City Contract RisksPublished May 21, 2012
Understand how to use contracts, a legally enforceable promise between two or more parties, to effectively manage the possibility of suffering harm or damage.
City Employee Injuries OverviewPublished Feb 22, 2014
Learn about the most common and costly city employee injuries according to League Insurance Trust workers’ compensation coverage data. Understand how to avoid workers’ compensation insurance premium increases by avoiding workers’ compensation losses.
Combining Governmental Services: Issues to ConsiderPublished Mar 1, 2010
Understand major issues to consider when making cooperative agreements with another political subdivision such as the structure of your agreement, contract provisions like costs and equipment contributions, managing employees, and how to handle liability coverage. Contains a checklist of considerations when combining governmental services.
Comparing Coverage QuotesPublished Feb 26, 2015
Find questions to ask commercial insurance companies when comparing their property, liability, auto, workers’ compensation, crime, and bond coverage to the coverage offered by the League of Minnesota Cities Insurance Trust (LMCIT).
Computer and Network Loss ControlPublished Aug 15, 2014
Learn some of the risks associated with storing and sharing city data on computers. Find out how to protect the city from common risks such as data breaches, virus contamination, hacker attacks, and computer misuse by employees. Understand issues presented by social media such as Facebook, blogs, and Twitter. Links to a model employee computer use policy.
Considerations In Drafting Inter-Agency Drug Task Force AgreementsPublished Mar 25, 2010
Learn some of the most important elements to consider when drafting inter-agency drug task force agreements, regardless of the structure used. Review possible forms an agreement may take, key insurance and liability elements, determination of operating procedures and termination of the agreement.
Entering Private Property for Public Works PurposesPublished Jun 19, 2015
Review private property rights, situations when staff may enter private property, exceptions to consent or a search warrant, private property and rights-of-way, and employee safety when entering private property for work-related reasons.
Equal Access to CitiesPublished Jan 29, 2014
Learn about revisions to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) that covers local governments, especially significant changes to building design standards, detailed and new guidance on certain types of access like wheelchairs, service animals and seating for ticketed events.
Experience Rating in LMCIT's Liability And Workers' Compensation PremiumsPublished Oct 31, 2014
Understand League of Minnesota Cities Insurance Trust’s (LMCIT’s) experience rating formula, which compares the city’s actual loss history with the amount of losses that would be expected for a city of that size, if the city were a perfectly average LMCIT member. Learn how the comparison is used to adjust the city’s future premiums above or below the average.
Extraordinary Expense CoveragePublished Feb 26, 2015
Learn about the League of Minnesota Cities Insurance Trust’s (LMCIT) coverage for extraordinary city expenses, a coverage specifically designed to assist a city that’s been unavoidably hit by unexpected expenses.
Fire Department Management and Liability IssuesPublished Feb 19, 2015
Understand the structure of city volunteer or paid-on-call fire departments and their basic management challenges in personnel, finances, and facility safety. Discusses optional organization as a consolidated department, powers of members of a volunteer fire relief association contrasted with employees of the city fire department, and links to sample ordinances for fire charges, a fire service contract between a city and town, and several management policies.
In the Driver's Seat: Beating Driver FatiguePublished Jul 31, 2013
Learn how to protect city drivers from the deadly effects of driver fatigue. Understand what causes it and what you can to prevent it or reduce the risk, even as you may face pressure to provide quality service while your resources diminish.
Joint Powers Agreements An Outline Of Risk ConsiderationsPublished Jan 28, 2009
Intergovernmental cooperation is an effective strategy to provide efficient and effective services to citizens. Learn key considerations to avoid conflict and complicated, expensive litigation when working jointly with other governmental units to provide services.
Land Use Conditional Use PermitsPublished Sep 8, 2008
Learn the basics of conditional use permits (CUPs) in administering the city’s land use ordinances. Define conditional use permits, for what purposes they may be granted; learn who grants them and procedural considerations for public hearings and the role of neighborhood opinion. Understand expiration dates, time limits and revocation of CUPs.
Land Use NonconformitiesPublished Sep 8, 2008
Learn what the city can and cannot do about land uses, structures or lots that do not comply with the city's current zoning ordinance. Read about statutory restrictions and the city's role in administering nonconforming uses.
Land Use Ordinance MistakesPublished Jun 1, 2011
Find and fix common land use mistakes in your city's ordinances. Avoid land use problems and claims by reviewing time limits for action, voting threshold requirements, restrictions on nonconforming uses, standards for conditional use and variances and zoning rules for manufactured homes.
