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Rib Lake board formally declares emergency

The Rib Lake Village Board met briefly Tuesday afternoon to adopt a resolution formally declaring a state of emergency in the village due to COVID-19..

Village president Bill Schreiner told the board he had been in contact with a number of people about whether or not the village needs to declare a state of emergency in order to receive reimbursement for expenses incurred in relation to the coronavirus. He said the answers were mixed with half the people saying the village should declare an emergency while the rest said the village should be covered under the state’s declaration. Schreiner said he decided to be on the safe side and called the special session of the board to issue the declaration.

One of the expenses Rib Lake hopes to be reimbursed for are wooden and plexiglass screens the village had made for election workers. Village clerk Dawn Swenson said she saw other counties using screens and thought it would be good for the safety and piece of mind for the election workers if the village had them, as well. Swenson said Schreiner approved the expense and she had the public works department make them for both the election workers and for the clerk’s office. She said the total cost was around $300 for the lumber and plexiglass and felt those were the types of expenses that would be eligible for reimbursement.

Swenson said another expense she is hoping is eligible for reimbursement are the extra wages for the deputy clerk. She said with the water bills, regular election things she has to do and all the extra requests for absentee ballots, she needed help from the deputy clerk. Swenson said since people were being urged to vote by absentee ballot, she was hoping the village could be reimbursed for the extra wages.

Trustee Russ Bullis asked if the public works department had to purchase any extra protective equipment, like masks or gloves. Swenson said she didn’t know if they had purchased anything, but that the public works department had received some protective gear from the state by way of the county’s emergency management.

Bullis said the fire department had received gloves from some truck drivers and protective masks from emergency management and that the department was “pretty well set.”