Blog

  • 16 Jul 2020 1:58 PM | Nikki Juntunen (Administrator)

    CMBA working with BAM to communicate with state officials about work site regulations related to COVID-19.  DLI has issued a raft of Preparedness Plan requirements for people in the Construction industry, and we have been working to keep members informed.  We also helped BAM and others achieve some changes and a delay in enforcement of the Preparedness Plan requirements. Click here for more information from DLI (https://www.dli.mn.gov/updates).

    CMBA working with City of Sartell on proposed Zoning Ordinance changes.  CMBA worked with City officials to delay action this week on several Zoning Ordinance changes, allowing more time for CMBA member developers and builders to review, ask questions and provide input.  CMBA also helped organize a meeting this week between CMBA members and City staff.  Sartell is developing a number of substantial Zoning Ordinance changes and has committed to working more closely with CMBA on future changes.

    CMBA Government Affairs Committee Meeting next Tuesday, July 21st, 8:00-9:00 a.m. (via ZOOM).  The Government Affairs Committee will get an update from BAM officials regarding the second Legislative Special Session and state regulatory challenges, including the delayed hearing on the new Electrical Code changes.  We will also discuss local government activities, including zoning changes and pressure on local governments to increase building-related fees as a result of the economic recession.  It's an important time to stay engaged, so make plans to join us next Tuesday morning!  RSVP to Steve Gottwalt at steve@cmbaonline.org or 952-923-5265.


  • 07 Jul 2020 12:07 PM | Nikki Juntunen (Administrator)

    Governor Walz set to call the Legislature back into Special Session next week - This will be the second Special Session of the year, and probably not the last. While we are not aware of any pre-negotiated deals, we are hopeful the Legislature and Governor can reach agreement on a State Bonding Bill, and further assistance for businesses and workers impacted by the COVID-19 shutdowns.

    The Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry (DLI) extends deadline for COVID-19 Preparedness Plans - They moved the deadline from June 29th to after July 10th. DLI also no longer requires that the plans be site-specific. These changes are direct results of advocacy by CMBA and BAM (special thanks to Mike Gohman). DLI has also offered two webinars this week to provide more details and answers about the mandated Preparedness Plans. For more details and guidance, visit: http://www.dli.mn.gov/updates

    Minnesota DLI seeking input and testimony from builders about proposed amendments to the Minnesota Residential Energy Code - DLI has announced they will conduct a public hearing at 9 a.m. on Monday, August 3rd via WebEx, for the purposes of taking public comment and testimony regarding the appropriateness of amending the existing Minnesota Residential Energy Code, Minnesota Rules, chapter 1322, to adopt the residential provisions of the 2018 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC). This is the rescheduled May public hearing that was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Notice of Hearing provides details about the hearing and other details. Visit the Rulemaking Docket for Minnesota Rules Chapter 1322. If you have specific concerns about the proposed amendments, please forward them to CMBA Government Affairs Consultant, Steve Gottwalt, steve@cmbaonline.org. We will coordinate with BAM to make sure your concerns are heard.

    Stearns County seeking input on draft "ShapeStearns 2040" Comprehensive Plan update before the end of July - Stearns County's Comprehensive Plan Steering Committee is seeking input and feedback about the newly released draft before the end of July when the County Planning Commission, and then County Board, are set to take final action on the plan. CMBA Government Affairs Committee hosted a presentation on ShapeStearns 2040 during last month's meeting. A key feature of the Comprehensive Plan Update is a move to more flexible zoning. To review the draft Comprehensive Plan update, visit the ShapeStearns 2040 web site at: https://shapestearns.com/. If you have specific concerns or comments, please contact Stearns County Land Use Planning Director, Angie Berg, angie.berg@co.stearns.mn.us

    CMBA Government Affairs Committee Meeting, July 21st - Mark your calendars and make plans to join our virtual Government Affairs Committee Meeting July 21, 8-9 a.m. With all that is going on at the national, state and local levels impacting our industry, this is one hour well worth your time and engagement! Contact Steve Gottwalt with questions or suggestions, steve@cmbaonline.org, 952-923-5265.


  • 22 Jun 2020 9:48 AM | Steve Gottwalt (Administrator)

    Minnesota DLI Requiring All Building Sites To Have COVID-19  Preparedness Plans By June 29


    NOTE:  CMBA is working with BAM and others to advocate for a more reasonable set of rules around work site safety and preparedness in the face of COVID-19.  However, DLI currently requires these plans be in-place for each building site by June 29th.


