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Apr 07

April 7, 2020 TML Coronavirus Update #17

Posted on April 7, 2020 at 4:38 PM by TML Staff

Urgent Updates


What action did the governor take with respect to state parks and historic sites?


Today (April 7, 2020), Governor Abbott directed the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) and the Texas Historical Commission (THC) to close all state parks and historic sites as part of the state’s efforts to strengthen social distancing practices and prevent gatherings of large groups of people. Historic sites and state parks will close to the public starting at 5:00 PM this evening and will reopen at the direction of the Governor. 


"Social distancing is our best tool to curb the spread of COVID-19 and save lives," said Governor Abbott. "The temporary closure of our state parks and historic sites will help us achieve this goal by preventing the gathering of large groups of people. I urge all Texans to continue to stay at home except for essential services as we respond to COVID-19. By following these social distance practices, we will overcome this challenge together."


Does the governor’s state parks closure affect municipal parks?


No. As of now, each city decides whether to close all or a portion of its parks. That’s because his existing shelter in place order provides the following:


“This executive order does not prohibit people from accessing essential services or engaging in essential daily activities, such as going to the grocery store or gas station, providing or obtaining other essential services, visiting parks, hunting or fishing, or engaging in physical activity like jogging or bicycling, so long as the necessary precautions are maintained to reduce the transmission of COVID-19 and to minimize in-person contact with people who are not in the same household."


Further Updates


Has anyone developed simplified guidance for cities on the process for seeking FEMA reimbursement for Coronavirus expenses?


Yes, the law firm of Bickerstaff Heath Delgado Acosta prepared a memo outlining the process. The memo provides an excellent summary of the FEMA reimbursement process. 


Have the credit hour requirements for the Texas Municipal League Institute (TMLI) certification been modified in light of the Coronavirus?


Yes, TML and the Texas Association of Mayors, Councilmembers and Commissioners have adjusted the elected officials’ certification requirements for the 2020 TMLI award year in light of the current meeting restrictions aimed at slowing the spread of COVID-19. The maximum credit for recorded training has been increased from 14 CEUs to 28 CEUs for any online or recorded training that complies with TMLI standards. The Certified Municipal Official (CMO) designation will be awarded to any elected city official who reaches 54 CEUs (instead of 72 CEUs). Two hours of open government training is still required to receive the CMO designation. 


Where can I find archived issues of the TML Coronavirus Updates?


TML Coronavirus Updates are archived by date here and by subject here.