Coronavirus and what township officials need to know
The COVID-19 situation is changing seemingly minute to minute, and information and updates are coming in rapidly. MTA is committed to keeping our member townships updated as quickly as we can, providing answers to your questions, and access to the resources and information that you need. In addition the key topics and issues, we have assembled links and information (found below) to critical state and federal departments and agencies, such as the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Executive Orders from Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and more. We are continually updating and providing new sources of information for our member officials, so check back often and follow MTA’s COVID-19 update emails and publications for further updates.
- Executive Order 2020-21: Temporary requirement to suspend activities that are not necessary to sustain or protect life (Read FAQs about the “Stay Home, Stay Safe” executive order here and the CISA Memo on Identification of Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers During COVID-19 Response (March 20, 2020))
- NEW! How-to videos on how to hold an audio conference or a video conferencing (Thanks to The Shumaker Technology Group for putting these together for us, as well as this PDF guide to Zoom!)
- MTA Document on Approving Expenditures (includes sample post audit policy)
- MTA Guidelines for Conducting Meetings under Executive Order 2020-15 and the Open Meetings Act
- MTA Virtual Meeting Resources for Public Meetings
- Bureau of Fire Services: FAQ for Fire Departments
- AG Nessel Provides Guidance on Executive Orders Violations
- MTA’s Office Protocols
- COVID-19 and the 2020 Census
- Extension of county canvass deadlines for 2020 Presidential Primary Election
- Enhanced authorization of remote means for carrying out state administrative procedures
- Temporary expansions in unemployment eligibility and cost-sharing
- Gov. Whitmer calls for water reconnections statewide and establishes fund to help communities comply
- Sample electronic meeting notices for township board meetings, special board meetings (including with a public hearing), and planning commission and authority board meetings (link to Word.doc)
- Restoring water service to occupied residences during the COVID-19 pandemic
- Executive Order Expands Absentee Voting for May 5 Elections
The following are some responses to commonly asked questions:
- With the Governor's Executive Order 2020-15, through April 15, 2020, there currently is temporary authorization to hold a meeting without full OMA compliance.
- If your township is working to adopt its budget for an April 1 fiscal year, you still have to hold the budget public hearing at a board meeting, and you still have to adopt a budget. Note that the budget does not have to be “perfect”—it is not carved in stone (in any year)—it is a plan that the board may amend in the new fiscal year as needed or desired. Also note that the budget is not final authorization to approve anything on which the budget is based. All proposed board actions covered in the budget will still have to be voted on separately by the board in the new fiscal year for them to be "finalized." That can be explained to the board and the public at the meeting, in case some items are controversial.
- The board may change its schedule of regular meetings while it is in a meeting. The supervisor may call a special township board meeting on his or her own, as needed. And a board may, in a meeting, amend its agenda, including tabling items to future meetings, to limit business to essential business, like approving bills and payroll.
The following is the information that the state Bureau of Construction Codes has been provided from the governor's office regarding construction. MTA understands this to allow for construction code permitting and enforcement activities.
Q: Is construction allowed under the executive order?
A: Some limited forms of construction are permissible, including construction to maintain and improve essential public works like roads, bridges, the telecommunications infrastructure, and public health infrastructure. Construction workers may also undertake such projects as necessary to maintain and improve the safety, sanitation, and essential operations of residences. In addition, businesses may designate construction firms to provide necessary support to the work of the businesses' critical infrastructure workers. All construction work that is carried out while the order is in effect must be done in accordance with the mitigation measures required under section 5(c) of the order.