    COVID-19 Preparedness Plan template and instructions (updated June 15, 2020) – Word document | PDF

    Translated versions of Word document (updated May 30, 2020) – Hmong | Somali | Spanish

    The completed business preparedness plan is not required to be submitted to the Department of Labor and Industry (DLI) for approval, but needs to be made available upon request.


    Guidance for Construction: Click here


    Non-Critical Sector industrial and office-based businesses that are non-customer facing are allowed to reopen as long as they have created a COVID-19 Preparedness Plan.

    By June 29, 2020, Critical Sector businesses (including construction and related) are required to develop and implement a COVID-19 Preparedness Plan that complies with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) COVID-19 guidelines and OSHA standards.  DLI has indicated builders need to have such a plan in place for EACH building site.

    For additional information or assistance in developing a plan, businesses can contact MNOSHA Workplace Safety Consultation at 651-284-5060 or osha.consultation@state.mn.us.


  • 22 Jun 2020 9:41 AM | Steve Gottwalt (Administrator)

    Check-out DLI's Summer 2020 CCLD Review


    Check-out the latest edition of the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry (DLI) Construction Codes and Licensing Division (CCLD) Review!


    Some of the stories in this edition include:

    • Plans to resume exam license testing being finalized

    • Virtual training to replace seminar

    • Building Official Forum rescheduled to October

    • DLI adoption of the 2018 I-Codes

    • 2020 National Electrical Code adoption delayed

    • Boiler, elevator, manufactured structures permits moving to new system

    • Unlicensed Mankato contractor fined $35,500

    • Building plan review questions and answers:  storm shelters

    • Plumbing questions and answers:  backflow certifications

    • Three new 2017 National Electrical Code rules in effect

    • ... and more.

    About the CCLD Review

    The CCLD Review is a quarterly publication that promotes safe, healthy work and living environments in Minnesota and informs construction and code professionals about the purpose, plans and progress of Construction Codes and Licensing Division. Subscribers may also receive periodic updates about CCLD activities and seminars.

    View previous editions of the CCLD Review newsletter.

    Subscribe

    Sign up to receive the CCLD Review newsletter.


  • 08 Jun 2020 10:17 AM | Steve Gottwalt (Administrator)

    Minnesota Enters Phase 3 - Essential Employers Must Have Plans by June 29

    June 8, 2020 - Minnesota DEED has announced Minnesota is entering Phase 3 of reopening the state during this COVID-19 pandemic. Click here to learn more.

    Of particular note for CMBA members is the requirement that Essential Employers (including construction, remodelers, landscapers, etc.) must develop and implement a Preparedness Plan:

    Governor Walz's Executive Order 20-74 requires all Critical Sector businesses to develop and implement a COVID-19 Preparedness Plan by June 29, 2020. While these businesses have been required to abide by MDH, CDC and OSHA guidelines all along, it is important for their workers and customers to understand what protocols are being implemented to protect health and safety. All workers deserve a safe place to work – and leveling the playing field by requiring all employers to have a COVID-19 Preparedness Plan on the record just makes sense. The Department of Labor & Industry has provided template COVID-19 Preparedness Plans at dli.mn.gov/updates.

    Executive Order 20-74 also continues to require workers who are able to work from home to continue doing so.

    Finally, we know you might still have questions about what this all means or where we go from here. I encourage you to visit staysafe.mn.gov where you'll find lots of additional guidance and answers to many commonly asked questions And if you're still in search of information, we've built out a robust submission form that will immediately send your questions to the right agency for answers.

    CMBA, along with our colleagues at BAM and NAHB, continue monitoring developments as we continue to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • 04 Jun 2020 12:53 PM | Steve Gottwalt (Administrator)

    Stearns County SWCD Smart Salting and Turfgrass Workshops July/August


    Smart Salting and Turfgrass Maintenance Workshops.pdf

    AUDIENCES:

    • Property owners
    • Property managers
    • Private maintenance and landscaping companies
    • City, county, township & state maintenance crews
    • Maintenance staff from schools & colleges

    WORKSHOP DETAILS:
    Stearns County SWCD is hosting a series of workshops July 22, 23, 29 and August 19.  These workshops will provide the necessary training that will help decision makers learn how to save money by using less materials while still operating more efficiently, protect water resources, and be more conscientious of the environment.