Land Use VariancesPublished Jun 1, 2011
Learn about variances as a way cities may allow an exception to part of their zoning ordinance. Review who may grant a variance and how to follow and document the required legal standard of “practical difficulties” (before 2011 called “undue hardship”). Links to a sample ordinance and forms for use with this law.
Land Use: The Neighbor FactorPublished Feb 1, 2009
Learn how to educate city residents about the land use process and encourage public participation to foster civility and responsible decision-making.
Liability Claim ProceduresPublished May 28, 2015
When the League of Minnesota Cities Insurance Trust (LMCIT) denies a liability claim, it is usually not an issue of coverage; rather, it’s whether the city is legally liable for the damages of a particular claim. Cities do have the right to prevent LMCIT from settling a specific liability claim without first obtaining the city’s approval. Understand why LMCIT may deny a liability claim and the consent to settle provisions of the LMCIT liability coverage.
LMCIT Auto Coverage GuidePublished Oct 2, 2015
Understand auto liability, auto physical damage, no-fault, and uninsured/underinsured coverage offered by the League of Minnesota Cities Insurance Trust (LMCIT), including coverage options, provisions, and how coverage works in specific situations such as the use of personal vehicles on city business and coverage for impounded or seized autos. Includes information on filing an auto claim.
LMCIT Eligibility RequirementsPublished Dec 5, 2014
Learn about participation, eligibility and League membership requirements in the League of Minnesota Cities Insurance Trust.
LMCIT Liability Coverage GuidePublished Jul 9, 2015
Learn about liability (casualty) coverage offered by the League of Minnesota Cities Insurance Trust (LMCIT), including unique coverage situations for land use litigation, airports, sewer backups, special events, joint powers entities and more. Understand coverage limits and various incentive programs. Includes information on filing a liability claim.
LMCIT Model Mutual Aid AgreementPublished May 17, 2010
The LMCIT has developed a Model Mutual Aid Agreement for cities to consider when they are working with other local governments. It provides a system to address liability, workers' compensation and equipment damage in mutual aid situations.
LMCIT Property Appraisal ProgramPublished Mar 5, 2015
Learn about the League of Minnesota Cities Insurance Trust’s (LMCIT) property appraisal program, a service that is provided to all members to ensure property premiums and coverage limits are accurate.
LMCIT Property, Crime, Bond, and Petrofund Coverage GuidePublished May 26, 2015
Learn about property, crime, and petrofund coverage offered by the League of Minnesota Cities Insurance Trust (LMCIT), including builder's risk coverage and property coverage options for bond, flood, and equipment breakdown. Understand coverage limits, LMCIT's property appraisal program, and schedule of property to identify at renewal and midterm. Includes information on filing a property claim.
LMCIT Workers’ Compensation Coverage GuidePublished Oct 31, 2014
Learn about the workers’ compensation statute and the unique coverage features offered by the League of Minnesota Cities Insurance Trust. Understand premium and deductible options. Includes information on filing a workers’ compensation claim.
LMCIT's Financial StabilityPublished Feb 26, 2015
Solvency and financial stability are critically important considerations, whether dealing with the League of Minnesota Cities Insurance Trust (LMCIT) or an insurance company. Learn about LMCIT’s financial strength, financial management practices and reinsurance protection and how these factors make it extremely unlikely that LMCIT would ever need to make an assessment of its members.
Maintenance of City TreesPublished Mar 10, 2010
Learn the value of regular inspection and maintenance of city trees, including prevention and abatement of diseases like Dutch Elm, Oak Wilt and Emerald Ash Borer infestation. Understand the types of liability claims commonly made about trees in city rights-of-way, parks and other public places.
Making and Managing City ContractsPublished Aug 24, 2015
Understand what constitutes a contract (a handshake? A verbal “OK”?) and why all contracts should be in writing. Find contract drafting tips. Learn how to manage risks in contract provisions through defense and indemnification language, insurance requirements, and special considerations for construction contracts. Links to sample hold-harmless and other indemnification language, including suggestions for AIA contract modification. Contains model independent contractor agreement and insurance requirement policy.
Manufactured Homes and ZoningPublished Oct 30, 2009
Learn how cities should regulate manufactured homes and manufactured home parks for consistency with state law. Find out how to review your ordinances for consistency with state law. Understand limitations on city licensing, how to use conditional use permits, and the effect of homes that do not comply with the manufactured home building code.
