The City of Forest Lake is coordinating closely with our partners at Washington County and the Minnesota Department of Health and following their recommendations for our response to the COVID-19 pandemic. To assist residents in locating the most up to date information on COVID-19 we have assembled links to County, State, and Federal agencies. The Minnesota Department of Health has also set up a hotline for questions. The hotline is open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday at 651-201-3920.
Live Stream Link Change due to Remote Meetings (updated 4/8/2020)
While the city is holding remote meetings due to the COVID-19 pandemic, live streams for all City Council and commission meetings will be live-streamed on the city’s YouTube livestream feed found here: at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCfUyh7qZScScZ4KGedRrZBg. Please note that this a change from our usual streaming service, so please use the above link. Once the city returns to in-person meetings, the city will resume its previous streaming service.
Open Forum Update: Due to the need to hold remote meetings, we are also making a change to the open forum process. Residents who wish to participate in the open forum are asked to submit written comments to firstname.lastname@example.org please specify “open forum” in the subject line of the email so staff knows it is for the open forum. Comments will then be read into the record during the open forum portion of the meeting.
Upcoming Public Meetings and Events
All non-essential events and reservations in City-owned facilities have been cancelled until April 1, 2020. Meetings of the City Council which need to be held will be remotely via phone or other electronic means. These meetings will continue to be livestreamed on the city’s website www.cityofforestlake.com.
With the Governor’s issuance of a stay at home declaration, the City of Forest Lake will be closing City Hall to the public beginning on March 30, 2020 through Friday April 10, 2020.
While the offices are closed to the public, staff will continue to work to ensure continuity of operations for all city residents. During the closure of city hall, please use the contact information below. Please note that due to the circumstances there may be a delay in responding to inquiries.
General Information: email@example.com
Non Emergency Police: 651-464-5877
Emergency Police: 911
Emergency Fire: 911
Building Inspections: 651-464-4349
General Building Permit Information: FLinspections@ci.forest-lake.mn.us
Public Works Utility: 651-209-9743
Public Works Streets/Parks: 651-209-9729
Utility Billing: 651-255-0970
All city staff will also be available via their phone and email.
Until further notice the Building Department will prohibit scheduling of interior inspections of occupied buildings. The City of Forest Lake is committed to serve the City and its citizens during this unprecedented time and will continue to schedule inspections for all exterior and construction projects where the home is not inhabited. If your building in occupied and you feel an interior inspection is needed due to unique circumstances please contact the building department at 651-464-3550 to discuss your situation.
Update from Republic regarding services
COVID-19 Weblinks and Agency Phone Numbers
Washington County Public Health and Environment
- Washington County Public Health and Environment COVID-19 Website
- Phone: 651-201-3920
Minnesota Department of Health
- Minnesota Department of Health COVID-19 Website
- Phone: Health Questions: 651-201-3920 or 1-800-657-3903 (7 a.m.- 7 p.m)
- Phone: School and child care questions: 651-297-1304 or 1-800-657-3504 (7 a.m.-7 p.m)
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
- CDC COVID-19 Website
- Phone: 1-800-232-4636
Business and Unemployment Resources (updated 4-1-2020)
- Open to Business - Access local technical and financial resources to assist your business.
- Resources for affected Small Businesses - MN SBA - Includes information and instructions on how to apply for a disaster loan, links to webinars for Loan Training for COVID-19 related disruptions, Partner Resources, and information on the deferred Tax payment date.
- MN DEED COVID-19 Resources - Includes information on resources available from MN DEED related to COVID-19
- A Guide for Minnesota Small Businesses Who Need Help - MN DEED
- Minnesota Unemployment Insurance Program - Link to the online application for Unemployment Insurance
- Families First Coronavirus Response Act: Link to Employer Resources for this new Federal Legislation
- Governor Walz Emergency Declaration Order 20-20 Directing Minnesotans to Stay at Home
- List of Critical Businesses and Guidance on Stay at Home Order -MNDEED
- Coronavirus Emergency Loan Guide and Checklist (Us Chamber of Commerce)
City of Forest Lake Information
Declaration of Local Emergency (updated 3-20-2020)
On March 19th the Forest Lake City Council approved a Declaration of Emergency for the City of Forest Lake due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. The declaration of a local emergency is an important first step in ensuring that the city is fully prepared to respond to an increase in local COVID-19 cases should the need arise. The declaration allows for the City to activate its Emergency Operations Center if it becomes needed. Additionally, if the cost of the response exceeds local resources, the city will be able to apply for state and federal emergency response dollars. The declaration also allows for the City Council and its advisory boards and commission to meet remotely (via phone or other electronic means) rather than in person. A full copy of the emergency declaration can be found here.Declaration of Emergency (updated 3-17-2020)
Last evening, Mayor Bain signed a Declaration of Emergency for the City of Forest Lake due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. This Thursday evening, the Forest Lake City Council will vote on the Declaration of Emergency. The declaration of a local emergency is an important first step in ensuring that the city is fully prepared to respond to an increase in local COVID-19 cases should the need arise. The declaration allows for the City to activate its Emergency Operations Center if it becomes needed. Additionally, if the cost of the response exceeds local resources, the city will be able to apply for state and federal emergency response dollars. The declaration also allows for the City Council and its advisory boards and commission to meet remotely (via phone or other electronic means) rather than in person. A full copy of the emergency declaration can be found here.
The meeting on Thursday is an open meeting, however, it will be conducted electronically with the councilmembers attending remotely by calling into City Hall. Residents wishing to view the meeting will be able to do so using the city’s meeting livestream.
Forest Lake Senior Center Closed Until May 4 (Updated 3-31-2020)
The Forest Lake Senior Center will be closed from March 16 to May 4 due to precautionary measures surrounding the Coronavirus. All Senior Center programs have been cancelled and the Center will be closed. The Center will reopen again after May 4, 2020.
The City of Forest Lake’s parks and trails remain open to the public; however, the city’s outdoor playgrounds will be closed for use since there is no way to clean and disinfect the equipment. The city recognizes the importance of nature in helping to relieve stress during this time and are committed to providing a safe environment for visitors to enjoy, while protecting the health of city staff and the community. To help residents safely enjoy the city’s trails and open space here are a few tips:
- Follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) guidance on personal hygiene prior to heading to trails: wash hands, carry hand sanitizer, do not use trails if you have symptoms, cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing, etc.
- Observe at all times the CDC’s minimum recommended social distancing of 6 feet from other people. Practice it and know what it looks like. Keep it as you walk, bike or hike.
- Note that trail and park users will find public restrooms closed — be prepared before you leave and time outings so that you are not dependent on public restrooms.
- Bring water—public drinking fountains should not be used.