Wabasha Community,

Today is Wednesday March 18th, 2020 and while it seems we have been dealing with this pandemic for weeks already, we are unfortunately still in the early stages of this fight!  From the City of Wabasha’s perspective we do not have any new information to share on our preparedness other then we will continue to monitor on an hour to hour basis as new information becomes available.  The city is fortunate to have different avenues for information and one very important avenue is the League of Minnesota Cities and the information sharing portals they provide.  We receive information and updates on practices and procedures other cities and counties are doing and then relate them back to our current state.  In addition we continue to monitor the state health websites, the CDC, and Wabasha County Public Health.  By way of update today we wanted to share some information on service providers within our community that have reached out to us in the last few days:

Message from Xcel Energy:

  • We are in constant communication with local, state and federal agencies and health organizations to coordinate responses.
  • We will not disconnect service to any residential customer until further notice. If customers are having difficulty paying their bills, they can contact us, and we will arrange a payment plan.
  • We have staffing plans in place to ensure power plant operators, line workers, gas technicians, customer care representatives and others continue delivering the reliable service you expect.
  • To reduce the potential spread of illness, we have travel restrictions in place for all employees and are asking many employees to work from home.
  • We also remain committed to our non-profit partners and business organizations across our service area. As such, we will continue our long-standing support of these organizations, regardless of whether a particular event takes place in the weeks and months ahead. We are also evaluating and monitoring additional opportunities of support during these unprecedented times.

Message from Hiawathaland Transit:

  • As your city’s public transit provider, we wanted to reach out and let you know that our Hiawathaland Transit bus services are currently operating on normal schedules in Red Wing, Faribault, Northfield and all of our dial-a-ride communities. Call 1-866-623-7505 to schedule a ride.

Message from MN Dept. of Human Services (Childcare):

  • The MN Department of Human Services is looking for rural childcare providers who are willing to do a temporary number expansion to accommodate children.  Here is the hotline number and online form that they made available to call in and answer the brief survey.
    • DHS Hotline number: 1-888-234-1268
    • Local Contact: Kayla Hall, Wabasha County Social Services, 1-651-565-3024

Message from the Wabasha Police Department, Chief Joe Stark:

  • Beware of SCAMMERS – If somebody comes to your door uninvited and calls with any information regarding COVID-19 or offer free testing, it is likely a scam. Be aware and please contact the non-emergency Police number 1-651-565-3361 to report it.
  • Our Police department will continue to be out in full-force. Unfortunately during these times, that is when crime increases as people try to take advantage of those less fortunate.

Thanks to all that are going above and beyond during this time.  A sample of normal citizens stepping up is evident in a recently created Facebook group titled “Wabasha helping Wabasha”.  If you are not a member feel free to join and see what you can to do help.  Special thanks to Russ Morgan and Councilperson Dean Meurer for spearheading this idea.

I would like to take this moment to thank all of our EMS staff, they have been working around the clock since this last Saturday to ensure all precautionary and safety measures are in place.  Specifically our Ambulance Director Ed Graner, Police Chief Joe Stark, and Emergency Management Director/Fire Chief Darren Sheeley.

The City of Wabasha will continue to update our community as information becomes available.

Chad Springer, City Administrator

Wendy Busch, City Clerk