Minnesota Model In-Car Camera PolicyPublished Sep 16, 2010
The mandatory language within this model policy may create issues with discovery and spoliation of evidence in the event of a lawsuit. LMCIT recommends that the mandatory language be revised in certain areas of the policy to allow for officer discretion. When officers are well trained in the use and application of this equipment there is little concern with them using discretion.
Municipal Airport Owner's Guide Published Jun 4, 2015
Offers assistance to municipal airport owners in developing contracts with Fixed Based Operators (FBOs) and Specialized Aviation Service Operations (SASOs); and in developing Airport Management Agreements (AMAs). Helps municipal airport owners make informed risk management decisions when negotiating or amending contracts.
Muscling Manhole CoversPublished Apr 1, 2007
Learn how ergonomic hazards can injure certain soft body tissues, the enormous costs associated with these injuries, risk factors for musculoskeletal disorders, how to prevent ergonomic injuries, and examine an ergonomic case study on manhole covers.
Park And Recreation Loss Control GuidePublished Nov 21, 2014
Cities strive to make their parks and recreation facilities and programs as safe as possible. Find an overview of key risk management concepts and specific advice for managing many common programs and events such as snow hills, ice skating or swimming facilities, trails, skateparks, parades, sports leagues, and more. Contains links to sample policies, checklists, and forms.
Planning & Zoning 101Published Apr 1, 2011
Learn the basics of why and how cities engage in land use planning and regulation, and why local officials should take time to carefully and conscientiously create land use laws. Tools discussed include comprehensive land use plans and zoning ordinances. Find a graphic to illustrating levels of city council discretion to decide at various stages in these processes.
Policy Pep Talk: What Makes a Good Policy?Published Oct 1, 2015
Understand the basic features of a good policy, that is, one that provides cities with uniform, routine and efficient delivery of services to citizens and which can often protect cities from liability by serving as evidence that the city exercised judgement and discretion when determining how best to provide a service to residents.
Providing Assistance In EmergenciesPublished Dec 29, 2014
Providing and receiving disaster assistance raises coverage and liability issues for cities. This memo outlines applicable statutes, how LMCIT coverages apply, potential problems, and a checklist of potential coverage issues in emergency situations.
Public HearingsPublished Mar 8, 2010
Understand the purposes, requirements and procedures for holding public hearings when making city land use decisions.
Public Works Emergency ResponsePublished Apr 1, 2007
Learn about common types of emergencies encountered by public works employees and how to anticipate problems to prevent injuries. Understand potential exposures during emergency response and the importance of training and practice exercises.
Reducing LMCIT Premium CostsPublished Apr 29, 2015
Explore ways in which League of Minnesota Cities Insurance Trust (LMCIT) members can reduce premium costs. Understand the effect of reducing costs and other important considerations.
Risk Allocation and Coverage Issues for Joint Powers and Mutual Aid AgreementsPublished Apr 19, 2007
Learn key elements in preparing or reviewing risk management elements of mutual aid and joint powers entity agreements, such as insurance coverage for activities, minimizing courtroom conflicts between those who have entered into the agreement, and minimizing resources needed to defend the governmental units in the event of a third-party claim.
Role With It - Individual Vs. Council AuthorityPublished Jun 19, 2015
Learn common ways councilmembers may overstep their proper role and the personal liability that may ensue. Understand actions you may take in your role as an individual councilmember versus your role as part of the entire city council.
Safeguarding Your City Against Employee TheftPublished Jul 10, 2010
City staff and elected officials have a responsibility to protect city assets because they are publicly funded. Find out how to safeguard city assets through awareness of the "Fraud Triangle," that place where opportunity, financial pressure and rationalization intersect. Learn the elements of the triangle and common procedures you can implement to reduce employee theft.
Safety Committee ToolkitPublished Aug 17, 2015
Learn city obligations under state and federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards and how to meet them. Red toolkit icons mark links to sample forms, checklists, and other resources. Understand how to develop an employee health and safety committee, conduct self-inspections, and create job hazard analyses. Discusses conducting effective employee accident investigations and what to maintain for OSHA and workers’ compensation insurance records.
Sanitary Sewer Incentive Program: Qualifications and Maintaining ImmunityPublished Jun 25, 2015
Learn important elements cities must have in place to be eligible for participation in the League of Minnesota Cities Insurance Trust's (LMCIT's) sanitary sewer incentive program including system maps, and inspection and maintenance programs for sanitary sewer lines and lift stations. Contains the incentive program application questionnaire. Discusses elements of discretionary immunity.
