Region Nine’s Executive Director Nicole Griensewic joined the Climate Smart Municipalities (CSM) delegation to Germany’s North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) from September 11-18, 2021. The delegation consisted of 28-32 members representing the cities of Duluth, Morris, Rochester, Warren, White Bear Lake, along with state government, counties, business, and the education and nonprofit sectors.
Below are links to PDFs to CSM’s 2021 Delegation dispatches highlighting events of the day as well as cities involved in the exchange.
More federal funding to expand broadband, rules to allow the continuation of telemedicine, highway funding and more aid for small businesses are at the top of the list for area rural counties.
Those were the messages county commissioners delivered to U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar during a virtual roundtable she hosted Friday. The three commissioners are board members of the Region Nine Development Commission.
Le Sueur County Commissioner Steve Rohlfing hoped Klobuchar will help push for changes to federal rules to allow telemedicine to continue after the pandemic.
“COVID, like it or not, has really created some new avenues for us. Telemedicine is working and we don’t want that to go away.”
Rohlfing said telemedicine visits not only help with doctor and nurse visits but also with social worker and mental health professional visits.
He said current rules on reimbursement are designed to encourage in-person rather than telemedicine visits.
Sen. Amy Klobuchar talks COVID’s economic impact with the Region 9 Development Commission
The pandemic has hit businesses, hospitality industry and the economies of entire cities, with having to close restaurants for weeks at a time to canceling events that would’ve drawn tourists.
Representatives from Sibley, Le Sueur and Martin County joined the senator to tackle short and long-term pandemic recovery for Region 9.
Sen. Klobuchar announces the Restaurant Act which aims to help eating establishments and venues across the state.
”Mankato Ballroom, Kato Ballroom and a number of other places through the state. Including everything from First Avenue to the Bluestone Amphitheater. That was in the end of the year bill, that applications were just all in for that. The restaurants bill is going to help even more for your region, areas where we have had some significant drop-off from a lot of our restaurants and we want to keep them strong,” United States Senator, Amy Klobuchar said.
Sen. Klobuchar says on the horizon: infrastructure funding is coming as well.