All County Buildings and Facilities Closed to Public
SLAYTON, MN – All Murray County buildings and facilities are closed to the public effective immediately and until further notice. The decision was made by the County Administrator per the authorization of the Murray County Board at the March 17th Board meeting. The closure is based on prevention and protection measures in response to the expanding COVID-19 pandemic. This was done in consultation with Emergency Management Director Carl Nyquist.
In taking these measures, Murray County remains in line with guidance for social distancing strategies recommended by both the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) and Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in addition to the Governor of Minnesota and the Commissioner of Health. This action will also help protect staff and the general public from being exposed to potentially sick individuals and spreading the virus to our friends and families.
While the buildings will be closed to the public, normal county services and operations will continue to be provided to the community on the same schedule, through both phone and email. Many services can also be done online if necessary and citizens are encouraged to explore those options. A listing of department contacts can be found on the county website (murraycounty.com).
Emergency Management has created a new Coronavirus-19 Information page on the county website (murraycountymn.com/covid-19/) that will be updated regularly with county announcements, press releases, preparedness recommendations, and other helpful information.
Thomas Burke, County Administrator Murray County
Office: 507-836-1148 email@example.com
Malchow Credentialed by International Local Government Management Organization
WASHINGTON, D.C.—Josh Malchow, Clerk/Administrator of Slayton, MN, recently received the Credentialed Manager designation from ICMA, the International City/County Management Association. Mr. Malchow is one of over 1,300 local government management professionals currently credentialed through the ICMA Voluntary Credentialing Program.
ICMA’s mission is to advance professional local government through leadership, management, innovation, and ethics by increasing the proficiency of appointed chief administrative officers, assistant administrators, and other employees who serve local governments and regional entities around the world. The organization’s 13,000 members in 27 countries also include educators, students, and other local government employees.
To receive the prestigious ICMA credential, a member must have significant experience as a senior management executive in local government; have earned a degree, preferably in public administration or a related field; and demonstrated a commitment to high standards of integrity and to lifelong learning and professional development.
Malchow is qualified by eight years of professional local government executive experience with the City of Slayton and has also made significant contributions to a number of other organizations, including the League of Minnesota Cities as a current member of their board of directors, three years as a board member of the Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities, and current Treasurer of the Murray County Early Childhood Initiative.
We currently have 16 for child care and 149 for meals on day 1. This is changing and will change as time goes on.
Our teachers began the process on Tuesday March 17th of preparing for “distance learning” that may (and most likely will)begin on March 30th. It is an unknown for how long this will be in place but this direction will come from the Governor, State Department of Education and State Department of Health. Our planning is moving forward to deliver education in a distance form. The traditional way that we have delivered education for the last 100 + years will be changed in the course of 8 days and be implemented starting March 30th. This is one of the most challenging endeavors that we have faced but our staff is meeting this head on.
All of our non-certified staff such as paraprofessionals, cooks, custodians, and office staff are also playing a critical role in meeting the Governor’s Executive Order. We are providing child care and 2 grab and go meals per day to those in need. Our paraprofessionals are assisting staff in preparing for the distance learning model along with serving as child care workers. Our kitchen staff are preparing the many meals and our custodians are doing extra cleaning and disinfecting for the safety of our staff and child care students. Our office staff is coordinating the endless logistics to pull off all of the many tasks that sometimes are changing by the hour.
Our buildings are locked down for staff only until further notice. We are also screening staff and child care students upon entry. The safety of our students and school staff is our top priority.
We do have our website - mcc.mntm.org for updated information as we go forward.
Almich’s Teamswith Churches for Local Food Shelf
March is Minnesota FoodShare month in Minnesota. Food Shelves throughout the State can participate in this fundraising effort to remember those who are experiencing food insecurity for any reason. The Murray County Food Shelf in Slayton has been in touch with the Murray County Ministerial Association to Involve our local churches, as they choose, to participate in this humanitarian program. Almlch’s Food Center in Slayton has offered space for our food shelf to gather donations of cash and food on two days in the month of March also. The Murray County Food Shelf will be represented on Monday, March 23,and Tuesday, March 24, from11:00AM until 6:00PM at Almich’s Food Center as a convenience for receiving donations there. All donations are used to provide food and critical household items, i.e. toilet paper, shampoo, laundry and dish soap, at the lowest possible cost. We invite you to share with us as a member of our Murray County community.
Environmental Review Required Before Project Implementation
The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) requires Federal agencies to consider all potential environmental impacts for federally-funded projects before the project is approved.
