetings During the Stay at Home Order:  On March 25, Governor Walz issued a Stay at Home order requiring all Minnesotans to limit movements outside their homes between Friday, March 27 and April 10, subject to exceptions described in the Order. The full Executive Order is found here. This Order includes Township Boards, and they should not hold any in-person meeting during the term of the Order. Townships may either postpone meetings to a later date if possible, or use the telephone or video meeting options available to them. The use of remote meeting options are described below.

Essential Services During Stay at Home: Local government employees and contractors providing services in “Critical Sectors” may continue their work outside their homes, if they are included in the list of Critical Sectors and their work cannot be performed from home.

Critical Sector employees include: (1) law enforcement, public safety, and first responders; (2) water and wastewater workers; (3) transportation workers who support or enable transportation functions, road construction workers, engineers, including maintenance vehicle operators; (4) public works employees described in the Federal Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) guidance here; (5) necessary building management employees; (6) security workers; (7) elections workers, including town clerks and election judges; and (8) data and computer systems management employees. Other Critical Sector employees are described in the Governor’s Executive Order and the CISA guidelines.

Local government boards are not among the groups listed in the Governor’s Executive Order as Critical Sectors. This does not mean that townships are not essential – it means that they are not among the groups that are allowed to leave their homes to complete their work. This is because township boards may use telephone meetings to perform their duties. We understand this is not convenient – it is not intended to serve the convenience of local governments. Instead, the Stay at Home order is intended save lives. Please respect this Order during the short time it lasts.

Board Meetings After the Stay at Home Order: Townships may hold regular board meetings either: (1) in-person within the framework provided in MDH’s guidelines, above; or (2) by telephone or video conference. The best-practice is to continue telephone or video meetings during the entire length of the public health emergency in order to prevent any unnecessary public gatherings.

Notice of meetings by video-conference or teleconference should be posted usual. Townships using either method should ensure they take excellent minutes of their proceedings and may consider audio recording these meetings. If possible, the township must allow members of the public to join the video or teleconference.

Reduce Room Capacity Limits: Townships may implement room capacity limits to comply with the social distancing recommendation that people maintain 6 feet of distance from others.  Just as a room capacity for fire protection may be observed and imposed, a reduced room capacity may be imposed to maintain the recommended social distance.

Public Hearings: Townships should work with their township attorney if any public hearing is required. Because the Board must hear from the public at a public hearing, the Board may need to make special arrangements to accommodate all comments.

Video Conferencing: Townships may use video conferencing for any meeting under the circumstances described in Minn. Stat. § 13D.02. The circumstances include:

  1. All members of the township board participating in the meeting can see and hear each other and all discussion and testimony from others participating in the meeting;
  2. The public attending at the regular meeting location can see and hear all members of the body;
  3. At least one member of the board is present at the regular meeting location;
  4. Each location at which a member is present is accessible by the public.

Often, the most difficult aspect of videoconferencing is getting the technology to work well and to project the video and audio to the public, if there is an audience at the meeting. Townships that do not typically have an audience attend their meetings may find this method effective to hold meetings without physical interaction among board members.

While there are many reputable videoconferencing services, MAT staff has successfully used or heard positive things about the following services:

Teleconferencing: Minn. Stat. 13D.021 allows a town board to hold a meeting by teleconference if there is a public health pandemic or emergency declared under Minnesota Statutes chapter 12, and the township meets the requirements of the statute. Minn. Stat. §13D.021 allows telephone meetings if:

  1. The township chairperson decides an in-person meeting or interactive television meeting is not practical or prudent because of a health pandemic or an emergency declared under Minnesota Statutes chapter 12;
  2. All township board members participating in the meeting can hear all other participants;
  3. All members of the public at the regular meeting location can hear all discussion and testimony and votes of the town board’s members, unless attendance at the meeting is not feasible because of health pandemic or emergency declaration;
  4. At least one member of the town board is physically present at the regular meeting location, unless unfeasible because of health pandemic or emergency; and
  5. All votes are conducted by roll call so each member’s vote can be identified and recorded.