    BENEFITS OF ATTENDING:

    • Cost savings related to salt usage and maintenance.
    • Protect the environment and water resources
    • Receive a manual to reference back and forth
    • Earn Professional Development Hours to maintain certifications
    • Become MPCA Smart Salting Certified - certified individuals are listed on the MPCA website

    TURFGRASS MAINTENANCE TOPICS:

    • How to effectively use fertilizers and pesticides
    • Understand the lifecycle of turfgrass and common weeds
    • How to read a soil test to understand proper fertilizer rates
    • Understand turfgrass health to minimize impacts on surface and groundwater

    SMART SALTING TOPICS:

    • How to gauge weather conditions
    • Best practices for storing materials
    • Understand proper application rates
    • How to calibrate equipment De-icing and anti-icing methods
    • Environmental impacts
    • Using sustainable practices 

    For more details and to register, visit www.StearnsCountySWCD.net/mpcasmartsalting  or www.StearnsCountySWCD.net/turfgrassmaintenance

    Directions on how to participate will be emailed to you after registering.

    For more information contact Brittany Lenzmeier at 320.251.7800 ext.3 or brittany.lenzmeier@mn.nacdnet.net.

    POSTCARD: Smart Salting and Turfgrass Maintenance Workshops.pdf

  • 15 May 2020 10:13 AM | Steve Gottwalt (Administrator)

    The Central Minnesota Builders Association (CMBA) is holding its Session Wrap-Up on Tuesday, May 26th, 8:00-9:30 a.m.  featuring our local legislators.  We will keep it informal and engaging, focusing on what happened (and did not happen) to help our local developers, builders and associated contractors meet local housing and commercial construction needs.  Members of our Board and Government Affairs Committee will participate, and we expect to also have our colleagues from the Builders Association of Minnesota (BAM) join us.  Given the nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, we will conduct the meeting via Zoom, and might also have some members join from our CMBA offices in downtown St. Cloud.

    If you would like to participate and have not received an e-mail or Outlook calendar invitation, please contact CMBA Government Affairs Consultant, Steve Gottwalt, steve@cmbaonline.org or 952-923-5265.

  • 14 May 2020 1:47 PM | Steve Gottwalt (Administrator)

    5-14-20 -- On May 13th, Minnesota Governor Tim Walz announced he is lifting his emergency stay-at-home order effective Monday, May 18th -- but with several caveats, restrictions and requirements (Gov. Walz's Exec Order 20-56):

    • We can leave our homes, but need to follow social-distancing and mask-wearing guidelines when in close proximity to others.
    • Any worker who can work from home must do so.
    • Retail stores can open, but only at 50% of normal occupancy as determined by the Fire Marshall, and only with CDC precautions (social distancing, masks, hand washing or sanitizing) and a cleaning/sanitizing regimen.  They must post signs discouraging people from gathering in groups of more than 10.
    • Shopping malls can open, but must have a plan in place to make sure people do not gather in groups of more than 10, and follow CDC precautions.
    • Bars, restaurants and salons or barber shops are ordered to remain closed until at least June 1st.  The State is to release a re-opening plan by May 30th.
    • At-risk individuals (elderly, and those with underlying health conditions) are urged to stay at their home or residence.
    • We can gather in groups of no more than 10 people, (the limit includes celebrations, performances, festivals, events, etc.) and are urged to follow CDC precautions. Drive-in gatherings (staying in our own cars) are permitted.
    • We cannot gather to worship in groups of more than 10 people.
    • We can engage in outdoor activities, and can go solo camping.
    • However, campgrounds, RV parks, pools, etc. are to remain closed until at least June 1st.  
    • We are also strongly encouraged to stay close to home (no long trips).
    • Remote meetings are strongly encouraged whenever possible.
    • Penalties for business owners, managers or supervisors who require or encourage their workers to violate these orders: Gross misdemeanor, punishable by up to 1 year in prison and a $3,000 fine.  They could also face state, county or city civil penalties.

    See the "Safely Adjusting The Dials" graphic provided by the MN Department of Health.

