The village of McFarland has taken several steps to continue to keep the public and its employees safe while continuing to deliver essential services within the community. On Tuesday, March 17, the village board declared a local emergency following suit from the federal, state and county governments.

– The McFarland Municipal Center remains closed to the public at least until April 24 except for absentee voting and the Tuesday, April 7, election.

– Residents are encouraged to vote absentee by use of one of the following methods: Visit to request an absentee ballot online; vote absentee in person from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays in the Community Room; curbside voting for those identified as COVID-19 high-risk individuals or those unable to enter village hall. Call ahead for curbside voting.

– All standing committee meetings through the end of April have been cancelled. All decisions needed by committees during this time will be addressed by the village board. All items not requiring a decision by committees will be deferred to a future meeting.

– The police department has suspended all direct contact on medical calls for the duration of the emergency to limit exposure.

– The fire and rescue department will respond differently to calls. The crews will respond to medical incidents more often in full protective apparel. They may also have personal standing by at a safe distance to conserve protective equipment. Additionally, they are also sending a department duty officer in a car to provide oversight and guidance to crews to most incidents.

– Municipal court operations are suspended until at least May 1 with various in-person functions beginning in early May depending on the need for future adjustments.

– Operations within the community development department will continue as available through email and telephone. The department will continue to accept permits for all items and arrange to have the work inspected remotely to the extent possible. Individuals are encouraged to contact the building inspector at or 838-2314 to make arrangements ahead of time for this portion of the process.

– Village Clerk Cassandra Suettinger said all licenses and permits will only be accepted and processed by mail. Direct questions to the administration office at 838-3153.

– All penalty and interest for utility payments are suspended. Payments can be made online. All service fees for online payment are waived, and residents can still pay via the drop box outside the vestibule at village hall.

– Earlier this year the village board adopted a rate increase within the sanitary sewer utility. Implementation of this increase will not be applied until after the emergency order has been lifted.

– The library is closed, but patrons can still use online services to check out and view ebooks, audiobooks and magazines. Facebook Live is being used to provide children’s storytimes.

– The main focus for the senior outreach department has been focused on providing meals to clients through the delivery system. This has been a large effort from the preparation of the meals for delivery to the volunteers to transport the meals and drivers to bring the meals to the clients. Additional food has been provided for all involved in case deliveries for some reason cannot continue, but for now, all orders are being filled as requested.

– All fees for dog licenses will be waived through April 30.

– For businesses with a Class A or Class B license for beer and liquor, or a cigarette license, the deadline to submit renewal paperwork has is extended to May 15.

Tourist rooming house permit renewal paperwork has an extended deadline of May 15.

– Permit requests for direct sellers and solicitors will not be processed, and all existing permits were revoked effective March 19.

– All playgrounds are closed as well as shelters, bathroom facilities, athletic fields and other areas that attract group gatherings. Parks themselves remain open and can continue to allow people to use general open space including trails, bird and nature watching, general walkways and the dog park.

– The public works department has shifted to a staggered schedule whereby the crew will be split into two platoons. Each platoon will be partnered with a supervisor and work one week while being off the next, then switch. This is to ensure we minimize their exposure within the department as well as ensure the continuity of operations to deliver essential services including drinking water and sanitary sewer. All other staff have been released home as non-essential or reassigned within the organization to limit use of the facility.

– The yard waste and brush dropoff site will be closed until April 24.

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