MACo enhances the public service mission of counties by promoting integrity and providing proactive leadership while acknowledging and respecting Montana’s diversity.
Given these unprecedented times, and after MUCH discussion, we have come to the difficult decision that this year’s district meetings will be virtual as opposed to in-person. The annual trip around Montana is something we very much look forward to—it’s a true pleasure to be able to see the different areas of Montana and your respective beautiful communities. However, given the current situation, we can’t justify bringing together large numbers of people in confined areas, nor putting MACo members in the difficult situation of choosing whether or not to attend.
Due to the repercussions of COVID-19, the Montana Department of Commerce has received many public comments expressing concern over the May 1, 2020 TSEP Construction application deadline. Commerce has: (1) extended the application deadline to June 12, 2020; and (2) will allow TSEP Construction Application public meeting documentation to be submitted any time up until August 3, 2020.
The second session in our series of townhalls focused on the Governor’s Coronavirus Relief Fund Task Force. MACo Executive Director, Eric Bryson, reported on the progress and guidance that came out of the Governor’s Task Force, which was assembled to provide direction and advice on how to best use $1.25 billion appropriated to Montana through the Federal CARES Act.
In light of the COVID-19 outbreak, the U.S. Census Bureau is adjusting 2020 Census operations in order to: protect the health and safety of the American public and Census Bureau employees; implement guidance from federal, state and local authorities; and ensure a complete and accurate count of all communities.
The Property Assessment Division (PAD) staff, for the most part is still working remotely. PAD does have a limited number of people working in offices where the space allows for social distancing and other COVID-19 safety protocols can be met. The division has not started to open their offices up to the public yet; they will begin to develop plans to do so this week. They will coordinate with local government officials as we move forward in these planning activities.
County governments across Montana and the nation face budget shortfalls as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. It is no surprise when local small businesses and the agriculture industry struggle financially through this pandemic, that the effect will be felt by all. This will include local governments and their requirement to provide local services.
On April 23rd, MACo and the Local Government Center hosted a virtual “townhall” to provide Montana’s County Commissions with a venue and opportunity to share and learn from the situations and best practices in counties around the state during this unprecedented time.
On April 23rd, MACo and the Local Government Center hosted a virtual “townhall” to provide Montana’s County Commissioners with a venue and opportunity to share and learn from the situations and best practices in counties around the state during this unprecedented time.
Today, April 22nd, the Governor’s Office announced their Reopening Montana Phased Approach and Guidelines. Linked below is the directive (please read) as well as the guideline documents. It is of the upmost importance that counties coordinate with your business leaders, law enforcement, public health folks, and county attorneys in this process, and that you begin that coordination as soon as possible as to what reopening is going to look like for your communities. We will be unraveling the impacts to counties and providing guidance soon.