Sanitary Sewer Toolkit: A Guide for Maintenance Policies and Procedures Published Sep 18, 2008
Learn how to avoid sanitary sewer backups through improved system maintenance and limit your liability with improved documentation if a backup does occur. Red toolkit icons mark links to model policies, forms, and public education pieces. Find related risk management information on inflow and infiltration, no-fault sewer backup coverage, discretionary immunity, and Pollution Control Agency sewer system by-pass requirements.
Self-Insuring Workers' CompensationPublished Dec 9, 2014
Find out how the League of Minnesota Cities Insurance Trust (LMCIT) can help cities with workers’ compensation premiums over a quarter million dollars evaluate whether self-insuring is feasible and economical. Understand loss development, the special compensation fund, projecting next year’s losses and accounting issues.
Sign Ordinances and the First AmendmentPublished Mar 7, 2007
Learn how to design a sign ordinance for your city that meets the requirements of the First Amendment for protecting various forms of speech.
Subdivisions, Plats, and Development AgreementsPublished Aug 12, 2013
Regulating the division of land is a powerful tool in implementing any municipal comprehensive land use plan. Read a summary of the most basic laws associated with subdivisions, plats, and development agreements. Learn about land dedication for infrastructure, park dedication fees, the subdivision approval process, development agreements and exceptions and alternatives to city subdivision authority.
Taking the Mystery Out of Findings of FactPublished Feb 1, 2012
“Findings of fact” (a city’s written explanation of a decision) are a crucial part of land use decisions, and acting without a clue can be treacherous. Take the mystery out of findings of fact by exploring the what, why, and how of findings facts to make defensible decisions.
The 60-Day Rule: Minnesota's Automatic Approval StatutePublished Feb 11, 2014
Learn the elements of Minnesota Statute Section 15.99, which requires municipalities to approve or deny written requests relating to zoning within 60 days. Failure to do so results in automatic approval of the request. Understand the law’s rules and exceptions to stay in control of zoning-related activities.
The Agent's Role and Compensation In LMCITPublished Dec 12, 2014
Understand the role of agents and their compensation in the League of Minnesota Cities Insurance Trust (LMCIT) property/casualty and workers’ compensation programs.
The ISO Fire Protection Rating SystemPublished Mar 24, 2015
Learn about the Insurance Services Office (ISO) fire protection rating system, an evaluation factor used in rating a community’s fire protection.
Tips For Avoiding Land Use ClaimsPublished Feb 3, 2014
Learn simple steps cities can take to avoid lawsuits in their regulation of land use and processing of land use requests.
Tips For Cities In LitigationPublished Aug 29, 2015
Actions of city officials and employees in matters dealing with a threatened or actual lawsuit may affect its ultimate outcome. Learn tips for working with attorneys, how and when to talk about matters involved in the lawsuit, and how to preserve evidence important to the case.
Tuberculosis Screening Published May 14, 2013
Learn about the disease tuberculosis, how it is spread, and what the risk factors are for transmitting this disease. Understand the requirements for screening tests of city employees working in jails and lockups, and those working as emergency medical professionals.
Use Of Body-Worn CamerasPublished Jun 22, 2015
Body-worn Cameras are a recent addition to the law enforcement toolkit. This discussion and the linked model policy is a Minnesota-specific response to the need for guidance on their use and related data administration issues under existing sates laws.
Vaccinations And Infectious Disease Testing CoveragePublished Apr 1, 2013
Learn about required and recommended infectious disease vaccinations for city workers, and about League of Minnesota Cities Insurance Trust workers' compensation coverage for costs of testing workers exposed to bloodborne pathogens and other occupationally infectious diseases.
Workers' Compensation Claim ManagementPublished Dec 5, 2014
Find information related to workers’ compensation claim management, including what injuries to report, when to report an injury, what forms to use, how to report an injury, what happens after reporting, and injury management techniques.
Zoning DecisionsPublished Jun 1, 2011
Zoning decisions are the source of controversy and confusion in many communities. Understanding a city’s zoning authority and the standards associated with various zoning tools is important in navigating controversy and dispelling confusion. This memo discusses the nature of a city’s decision-making authority and the legal standards associated with variances, conditional use permits, and nonconformities.
Zoning for ReligionPublished Apr 1, 2010
When considering an application for land use involving a religious institution, cities must comply with the federal Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA) law. Learn the requirements of this law and read examples provided by the U.S. Department of Justice on zoning actions and ordinance language that can violate it.