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Frederickson Declares State of Emergency In Rhinelander

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Rhinelander Mayor Chris Frederickson has declared a State of Emergency in the city because of the COVID-19 outbreak. The declaration will expire April 17 unless extended.

It says all meetings will be held within the guidelines set down by Gov. Evers recent edict to limit the size of gatherings to 10 or under.

Among other points:

  • Fire Chief Terry Williams is designated at city Emergency Management Director.
  • All in-person meetings are suspended, but other meetings can be held depending on circumstances but will likely prevent public participation given the order to limit the size of gatherings.
  • The common council meeting on Monday has been postponed.
  • Public access to buildings will be limited. Access to polling places may be limited.
  • All City of Rhinelander travel is suspended until the end of the emergency.


WHEREAS, a novel strain of the coronavirus, named COVID-19 has spread throughout numerous countries including the United States;

and WHEREAS, the World Health Organization has declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern;

and WHEREAS, on March 12, 2020, Wisconsin Governor, Tony Evers issued Executive Order #72 relating to a Proclamation Declaring a Health Emergency in Response to the COVID 19 Coronavirus;

and WHEREAS, as of March 20, 2020, there are at least 155 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state of Wisconsin; and WHEREAS, the CDC and other health authorities expect that widespread transmission of COVID-19 in the United States will occur;

and WHEREAS, the spread of COVID-19 will translate into large numbers of people needing medical care, causing public health and healthcare systems to become overloaded, and affecting other critical infrastructure, such as law enforcement, emergency medical services, and sectors of the transportation industry;

and WHEREAS, the best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to the virus,

WHEREAS, the executive officers of the City of Rhinelander have discussed the need for immediate action, and WHEREAS, the City of Rhinelander is focused on protecting the health, safety, welfare, and good order of the Rhinelander community, including those members at highest risk;

and WHEREAS, the conditions created by the these public health emergencies pose a continuing and substantial threat to public order, life, health and safety.

WHEREAS, the City of Rhinelander in cooperation with the local, state and federal governmental entities desires to take action to prevent exposure to and spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus;

and WHEREAS, because of such emergency conditions, the Common Council is unable to meet with promptness to address the issue immediately;

and WHEREAS, these emergency conditions require a proactive response to stop the spread of COVID-19, including providing support to implement federal, state, and county public health operations and recommendations.

NOW, THEREFORE, pursuant to sections 323.11 and 323.14 (4) of the Wisconsin Statutes, the City of Rhinelander hereby declares a local State of Emergency for the City of Rhinelander automatically expiring on April 17, 2020 at 5:00 p.m., unless extended.

During the State of Emergency, it is hereby ordered that the City of Rhinelander will make all of its resources available to adopt, implement, and support all actions and recommendations of Federal, State, and County public health agencies.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED The Fire Chief of the City of Rhinelander shall act as the Emergency Management Director for the City of Rhinelander during the period of this emergency.

All in-person meetings and gatherings involving City employees, staff, and/or elected officials are suspended for the duration of this emergency. All meetings of the Common Council, Committees, Boards, and/or Commissions may be conducted in a safe manner consistent with the Governor's Order which will likely prevent personal on-site access to the public, however, access will be granted to the public to the full extent practicable.

All City sponsored events will either be cancelled or rescheduled during the emergency.

Public access to City facilities shall be limited. To the extent possible, all operations shall be made available on-line and/or available for external drop off to the City.

The election process shall continue in accordance with the Orders of the Governor but access to polling locations may be limited to a certain number of persons at any given time who will all be required to maintain a social distancing space of six (6) feet if possible.

All persons entering City Hall for voting will be monitored and asked to sanitize their hands, maintain a proper distance from others and exercise extreme caution.

All City of Rhinelander business travel is suspended for the duration of this emergency.

The City shall take all further actions reasonable and necessary to prevent exposure to and/or spread of COVID-19, including complying with all federal, state, and county laws, rules, and/or orders as they may issue. Under 323.14(4)(b), Stats., this proclamation shall be subject to ratification, alteration, modification or repeal by the governing body as soon as that body can meet, but the subsequent action taken by the governing body shall not affect the proper validity of this proclamation.

As Chief Elected Official of the City of Rhinelander in testimony whereof I, Mayor Chris Frederickson, have hereunto set my hand and seal this 20th day of March 2020. THIS DECLARATION OF A STATE OF EMERGENCY is lenacted this 20h day of March 2020.

Mayor Chris Federickson