Rush City Council approved the contract language that the Chisago County Sheriff’s Office formalized for the year 2021 during its Oct. 26 teleconference meeting.

Additions and changes to the language read:

The county shall designate a supervisor to be assigned for the term of the contract barring any unforeseen circumstances. … The (generally) designated work hours of the assigned supervisor will be Monday through Friday (from) 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. or a coordinated schedule between the county and the municipality.

“We think that it kind of keeps things status quo and adds some information and some statements in there that the mayor kind of was looking for,” Chisago County Sheriff Brandon Thyen said during the council session. “We’ll assign you a supervisor … that would be able to work the whole year in that contract. And kind of go from there.”

Responding to Thyen, Mayor Dan Dahlberg said that the language will allow everyone to be “on the same page.”

“It shows the intent of what we’re looking for,” Dahlberg said. “And as I said, you and I may not be around forever, but at least it gives an indication of what we were looking to do. … I think it’s perfect.”

CARES Act funding

In early July, Rush City received $233,000 from Chisago County as part of the coronavirus relief aid for businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The city has so far distributed about $30,000 of its CARES Act funding to small businesses.

Hairdo or Dye in Rush City recently received $10,000. City Administrator Amy Mell explained that of the $10,000, the county pays $7,000 and the city pays $3,000. The Rush City Bakery is next to receive aid amount of $10,000, she said.

Because Rush City is a small town with fewer businesses compared to North Branch, Wyoming, Chisago City and Lindstrom, businesses have had to be encouraged to apply for the CARES Act funding, Mell said.

“But we are behind,” she said. “I mean, there’s still some time. So I’m hoping that we will get some more to apply.”

The deadline for the Rush City small businesses to receive CARES Act funding was set to expire about two weeks ago. However, the deadline was extended to Nov. 15.

The Chisago County Executive Director Nancy Hoffman said in an email that Rush City small businesses that received $10,000 can apply for an additional amount up to $10,000, provided they have enough eligible costs.

“On Oct. 26, all businesses can apply,” Hoffman said. “Or for those that did not lose 25% or more of their revenues (can) apply for an additional up to $5,000. Again, they must show evidence of costs.”

If small businesses request more CARES Act funding, Mell said the council could be looking at distributing an additional $40,000 to $45,000. The council will also use about $50,000 of the CARES Act fund to purchase laptops, tablets and other electronics for the council members to work from home, in addition to personal protective equipment, election items, hand sanitizers, cleaning products and more.

Unspent portions of the CARES Act fund will be returned to the county, Mell said.

“Unfortunately, the regulations have been changing and they have been very narrow,” she said. “What you can use this money for has been very narrow. The rules aren’t black and white. They somewhat have to be interpreted. … And there is a fear of getting audited. So we are trying to be careful to follow the changing rules.”

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