Incentives for New Homes

City Clean Up Day

Clinics Are Now Open

Safely Returning to Work


Click the image above to see DEED’s guidance for Minnesota businesses looking to re-open under the most recent executive order from the governor.

EMS Week

Governor Walz has declared this week, May 17 through May 23, Emergency Medical Services Week. So we would like to thank all the EMS personnel out there for all their hard work and dedication! 

Free Professional Graphics for Arlington Businesses


Vivid Image, a Minnesota based web and graphic design company,  has created a new Community Graphics site to help local businesses communicate clearly with their customers during these uncertain times. There are options such as take-out order instructions for restaurants as well as curbside pickup for other types of businesses. The company will create the graphics and posters for use on storefronts and social media. All you need to do is fill out the form on the site and the designers will get to work from there and get you the finished product. There is no cost or obligation! 

Self-Employed and Independent Contractors Eligible for Unemployment Benefits

Self-Employed and Independent Contractors Eligible for Unemployment Benefits


The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) announced that the agency has begun making Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) payments to people who are self-employed, independent contractors, and other eligible recipients who are not eligible for regular unemployment benefits. PUA is a new program that was authorized by Congress in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) and signed into law on March 27, 2020.


Here’s what Minnesotans need to know about applying for PUA:
  • If you have already applied for regular unemployment benefits, you do not need to do anything extra to qualify for PUA. DEED will automatically establish a PUA benefit account for you if you are eligible.
  • If you have not applied for unemployment benefits yet, special instructions for self-employed and 1099 workers are available here. These instructions include steps you can take to make your account easily identifiable as potentially eligible for PUA.
  • If you applied for unemployment benefits without following those instructions, don’t worry – you don’t need to change anything. Your account will still be reviewed for PUA eligibility.
  • If you have not heard from DEED yet, don’t worry. We expect to be in touch with most people who are eligible for benefits under PUA by the end of April. There is no need to call or follow-up; you will hear from us proactively if we need additional information to determine eligibility.
  • You will receive information about PUA benefits in your online account, by email, and by mail.
  • Applicants who receive PUA benefits will also receive the $600/week additional payment.
  • PUA benefits will be backdated to whenever you first became eligible due to COVID-19.
  • Additional information, including answers to many commonly asked questions, can be found

Importance of Paying Property Taxes

The Importance of Paying Your Property Taxes

The first half of real estate taxes is due on May 15th. So what happens to your taxes after you
drop that payment in the mail? The tax amount you pay is partially based upon the levy needed to
operate the county, your city or township, your school district, and the watershed within your
community. All tax that we collect through May 31st is paid out to these taxing entities by the end of
June. They in turn use these funds for their operating expenses.

The next payment to these entities doesn’t come until November, after the second half due dates of October 15th and November 15th. Therefore, what they receive in June must last these entities almost through the entire rest of the year. This process isn’t Sibley County specific; rather it is the process for all of Minnesota. So, in these trying times, paying your property taxes on time ensures the financial health of your community.

So what happens if you aren’t able to make your full payment by May 15th?

First off, Sibley County takes partial payments. These can be made as frequently as you would like. Payments are accepted in a variety of ways. Payments can be made on-line through Credit card or e-check payments can also be made over the phone (507-237-4070).

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, our doors are not open for customers, but our drop box on the west side of the courthouse has been an option for years. Some residents participate in our direct payment plan so they will never forget a payment! People enrolled in this plan have their tax payment automatically debited from their account on the due date. But, most commonly, our citizens mail in their tax payments, including their tax statement stubs with a postmark of May 15th or earlier. If May 16th rolls around and you weren’t able to pay the full amount due by the 15th, penalty starts accruing. Over the next several months, depending upon the classification of your property, that penalty amount will top out at 14%. Hence, it is financially prudent to pay all, or as much as you can, of your first half tax bill by May 15th.