COVID-19 has been labeled a pandemic illness by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Governor has declared a public health emergency under Minnesota Statutes Chapter 12. As such, township boards may choose to use teleconferencing for their meetings during the public health emergency.

To use a telephone meeting, the board may follow these steps:

  1. The Chairperson decides the board will use a telephone meeting because of health pandemic. This decision is not made at a town board meeting. During the COVID emergency, the chair will decide that no one will be present at the regular meeting location during the meeting.
  2. The board must procure a teleconferencing number to use. There are many reputable teleconferencing providers. For example, MAT has used Go To Meeting, found here. To use this kind of service, one officer or employee signs up for an account, chooses a conferencing package, and enters payment information. Pricing is affordable and this is a valid town expense. The account will provide a toll-free call in number and a code to enter the conference.  Callers may use any telephone to call in or connect via the internet.
  3.  The board arranges the date and time of the telephone meeting and it is posted on the townships posting place to comply with the Open Meeting Law and any other means publicizing the meeting. The posting and notices should be included in the meeting notices and distributed to the board members.
  4. Any written materials that the board needs for the meeting are distributed by mail or electronic means. If possible, the board should arrange some method of making the public meeting packet available to the public for the meeting.
  5. At the proper time, the board calls into the meeting. Many conference call applications allow the meeting host, usually meaning the account holder, to manage the call from a webpage. The host can mute or unmute callers to help maintain order. The host may also record the call via the webpage control. For most townships, only the board members are likely to call into the meeting, and there may be no need to manage unsolicited comments or background noise during the call.
  6. During the first meeting, the board passes the Resolution recognizing the townships use of telephone meetings. A sample resolution enacting teleconference meetings during this can be found at https://mntownships.org/information-library/ or as document number ES2000 in the information library.
  7. The board carries out its meeting, with all votes conducted by roll call. The minutes probably will be longer and more robust for a phone meeting.
  8. The board may allow or prohibit public input or comment during the meeting, at its discretion. It may be very difficult to manage public comment if there are many people on the call.

For additional information on teleconference and videoconference providers, how to set-up and use each the providers program, please see: https://mntownships.org/news/options-for-conducting-a-town-meeting-remotely/ or Document Number ES3000.

MAT has also provided three options to townships looking to conduct teleconferenced meetings.

  • Option A: This is where townships would learn how to, and conduct the meeting on their own. Some more information on how to set-up a teleconference service can be found in document number: ES3000A.
  • Option B: MAT will create a teleconference line and train officers on how to use the teleconferencing service.
  • Option C: MAT will create and assist in hosting the teleconference for the township.

For more information of each of these options, please see: https://mntownships.org/news/additional-teleconference-meeting-options-for-townships/, or email OptionB@MnTownships.org or OptionC@MnTownships.org regarding the specific option listed in the email. If the township would like to conduct set-up and host the teleconference themselves, under Option A, please see: https://mntownships.org/news/options-for-conducting-a-town-meeting-remotely/, as well as document numbers: ES 3000 and ES3000A in MAT’s information library.

Employees & Quarantine: Township employees showing signs of illness should stay home to avoid passing COVID-19 to anyone else. The township may not discharge, discipline, threaten, or penalize any employee, or discriminated in the work conditions of the employee because the employee has been in quarantine or has been responsible for the care of a person in quarantine. Minn. Stat. § 144.4196.

Townships may require employees to use any available sick or paid time off during their time of illness or quarantine. The township is not required to pay employees who are unavailable to work and have exhausted their paid leave. However, the town board may choose to offer additional paid leave or other accommodation to those employees. MDH has encouraged employers to be generous, understanding, and flexible in allowing employees to remain home for illness and to care for those who are ill.

