Governor Walz extended the stay-at-home executive order through Monday, May 18. A goal is to put Minnesotans back to work in a safe and coordinated way. Beginning Monday, retail and other non-critical businesses may begin offering curbside pick-up, resulting in up to 30,000 Minnesotans reentering the workforce. We’re preparing to accommodate this by helping ensure a safe traffic flow as people access these businesses.
Since it’s recommended that Minnesotans continue to work remotely whenever possible, city staff who are able to do so will remain off-site. Social distancing and other health and safety measures will be in place for employees who need to be on site for critical first-response areas, such as police, fire, water and wastewater, facilities maintenance, public works operations and street maintenance. We continue to plan for when city employees can safely re-enter the workforce to work together and with the public. Before doing so, it’s important that health and safety precautions are in place to help prevent the spread of illness.
While we come together as a community to manage the impacts of COVID-19, there are many positives:
  • Building and construction work continues. Last week, 55 permit applications were submitted, 139 inspections conducted, 44 permits issued and 22 permits approved and ready to be issued.
  • 311 Mankato customer service has been managing more than 800 calls a week on average, helping to answer city service questions while connecting residents to information they need.
  • Event center staff put their planning and organizational skills to work helping to manage the collection, sanitation and distribution of Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs). In addition, they’ve offered no cost Facebook live events–“Band Together Mankato” and “What’s Cookin’ Mankato”–to provide entertainment options people can view from home while also benefiting the community.
  • Civic center events cancelled or postponed. Initiative was taken by those who booked events at the civic center to cancel or postpone scheduled events due to health officials’ recommendation of social distancing as a preventative strategy.
  • Street construction season is here, and engineers are already getting started on planned roadwork while public works crews are managing street repairs and parks maintenance.
  • Public safety staff serve as the Emergency Operations Center hub, working in partnership with Blue Earth County, to help ensure community safety.
  • Housing continues to partner with Blue Earth County Public Health to help connect the public to health services. In addition,they are coordinating with more than 35 households to help provide access to housing using the Housing Voucher, Mainstream and Bridges programs. They continue to work with shelter providers to help address needs and coordinate services.
City staff help make a difference in the community every day. They are dedicated to public service and motivated and skilled in the work they do, which is critical to operating as a lean organization while providing essential services that people have come to expect.
What’s more, we’ve been empowered to use technology in ways that many of us have never done before. So within all of the challenges we’ve been facing, there are positives to celebrate. Everyone’s encouraged to help their neighbors during this time while practicing social distancing. That little bit of interaction–even from a distance–can make a lot of difference.
As always safety and health of staff and the community continue to be a priority. We will keep the public informed as the situation changes. Please contact me by email or 507-387-8695; or Deputy City Manager Alison Zelms at 507-387-8609 any time we can be of service.