For all Farm Service Agency (FSA) programs, an environmental review must be completed before actions are approved, such as site preparation or ground disturbance. These programs include, but are not limited to, the Emergency Conservation Program (ECP), Farm Storage Facility Loan (FSFL) program and farm loans. If project implementation begins before FSA has completed an environmental review, this will result in a denial of the request. There are exceptions regarding the Stafford Act and emergencies. It is important to wait until you receive written approval of your project proposal before starting any actions, including, but not limited to, vegetation clearing, site preparation or ground disturbance.
Remember to contact your local FSA office early in your planning process to determine what level of environmental review is required for your program application so that it can be completed timely.
Applications cannot be approved contingent upon the completion of an environmental review. FSA must have copies of all permits and plans before an application can be approved.
United Way of Southwest Minnesota Community Impact Grants Deadline Extended
The Community Impact Grant application deadline has been moved to Friday, April 10, 2020 at 5:00 p.m. All applications must be submitted online and extensions will not be granted. Applications that do not align, are late and/or incomplete will not be considered for UWSWMN funding. All grant applications will be reviewed by a team of trained community volunteers who will make recommendations on funding to the UWSWMN board of directors. Grant funding comes from donations given to UWSWMN during its recent fundraising campaign.
United Way fights for the health, education and financial stability of every person in every community. In southwest Minnesota, we focus on health, education, financial stability, hunger and safety & well-being. 2020 Community Impact Grants are now open and must address at least one of United Way of Southwest Minnesota’s (UWSWMN) priority areas. Programs must be delivered in our service area which includes Lincoln, Lyon, Murray, Yellow Medicine and portions of Cottonwood, Lac qui Parle, Nobles and Redwood counties. To see the detailed list of communities and zip codes covered by UWSWMN, determine eligibility and access the online grant platform; please visit www.unitedwayswmn.org<http://www.unitedwayswmn.org> (Our Impact tab—Community Impact Grants section).
Applicants must attend a free UWSWMN grant workshop in order to apply. The final workshop offered will be held virtually via Zoom on Thursday, March 19th from 2:45-4:00.RSVPs are required for planning purposes to firstname.lastname@example.org<mailto:email@example.com> or by calling 507-929-2273.
SocialDistancing Should Not be Social Isolation
Greetings to you all. I hope you all are taking care of yourselves, both physically and mentally. At this time, our communities are gearing up for an unprecedented pandemic that will affect everyone. Something I would like to highlight at this time is our mental state during the quarantine, mainly how to stay active and prevent isolation.
Prior to the spread of COVID-19, there was a great push at the Federal, State and local level to recognize and eradicate social isolation for our older population. This is evidenced by recent legislation proposed by Minnesota Senator Tina Smith, where she stated, “Loneliness and social isolation isn’t just bad for older Americans’ mental and physical well-being—it’s bad for our economy too. Connectedness to communities is important for seniors and our economy to thrive.” Now with the current situation, it is essential to maintain social distancing, but that does not mean to isolate people, especially our older population. Allow me to propose some tips for you to engage with isolated older adults during this time:
Make a phone call to a distant relative that you know may be living alone; Look at your calendar and see what meetings, organization or club events were canceled and check-in with fellow members; and/or, Write letters to your friends and family contact list.
Remember, we are all in this together, and we will all get through this together. Let’s take care of each other through this pandemic and beyond. Maintain social distancing but breakdown the barriers that may cause social isolation.
By John Stenen
A minister, new to an area of the southwestern part of the United States went to visit the owner of a very large ranch. After introductions were made and they had a lunch together; the rancher said, “See all them oil derricks to the west of my house? They’re all mine. I came here twenty-five years ago penniless, and now I own all this land as far as you can see in any direction. To the east I own all those thousands of acres of grain. I’ve got thousands of head of cattle and many of the most beautiful horses you’ve ever laid your eyes on. I own it all.” As the rancher paused for the expected praise, he was surprised that it didn’t come. The minister gently laid his hand on the man’s shoulder, pointed upward and said, “My friend, how much do you own in that direction?” The man dropped his head in shame and said, “Nothing. I have nothing in that direction.”
It matters not if one is rich or poor in this life. God freely gives to us many things to enjoy. However, we must never forget that one day we must give to God an account of the life we have lived. He won’t be impressed with all we have accumulated of this earth’s goods. He will want to know what we have done with Christ. Did we receive Him as Lord? Did we study His Word and obey His commands? Was He able to live His life through you and I?The apostle Paul said, “I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live, yet not I, but Christ lives in me, and the life I live in the flesh, I live by the faith of the Son of God who loved me and gave Himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20). If you and I claim to be a Christian and this kind of life describes you and I, our future is going to be so absolutely fantastic when we pass from this life toforever be with the Lord Jesus Christ. If you have not already, Jesus bids you to come to Him today. God bless.