Hello Friends and Neighbors,
I wanted to take a moment to discuss the importance of community as we navigate the challenging and unprecedented times that are currently upon us. As I write this, there are 183 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Dane County and one death. It is prudent that all of us do our part to slow the spread by practicing social and physical distancing, take appropriate measures to wipe down/sanitize frequently touched surfaces, and practice good personal hygiene, including washing your hands often and covering sneezes and coughs with tissues or your elbow. To truly slow the spread, it is highly recommended to not leave home unless absolutely necessary.
The Village of Dane has made some operational changes in response to this crisis. Village President Roger Schmidt declared a state of emergency in the village on March 18th. This declaration allows the village to respond appropriately to protect the public and prevent the spread of COVID-19, and to ensure the continuation of core village services in the midst of the pandemic. While village staff is still providing services, we are limiting access to village facilities and encouraging telephone contact with staff. Public Works is keeping our water and sewer system functioning, and is ready to keep our streets clear when we inevitably encounter a spring snowstorm. Advanced Disposal has temporarily suspended collection of loose/bagged/bulk items, but will continue to collect trash and recyclables that are in the curbside collection carts. Personnel from law enforcement, the Dane Fire Department, and Waunakee EMS continue to respond to calls and selflessly serve the community. The Clerk’s office is ensuring that our votes will be counted in the upcoming election on April 7th.
It is worth noting that while the polls will be open on election day, voters are able to request an absentee ballot mailed to their home address so they can complete it return it by mail without leaving home. The deadline to request a mailed absentee ballot is Thursday, April 2nd at 5:00 PM. Ballots need to be returned to the Village Clerk by 8:00 PM on April 7th. You can also call the Clerk’s office at 608-849-5422 to request a ballot be mailed or inquire about in-person absentee voting at Village Hall.
While government and essential businesses (grocery stores, pharmacies, gas stations, etc.) continue to operate, there are also several businesses whose operations are limited or unable to continue. Community is all about helping each other. If you are experiencing loss of income or are struggling to obtain food or household essentials, Reach Out Lodi or Lake Melvin Yacht Club may be able to help. You can call Reach Out Lodi at 608-592-4592 or visit their website, and Lake Melvin Yacht Club via email to see what services are offered or make a donation if you are able. If you are looking for employment, Lodi & Lake Wisconsin Chamber of Commerce can connect you with local businesses that are in need of additional workers. Contact the chamber via email for more information.
COVID-19 has shown to be particularly dangerous for older adults. As such, many seniors find themselves more isolated than ever. The Village of Dane partners with the Waunakee Senior Center. While the Senior Center building has closed, they continue to offer home delivered meals, case management services, driver escort services (rides to medical appointments), and are able to check availability/distribute items from the lending closet (canes, walkers, wheelchairs, a bathing bench, etc.). Case managers will continue to maintain telephone contact with clients to ensure that their needs are being met. Contact the Senior Center at 608-849-8385 or visit their website if you or a loved one could benefit from these services.
We face a lot of unknowns during these unprecedented times. It gives me great pride to know the power of our community working together. I am impressed by how our community has rallied to support locally owned businesses. One business ran out of hamburger when the demand for take-out exceeded what they would see under normal conditions, and another business has sold out of take-out fish in record time on two straight Friday nights! I am confident that our community will continue that support. I am inspired by the dedication of our village employees to continue delivering village services. It is a great comfort to see those who serve as first responders calmly going about their day, prepared to face any challenge that dares to face them. It may take some time, but we will get through this, we will get back to normal, and we will do it by working together through the power of community.
Donald Postler is a candidate for Dane Village Board Trustee. Born and raised in Sun Prairie, he has lived in the Village of Dane since 2012. He was first elected to serve as a Trustee on the Dane Village Board in 2018 and currently serves on the Village of Dane Public Works committee, Village of Dane Water and Sewer Commission, and the Northeast Community Court Commission.