  • 12 May 2020 9:13 AM | Nikki Juntunen (Administrator)

    CMBA Keeps Members Informed About Local and State Developments - Even as we continue dealing with impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic, rest assured CMBA continues monitoring and bringing you updates about industry-related activities among local governments.  With our colleagues at BAM, we also bring you the latest on COVID-19 responses and other policy issues impacting development and building.  Contact CMBA Government Affairs Consultant, Steve Gottwalt, steve@cmbaonline.org, or direct at 952-923-5265.


    St. Cloud Chamber "Virtual" Government Affairs Division Meeting - CMBA participated in the first-ever St. Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce "Virtual" Government Affairs Division Meeting on Friday 5/8.  The meeting featured Minnesota U.S. Senator, Tina Smith, discussing current affairs from her office in Washington, D.C., and  Small Business Administration (SBA) Minnesota Office Economic Development Lead, Twila Kennedy (twila.kennedy@sba.gov). Much of the virtual meeting focused on federal COVID-19 relief for small businesses, including the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and SBA loans.  Sen. Smith indicated Congress is pumping more dollars into the PPP, which ran out of money several days after it started due to a rush of demand.  Local businesses are encouraged to contact their local SBA lenders for more information about SBA loans.  Sen. Smith also noted Congress has passed $150 billion in aid to state and local governments.  Minnesota is receiving $2 billion.  You can contact Sen. Smith's Outreach Director for Education and Business, Amy Johnson Korba, at amy@smith.senate.gov, M: 651-583-4481.


  • 05 May 2020 10:25 AM | Nikki Juntunen (Administrator)

    Stay-at-home Order Extended – Governor Tim Walz last week extended his stay-at-home order through at least May 17th. While construction and related industries are permitted to operate with proper precautions, the Governor's orders still stipulate workers should work from home if at all possible. Restaurants and bars are still allowed only to provide take-out, delivery and curb-side pick-up. On April 30th, the Governor allowed food trucks to serve at Minnesota rest stops, primarily to provide meals for commercial truck drivers so they can deliver needed materials and supplies. Visit the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) for more details and resources concerning COVID-19 responses and requirements.

    Local Communities Continue Supporting Building – CMBA has been keeping in-touch with local communities, and all report they are continuing to support residential and non-residential construction while practicing recommended precautions, including safe distancing. This includes plan submissions, permitting and inspections. CMBA members report larger communities are doing better than smaller communities, largely due to differences in resources. Wherever possible, local communities are requiring electronic or drop-box plan submissions and permit requests. On-site inspections vary from community to community, usually requiring safe distancing. In some cases, communities are allowing detailed digital photos in lieu of on-site inspections. Please contact your local building officials for clarifications.

    CMBA Seeking Feedback About New Residential Building Code Changes – Earlier this year, CMBA, BAM and others pushed for a delay in Minnesota’s planned March 31st implementation of new Residential Building Code changes. The State went ahead and implemented the changes March 31st. We would like to know how this is going for you, especially with planned training sessions on-hold during the COVID-19 emergency. Please send your comments to steve@cmbaonline.org. 

    6th District Congressman Tom Emmer Endorsed for Reelection - Congressman Emmer was endorsed without opposition at Saturday's CD6 Convention (held online).  Congressman Emmer was first elected in 2014 and has been a consistent friend to CMBA members on building-related issues. Emmer also serves in Republican leadership as the Chair of the National Republican Congressional Committee, the House campaign arm of the Republican Party. Emmer was a member of the Minnesota House of Representatives from 2005 to 2011, and the Republican nominee for governor in 2010.

    Michelle Fischbach Endorsed to Challenge Congressman Collin Peterson in 7th District - Former Minnesota Lieutenant Governor, State Senate President and CMBA Government Affairs Director, Michelle Fischbach, was endorsed during Saturday's CD7 Convention (held online) to challenge incumbant CD7 Congressman Collin Peterson.  Both Peterson and Fischbach have been friends to CMBA members on building-related issues.  Fischbach was first elected to the Minnesota Senate in 1996 and served until 2018 when she briefly became Minnesota's Lieutenant Governor after Tina Smith was elevated to the U.S. Senate after the resignation of Senator Al Franken.  Fischbach served briefly as CMBA Government Affairs Director after leaving the Minnesota Senate, and resigned to run for Congress in CD7.

     



CMBA:
1124 West Saint Germain Street, St. Cloud MN 56301
320.251.4382 info@cmbaonline.org | www.cmbaonline.org
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