JUNEAU — The Dodge County Executive Committee recommended Monday to make changes to its current emergency declaration to assist with acquiring state aid.
In mid-March, the Dodge County Board of Supervisors unanimously voted for its declaration of local state of emergency due to the public health emergency caused by COVID-19, which, according to the resolution, has caused the county and its cities, villages and townships to “commit and exhaust” its pertinent available resources.
The resolution also states that the Dodge County Board Chairman Russell Kottke has the ability to order “whatever is necessary” for the health, safety and protection of the citizens of Dodge County during the emergency. Normally, purchases would go to their respective committees before going to the county board for its approval.
Dodge County Emergency Management Director Amy Nehls said her department is continuing to make requests to the state for equipment.
“If you can’t fill the equipment purchases locally, we get it filled from the state,” she said. “We’re still needed PPE, such as gowns used by Clearview. We exhausted our local resources.”
Supervisor Jeff Schmitt asked for additional clarification to Kottke’s emergency power.
“The state statues already allow local governments to call emergency meetings to discuss purchases,” he said. “I don’t want to see the emergency declaration abolished, but we can modify it without losing our CARES Act funding.”
Schmitt pushed for the language change to only defer purchasing when legal posting of a meeting can’t be made.
“The change would allow for better representation to the constituents of Dodge County by having their representatives be a part of the process,” he said. “There haven’t been any issues over purchasing under the emergency declaration that I’m aware of.”
Supervisor Kira Sheahan-Malloy agreed.
“I think after seven months a modification is needed to change the wording of the resolution,” she said. “There have been several examples where the county was able to conduct business as close to usual.”
Supervisor Dave Frohling made a motion to modify the emergency declaration to be in effect for CARES Act funding only and to go back to the standard purchasing and meeting requirements, which was approved.
The issue will go before the full county board for a vote Sept. 22.