Delegate Duties and Authorities: To accommodate fewer meetings and possibly absent supervisors, town boards should: (1) identify the essential operations that must continue each month; (2) delegate authorities and boundaries to individual supervisors, officers, or employees to manage those operations between meetings; (3) to the extent possible, provide individual spending authority to managers up to a certain limit for expenses that cannot wait for a board meeting; (4) establish procedures and permissions for officers and employees to work remotely; (5) consider any extended leave policies and reasonable accommodations that may be needed as employees become ill, are quarantined, or must care for other individuals; and (6) prepare for backup services to be provided by other employees, officers, neighboring townships or governments, or secondary contractors.

Signatures on Checks: Townships may arrange for checks to be signed or send by only one officer if certain processes and protections are followed. Minn. Stat. 367.18 says that claims audited and approved by the town board, and countersigned by the clerk, become a check on the township’s account once signed by the treasurer. Based on this statute, townships usually require the signatures of the chairperson, clerk, and treasurer for a check to be valid. This statute describes one method by which a township check or payment can be issued but it is not the only method of paying claims.

One option is to use electronic funds transfers (EFT), which is allowed by Minn. Stat. 471.38. An EFT does not have three signatures on the check, and instead relies on the town board approving a claim, the chairperson, clerk, and treasurer signing or indicating their approval on the claim form or in the township board minutes. Additional guidance on the use of EFT can be found here: https://www.auditor.state.mn.us/default.aspx?page=20090724.031 .

A second option is for townships to arrange for their checks to be signed by only one officer if: (1) the township board has audited and approved the claim; (2) the clerk has indicated his or her approval that the board took the action indicated; (3) the treasurer indicates there is money available in the township’s account to pay the claims; (4) the board has delegated the authority to issue the check; and (5) each of these elements are document in the township board minutes.

Last, townships should remember that payroll can be processed without a board meeting based on the authority described in Minn. Stat. 471.38, subd. 2, if the employees’ rates of pay have been set in advance.

Closure of Some Township Amenities: Pursuant the Governor’s Executive Orders in place right now, township recreational facilities, senior and youth centers, performance centers, fitness centers, or other recreational facilities are to be closed to the public. The Township Hall or administrative offices may be open to the public to maintain services provided by the township, but MDH’s guidelines should be observed as township’s continue to serve the community.

More Information: Some useful links and information can be found at the following websites:

Centers for Disease Control & Prevention: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

CDC’s Facts About COVID-19: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/share-facts.html

Minnesota Department of Health COVID-19 Guidance: https://www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/index.html

 

 

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31 Mar
By: MAT Staff 0

Additional Teleconference Meeting Options for Townships

MAT recognizes that townships will need to make alternative meeting plans during the COVID-19 public health emergency – and comply with the open meeting law. Townships can – and should – conduct meetings using telephone conference calls. We understand that using new technology could be challenging, and MAT is here to assist townships in their needs. Here are several options that townships may choose to utilize:

 

Option A
Townships create and use a conference call line on their own
. A township can create and use their own conference call line by utilizing commercially available teleconference products. MAT has created this guide, “Township Options for Meeting Remotely, that includes information about posting notice, various teleconference products, and helpful hints for each township to use on your own.

 

Option B
MAT creates the township’s conference call line and provides training.
If additional help is needed to create the township’s conference call account and to use it, MAT will create the township’s conference call account/line, and provide a training on how to administer and host the calls. There is a one-time fee of $50 to MAT. If you’d like to utilize this option, please email OptionB@MnTownships.org.

 

Option C
MAT creates the township’s conference call line and “hosts” your meeting.
If a township would like additional help, MAT’s communications consultant will create your township’s conference call account/numbers, AND host your call/meeting (muting people are requested, etc.). The fee per meeting will be $100 to MAT. If you’d like to utilize this option, please email OptionC@MnTownships.org.

 

Thank you for your service, and please be in touch if we can be of any assistance.

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31 Mar
By: MAT Staff 0

NATaT Brief on CARES Act and Broadband-Related Provisions

Below is an analysis of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act and funding implications for broadband infrastructure deployment, distance learning, and telehealth services.  It also previews next steps for broadband funding as Congress pivots to a fourth stimulus package focused on the nation’s “recovery” and infrastructure investment.