Waiver of Penalty Due to COVID-19

At their April 28th meeting, the Sibley County Commissioners approved a property tax hardship
penalty waiver process due to COVID-19. The goal is to help property owners where the household
primary wage earner has been laid off from work and business owners that were ordered to close or
drastically alter their business by Governor Walz. These qualifying residents and business owners may
have late penalties waived until July 1st, 2020, for property taxes due on May 15th. The waiver does not
change the amount of property tax that is due; your property tax statements still reflect the accurate
amount of tax that you need to pay, but it can waive the penalty that will accrue. All property owners
interested in this penalty waiver must complete an application and submit it, along with supporting
documentation, to the Sibley County Auditor-Treasurer to be considered. If you feel you meet the above criteria, and are not able to pay your property taxes that are due May 15th, please access the application by going to, emailing, or calling 507-237-4070.

Hydrant Flushing

Celebrate Earth Day Every Day by Being Responsible & Informed


Wednesday, April 22nd will mark the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day!  It started back in 1970 with 20 million Americans recognizing environmental hazards, ignorance, and chemical spills. That action gave birth to the Clean Air Act, Clean Water and Endangered Species Act, and it reminded us how important it is to practice the 3 Rs of Reduce, Re Use and Recycle.  We first learned how good we could do those things during WWII with our rubber, metal and paper drives to support the war effort, and then we kind of forgot about those things for a few decades until things started to smell and get out of control.

So here we are today with 50 years of all that experience behind us to guide us and give us a course of action.  So what should we do to celebrate the day – plant trees and prairie gardens, compost food waste, clean up a river, lake or park or our neighborhoods – yes, absolutely!  Be sure to do it safely, while practicing social distancing – seriously! 

Planting trees and prairie gardens are always a fun family activity and it is nice to have more birds, bees and butterflies around – except when birds want to build nests in my porch…  Composting can also be a rewarding activity as long as you are vigilant, educated and responsible otherwise you will get a boomerang of smells, bugs and raccoons back at you.  The Minnesota Composting Council or the University of Minnesota Extension are great places to start.

Rivers, lakes, parks and neighborhood clean ups are also fun activities and great exercise.  The recent spring winds have had lots of fun with our garbage and recycling carts both in town and out in rural areas so there is lots of plastic bags, bottles and cardboard I see in places they should not be. So let’s take some time or make some time to clean those items up, as they tend to pile up over time.

How about recycling… of course!  Believe it or not, here in Minnesota there is still a need and a value for the basics of our recyclables.  We have the infrastructure of recycling facilities to sort our materials and manufacturing that needs recycled content in its products – call it the circular economy.  It is true that there is currently a glut of materials and low manufacturing due to Covid 19 but there still are end markets for the recycling basics, so let’s review them and remind ourselves of recycling etiquette. Most food and beverage containers that are glass, plastic and metal are recyclable.  Plastics #1, 2 and 5 are acceptable – everything else goes in the garbage, especially Styrofoam and film plastics. Metals – aluminum and steel, soda or soup containers are best – but take your metal car rotors and other heavy metal pieces to the salvage yard, as they are not household recyclables. Cardboard and mixed paper are always needed. Even your big boxes from your new grill or appliance that you bought with your stimulus check are great – as long as your remove the film plastic and Styrofoam AND break your boxes down to save room for the next person.  COVID 19 and sheltering in place has created more folks shopping on line and generating more trash and recyclables which has created more illegal dumping, contamination fees incurred Cities and Counties and over flowing recycling containers.  Take your recycling back home with you if your local recycling containers are full, I know it’s inconvenient but placing materials outside the containers is just like littering and results in someone else’s mess, time and money – so please be responsible.

For more recycling questions, please visit the Nicollet County Waste Wizard web site, the Tri County fb page, or call 507-381-9196 for your disposal / recycling questions.  Local hazardous waste facilities are now open by appointment only.  We are hopeful to have our annual tire, appliance, electronics collections in June so keep an eye open for updates.  Together – we can make every day – Earth Day!


Al Christensen

Tri County Solid Waste