From continuity of operations and financing to open meeting law and remote meetings, these resources can help municipalities navigate the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Template for Municipal Reopening Plan
While establishing a written COVID-19 Safety and Health Work Plan is not required for municipalities, it is considered a best practice. The Vermont League of Cities and Towns has developed a template to assist municipalities in creating their own COVID-19 work plan to ensure the safety of their employees.
Open Meeting Law Changes
To support the safe work of public bodies, Governor Scott signed H.681 into law. The Act changes open meeting law during the crisis by allowing bodies like selectboards to meet electronically — without a requirement to have a physical meeting location. Public bodies must still allow electronic public access and continue to notice meetings as usual, but with instructions on how to access the meeting. The new measure also grants an additional five days to post minutes in the event of staffing shortages. This important measure supports the continued work of public bodies to provide essential services and plan for recovery. Additional details are available on the Secretary of State’s website.
Regional Planning Commissions
Vermont’s 11 Regional Planning Commissions (RPCs) serve as a link between local, state, and federal government. They can assist municipalities with continuity of operations and connecting communities to critical financial and technical resources. Find your RPC.
The Vermont League of Cities and Towns
The Vermont League of Cities and Towns can help support municipal response including emergency response and help with open meeting laws, quasi-judicial proceedings, and remote meetings. They have built a page of key resources and guidance for municipalities.
Local Financing Opportunities to Help Municipalities Recover
In this webinar, State Treasurer, Beth Pearce; Chris D'Elia, President of Vermont Bankers Asscociation; Michael Gaughan, Executive Director Vermont Bond Bank; and Ted Brady, Deputy Secretary Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development, explain the tools currently available, and under current consideration, to help towns access financing that bridges expected revenue gaps due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Guidance on Childcare for Essential Persons
Vermont Emergency Management has published a list of who is considered an Essential Person in regards to the Executive Order regarding Childcare for Essential Service Providers. Families with Essential Persons who need help finding childcare can submit a webform for assistance in connecting them with options for childcare for their children (up to grade 8). Families can also call 2-1-1 ext. 6.
COVID-19 Testing Guidance for Employers
Periodically visit the Department of Health’s website for the latest guidance, including information about employees safely returning to work and when employee testing is appropriate.
Archived Webinar's for Municipalities
Jointly hosted by the Vermont League of Cities and Towns (VLCT) and the Agency of Commerce and Community Development, the weekly webinar with Deputy Secretary Ted Brady was an opportunity for municipalities to ask questions and learn more about best practices, new tools, and resources.