NATaT Brief on CARES Act and Broadband Provisions

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27 Mar
By: MAT Staff 0

MAT Coronavirus Conference Call Recap and Audio

To listen to the conference call, please use this link.  368 Township Officials participated in the Conference Call last evening!

Below is a summary of that conference call with Senator Rich Draheim, MAT Executive Director David Hann, MAT General Counsel Steve Fenske, and MAT Lobbyist Shep Harris:

Recorded on: Thu, 26 Mar 2020 06:05 PM

Summary:  The Legislature met and approved $331 million additional funding for crisis response.

The Legislature adjourned, but leaders will continue work behind the scenes. MAT continues to work with chief authors of transportation bills. Your phone/email advocacy makes a difference.

MAT priorities like broadband funding may see legislative action, but controversial topics like annexation and voluntary driving will probably not be addressed.

Townships are not stopping their operations. There is a MAT news article about how to have teleconference meetings, how to sign a check by one person, and more.

Q&A Article: COVID-19 (Coronavirus) and Operating the Township

_______________

Senator Draheim:

A bill was passed by the House and Senate today, and will be signed by the Governor. The Governor needs help funding the crisis. The state, through the 3/16 and 3/26 bills, has already appropriated around $550,000,000 of resources towards the pandemic response. Today’s legislation includes public safety, child care centers relief, veterans (Soldier Assistance Fund), food shelves, housing, healthcare, and more segments of state government. There is clarification on what the Governor can and cannot do. Tribal nations will be given up to $11,000,000 and small businesses will receive up to $40,000,000.

What about broadband access funding, in this time of increased demand for distance learning and working remotely?
There is more funding needed to meet 2026 standards, might not be fiber.  5G is not a practical option.  Now is the time for this service, but we’ll see if it’s a priority for the Governor.

Will there be a bonding bill?
The forecasted surplus is almost gone, spent on the COVID-19 crisis and there may not be a good chance of passing a bonding bill.

____________

Steve Fenske, General Counsel (parts of the call that are addressed by the MAT article already posted):

Townships are not stopping their operations. There is a news article with all the topics covered.

Q&A Article: COVID-19 (Coronavirus) and Operating the Township

How do we hold a meeting?
The goal is safety. During the ‘stay at home’ through April 10, you should not hold an in-person meeting. You can postpone or cancel the meeting. Or, telephone meetings and online meetings are allowed and perfectly acceptable as an open meeting. You may need to figure out technology options.

Pass a resolution allowing teleconference meetings. A sample resolution is in the MNTownships.org Information LibraryES-2000 (PDF Version or Word Document Version) says that the Board is going to have phone meetings for the entirety of the declared emergency. You are supposed to try to allow the public to know about the meeting, a feature for the public to join a call or online meeting. This does not mean we are having emergency meetings – we still have to post notices and information packets.

The township board of supervisors is not classified as ‘essential’ during ‘stay at home’ because they can do their work without in-person meetings.

After ‘stay at home’ you may try in-person meetings again, with the CDC guidelines for healthy social distancing.


How do we sign a check?

Use electronic fund transfers or sign by one person, if the board members approve. More details at Q&A Article: COVID-19 (Coronavirus) and Operating the Township. You need to keep paying employees to avoid wage theft. You can process payroll for employees without a town meeting.

What if an employee is sick?
Do not discharge someone if they are having to stay home to quarantine themselves or to take care of a family member. Ask the employee to use Paid Time Off, but you cannot have any negative consequences if they need to stay home.

What is essential?
During the Stay at Home: (1) law enforcement, public safety, and first responders; (2) water and wastewater workers; (3) transportation workers who support or enable transportation functions, road construction workers, engineers, including maintenance vehicle operators; (4) public works employees described in the Federal Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) guidance here; (5) necessary building management employees; (6) security workers; (7) elections workers, including town clerks and election judges; and (8) data and computer systems management employees.

Do we need to publish a notice in the newspaper that we are not having an in-person meeting?
No, you can choose the ways you want to post about the open meeting.

