City of Rockford Emergency Declaration Actions And Policies
Based upon the guidance of the CDC, Minnesota Department of Health and Federal and State authorities, Mayor Renee Hafften, with the support of the Rockford City Council, has declared a State of Emergency for the City of Rockford, Minnesota. The following actions and policies are herein enacted and shall continue until such time as this declaration is rescinded or otherwise terminated.
- The City suspends all water shut-offs and penalties for late payment until termination of the Declaration of Emergency. Many people are without work, and enforcement of water shut offs would compound difficulties people in our community are currently facing. Additionally, water shut-offs place Public Works staff in direct contact with people in the community which is in opposition to the direction provided by the CDC and Minnesota Department of Health.
- The City waives late fees for delinquent utility payments during the Declaration of Emergency. City late fees are minimal in amount (usually less than $1,300 per month) and serve as a more punitive tool to help insure timely payments. Given the financial challenges faced in our community, waiving late fees for delinquent utility payments will support the financial wellbeing of people struggling with job loss or limited incoming funds.
- The City suspends all non-essential Boards and Commissions. All non-essential City Boards, Commissions, services of Liaisons to external groups and all other non-essential meetings are suspended until termination of the Declaration of Emergency. This will help protect members serving in these groups from any unnecessary contact with other people and reduce the risk of exposure to the virus.
- City Hall closed to limit exposure to the public. City Hall will remain closed to the public until further notice or action by the City Council. City Hall is staffed, and members of the community can contact staff by calling (763) 477-6565 or by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Council Meetings. The City will not, at this time, conduct Council Meetings telephonically or remotely. This policy could change as this fluid situation develops. Council Meetings will be limited to 10 or fewer people in attendance in Council Chambers at any given time, and the social separation guidance of maintaining a distance of 6 feet between people will be followed.
- City Hall Staffing. At this time, no changes are recommended for the scheduling of City Hall Staff.
- Public Works Staffing. Public Works will remain staffed, but will rotate staff members to limit exposure to each other and to the community. This process allows the best opportunity to have a staff member healthy that can independently run core services and utilities for the benefit of our community.
- Liquor License Proration. City Hall will calculate the duration in which bars and restaurants are prohibited from selling alcohol to the community. The prorated amount of their license for the days they are closed due to Governor Tim Walz’s Declaration shall be refunded back to them or applied to the following year’s application and permit fee.
- Permitting. In an effort to limit the impact of this current emergency, Staff will continue to process permits for construction and new development. Any and all new permit applications shall be submitted via e-mail or placed in the drop box at City Hall. Alternate means of submitting permits and applications can be made by contacting City Hall. Permits and approvals shall be issued in the normal course of business.
- Moratorium on other Permits. In an effort to support social distancing and unnecessary contact as directed by the CDC and Minnesota Department of Health, animal licenses and similar permits shall no longer be issued until termination of the Emergency Declaration. Additionally, no Peddlers Permits shall be issued until termination of the Declaration of Emergency to limit the contact of people with City Hall staff, and contact with permit holders with members of the community.