Martin County Commissioners heard from Emergency Management director Abigail Nesbit and Faribault and Martin County Public Health sanitarian Tim Langer on Tuesday. The pair provided a brief update on the COVID-19 virus situation in the county. Langer reminded the board of the reason behind mandated and recommended closures.“What we want to do is slow this virus down so we don’t have an upward exponential curve of illness,” he said. “Hospitals can only handle so many cases at a time, so what we want to do is flatten the curve, and that’s why we are taking these steps at the state level to slow things down.”

Martin County is encouraging the public to contact county offices by telephone or email, allowing employees who are able to work from home, and suspending all non-essential meetings and work-related travel. County-related communication and announcements will utilize email along with website and social media postings as a primary means of contact.

The COVID-19 virus is also affecting local court operations, as explained by County Attorney Terry Viesselman.

“Basically, the Supreme Court issued their order saying that only high-priority cases will be heard in court right now,” he said. “Child-support and adoption hearings have all been cancelled. Child protection ones won’t go forward either unless they’re emergency hearings and we have to grab a child from the home.”

Martin County Library director Jenny Trushenski sought and obtained approval from the board to close the library through the end of March. Library patrons are encouraged not to return library items until the library reopens. The library does not impose late fees, and Trushenski noted that no bills/fines will be assessed at this time.

The Martin County Board Tuesday also :

Approved CY2020 Wellness Budget in the amount of $10,000.00;

Ratified upgrade to the Martin County Library Elevator with MEI Total Elevator Solutions in the amount of $64,510.00 and DeWar Electric in the amount of $7,890.00.

Approved the Implementation Process for GBERBA to be the fiscal and administrative host of funds for the Watonwan River Watershed One Watershed One Plan.

Approved a resolution for application from the Blizzard Snowmobile Club for Maintenance Funding for the existing GIA Trail System.

Approved resolution for approval and adoption of the Tax Abatement Policy for New Construction of Single and Multi-Family Housing in Martin County.

Set a public hearing for April 21, 2020 at 10:00 a.m. in consideration of proposed application fee for Tax Abatement Application for New Construction of Single and Multi-Family Housing; and to revise liquor license fees.

Approved cancellation of Martin County Student Government Day due to Covid 19 concerns.