Could MAT provide a call-in number for meetings and assist with technology?
Try freeconferencecall.com, gotomeeting.com, or zoom.  Services like GoToMeeting are reasonably priced at about $15/month subscription.

What about a public hearing?
You cannot have the meeting in-person during the ‘stay at home’ order. You will need to arrange a way for people to give their comments, either in writing before the meeting or with a call/video method. We know it’s difficult for planning zoning, for example, the 60-day rule is in effect until the Legislature suspends it. If you can postpone the meeting, that would be the easiest.

Can we begin a Board of Equalization and Appeal meeting, and then continue remaining business at a later time?
Yes, and plan a time that works for your county.

Are county recorders considered ‘essential’ during the stay at home?
Email Steve, unsure.

Do we need a local emergency?
No, you do not need to, FEMA knows, but you can pass a declaration if you want.

What is the process for getting reimbursed for coronavirus expenses?
The stimulus package is still being worked out. Document expenses and keep your receipts, then apply for grants from FEMA, similar to weather emergencies.

Steve is available for questions. The MAT office will not be open to the public starting Monday, but they are accessible by phone and email.

________

Shep Harris, lobbyist with Fredrikson & Byron:

The Legislature is adjourned but met for today. A $331,000,000 finance package passed today.

$10,000,000 applies to The Minnesota Investment Fund or Small Cities Development Block Grant – if there is unused money left over from a project, you can issue loans to small businesses, retailers, service providers, or hospitality establishments. You can create new jobs, try to pull in private matching funds, and more.

Sen. Gazelka, Sen. Kent, Rep. Hortman and Rep. Daudt, along with the Governor, agreed to three categories they will address the rest of this session: 1) Crisis response. 2) Topics with general support. (For example, broadband had general support in the Legislature, and may go forward this year. A bonding bill may also get passed). 3) Topics that all 4 leaders agree on. Since MAT issues have had opposition (annexation, voluntary driving, culverts costs being taken care of by private landowners – those probably will not go forward) the legislative leaders and governor have already agreed they will not be addressed.

What are legislators doing now?
They agreed that they will be adjourned until April 14th, unless needed in the meantime and called back by the legislative leaders. Most legislators will be in their home districts, and behind-the-scenes crisis work will get done by the leaders.

Our best bets for MAT priorities are broadband and transportation. Transportation will likely be included in a bonding bill, not a separate transportation bill.

Participate in action/advocacy alerts! We need you to make calls to your legislators. When you see email messages that you can send, please take the time to customize the message and send it in.

The MAT lobbying team and staff are working with our chief authors: Senators Wolgamott, Jasinski, Bruce Anderson are our transportation chief authors, Senjem and Murphy are the bonding committee chairs.

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25 Mar
By: MAT Staff 0

Governor Walz announces a “Stay at home” Emergency Executive Order for Minnesota

Moments ago, Governor Walz announced a “Stay at home” Emergency Executive Order:

  • “Stay at home” starts this Friday at midnight for two weeks (March 27 – April 10) to slow the spread of COVID-19 and “buy time” for hospitals. This is subject to extension. This limits people’s travel outside the home – except for essential services. The full, 21-page Emergency Executive Order can be found here.
  • Liquor stores, grocery stores, gas stations, and clinics are deemed “essential” and remain open for service.
  • Schools will be closed until May 4, subject to extension.

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24 Mar
By: MAT Staff 0

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic: Public Assistance Simplified Application

This Fact Sheet supplements Fact Sheet: Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic Emergency Protective Measures and provides an overview of the FEMA Public Assistance application process for recipients and applicants requesting reimbursement related to federal emergency and major disaster declarations for Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19). FEMA is simplifying the Public Assistance application and funding process to address the magnitude of this event and allow local officials to receive eligible funding more quickly.

FEMA is simplifying the Public Assistance application process. FEMA is developing a simplified online form applicants can complete, and on which they may explain work activities, answer basic questions, provide limited supporting documentation, and provide a cost estimate. FEMA and the recipient will review this information, follow up with limited requests for additional information if necessary, and award assistance. Recipients will have access to all projects in PA Grants Portal, consistent with the traditional PA process.

The national emergency declaration authorized Public Assistance Category B reimbursement for emergency protective measures. It does not include additional categories of assistance, such as infrastructure repair and replacement, which are needed after typical natural disasters. This enables FEMA to eliminate many application steps that are designed for those categories, including: eliminating exploratory calls, recovery scoping meetings, and most site inspections; and reducing documentation requirements to the minimum needed to support Category B reimbursement.

Recipients are states, tribes, or territories that receive and administer Public Assistance awards. Applicants are state, local, tribal and territorial governments, or eligible private nonprofits, submitting a request for assistance under a recipient’s federal award.

Applicants are empowered to drive their own recovery and directly apply for reimbursement without waiting for FEMA to assign a Program Delivery Manager. FEMA is simplifying the process so applicants may directly apply for assistance through the PA Grants Portal.

As FEMA and recipients implement these changes, FEMA will continue to process and fund Public Assistance projects. Funding is immediately available should state, tribal, territorial or local officials request expedited assistance. Prior to funding, recipients must sign FEMA-State/Tribal/Territorial Agreements, submit signed Federal Grant Applications (SF-424), and update Recipient Public Assistance Administrative Plans. Recipients should start setting up Grants Portal accounts for themselves and applicants at grantee.fema.gov so they can apply for assistance. Once an account is created, Applicants may submit Requests for Public Assistance to begin the application process.

FEMA is working to rapidly scale up the information, tools and technology necessary to provide assistance to all applicants. Eligibility guidance on what FEMA can fund will be updated on the Public Assistance Policy, Guidance, and Factsheets page on FEMA.gov and the COVID-19 page on FEMA.gov. Application support and tutorials are available on the resource tab in PA Grants Portal.

More Information
For more information, visit the following websites:

  1. Public Assistance Program and Policy Guide
  2. FEMA.gov/Coronavirus
  3. Coronavirus (COVID-19) (CDC)

 

Click Here for a PDF of the text above.

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18 Mar
By: MAT Staff 0

Coronavirus Updates on the Census and LBAE Meetings

Please read the following document for Information and Resources on federal responses for state, local, and regional government:  Coronavirus Update: 3/16/2020 (The Ferguson Group)


2020 Census

An update on 2020 Census operations has been posted on 2020census.gov:  https://2020census.gov/en/news-events/press-releases/operational-updates.html

 

Local Board of Appeal & Equalization Meetings
As Minnesota responds to COVID-19 we have received many questions on how COVID-19 will affect this year’s local board of appeal and equalization (LBAE) planning and meetings.

It is important to us to provide guidance on how to proceed with LBAE meetings and meet statutory requirements while keeping everyone safe and healthy. It is crucial that each assessor’s office work closely with the local boards in your county as you prepare for LBAE meetings.

The attached memo provides important information you need to know regarding LBAE meetings and COVID-19. All questions in response to the memo should be sent to proptax.bae@state.mn.us. We are currently working on a FAQ webpage that will be posted to our website to assist everyone with additional questions regarding the LBAE process and COVID-19. The link to the FAQ page will be found on our Local Board of Appeal and Equalization page as soon as possible.

Our top priority is to provide guidance to assist with keeping local and county staff, board members, and property owners safe and healthy. Again, we strongly encourage that cities, counties, boards, and the state work together to be sure legal requirements are met and property owners can exercise their right to appeal.

Thank you for your understanding and patience as we move through this unique situation together.

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17 Mar
By: Scott Saloum 0

Governor Walz to Order Temporary Closure of Restaurants, Bars, Other Public Amusement

The Minnesota Department of Health today announced that the number of COVID-19 cases in Minnesota has risen to 54, including cases of community transmission with no known travel link. In order to protect the health and safety of Minnesotans as this virus spreads, Governor Walz today will announce the temporary closure of Minnesota restaurants and bars to dine-in customers as well as the closure of other places of public accommodation and amusement. This order is effective tomorrow, March 17th at 5:00pm until March 27 at 5:00pm. He will also announce efforts to support workers affected by these closures.

The important actions the Governor is taking include:

  1. A rule closing restaurants and bars to dine-in customers, and closing other places of public accommodation and amusement, including:
    1. Restaurants, food courts, cafes, coffeehouses, and other places of public accommodation offering food or beverage for on-premises consumption. This excludes institutional and in-house food cafeterias for businesses, hospitals, and long-term care facilities;
    2. Bars, taverns, brew pubs, breweries, microbreweries, distilleries, wineries, tasting rooms, clubs, and other places of public accommodation that offer alcoholic beverages for on-premises consumption;
    3. Hookah bars, cigar bars, and vaping lounges offering their products for on-premises consumption;
    4. Theaters, cinemas, museums, and indoor and outdoor performance venues;
    5. Gymnasiums, fitness centers, recreation centers, indoors sports facilities, indoor exercise facilities, exercise studios, and spas;
    6. Amusement parks, arcades, bingo halls, bowling alleys, indoor climbing facilities, skating rinks, trampoline parks, and other similar recreational or entertainment facilities;
    7. Facilities of country clubs, golf clubs, boating or yacht clubs, sports or athletic clubs, and dining clubs.

 

  1. Additional executive action to strengthen Minnesota’s Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund and ensure that affected establishments have benefits available for workers who are not able to work as a result of COVID-19. Specifically, this EO will waive the employer surcharge and allow Minnesota’s Department of Employment and Economic Development to pay benefits immediately.

Yesterday, Governor Walz announced the temporary closure of Minnesota K-12 public schools to students in order for school administrators and teachers to make long-term plans for the continuity of education and essential services during the COVID-19 pandemic. This action includes provisions to provide care for the children of health care professionals, first responders, and emergency workers, and requires schools to continue providing meals to students in need. On Friday, the Governor declared a peacetime state of emergency in Minnesota, unveiled legislative proposals, and MDH announced community mitigation strategies to combat the spread of COVID-19.

We will continue to keep you and your organization informed as this situation develops.

Take care and wash your hands.

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13 Mar
By: MAT Staff 0

Spring Short Courses are Postponed

Dear Township Officials:

On behalf of the Minnesota Association of Townships Board of Directors, I am writing to let you know that, in the interest of safety of our township officials, staff, and communities, all upcoming Spring Short Courses are postponed until later in the year.

In addition, the remaining District Lobby Days at the Capitol in St. Paul (Districts 4, 9, 10, 12 planned for next week) will be cancelled.

The MAT Board discussed these decisions and consulted with the Minnesota Department of Health on large groups and demographic factors. The health and safety of our township officials and community is our priority.

Our commitment to providing learning opportunities for townships continues.

  • All handouts and presentations from the Spring Short Courses will be available next week in the Training Events section on the MAT website.
  • The League of Minnesota Cities prepared this recorded webinar and resource website for municipalities to prepare for COVID-19.
  • We are working with our Spring Short Course event sites and vendors to figure out future rescheduling plans – and we will communicate those plans when available.

For the latest on COVID-19, please visit www.cdc.gov (Centers for Disease Control) and www.health.state.mn.us (MN Department of Health).

Best regards,

David W. Hann
Executive Director
Minnesota Association of Townships

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02 Mar
By: MAT Staff 0

2020 Presidential Nomination Primary Reimbursement Memo and Application Materials

The Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State sent every township in Minnesota information for reimbursement for the Presidential Nomination Primary.

Below are the documents that were sent out:

PNP Reimbursement Application 2020 (Word document)

PNP Reimbursement Application 2020 (PDF)

PNP Reimbursement Spreadsheets (Excel spreadsheet)

Please read and review these documents on how to receive reimbursement for the Presidential Nomination Primary.

Deadline to send in a reimbursement request is May 11, 2020 at 4:30pm.

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