Liquor Store mandated to remain open for business
Norma at High Spirits Liquor Store in Libby holds a communication from Montana’s Department of Revenue, Alcoholic Beverage Control Division with a directive from the Governor and guidance regarding alcoholic beverages during the state shutdown. The first highlighted item on the bullet pointed list states, “Agency Liquor Stores are required to be open during allowed business hours for agency liquor stores.” In other words, High Spirits will remain open; at least for now.
State and Federal tax filing deadlines
On March 20, Governor Steve Bullock extended the payment and filing deadlines for 2019 individual income taxpayers to July 15 in accordance with the new federal filing deadline.
Extending the state filing deadline is in line with an announcement from the IRS to extend its deadlines for federal income tax filing and payments to July 15.
The Montana Department of Revenue will be lenient in waiving penalties and interest associated with late tax payments and the department will work with taxpayers on an individual basis.
Tax resources are available at: https://mtrevenue.gov/taxes/
To curtail the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic in Montana, Governor Steve Bullock announced measures to close dine-in food service and alcoholic beverage businesses and other activities that pose enhanced health risks, effective at 8 p.m. on Friday, March 20. This Directive expires at 11:59 p.m. on March 27, the same day that school closures are set to expire, though the date will likely be extended.
Under the Directive, the following places are closed to ingress, egress, use, and occupancy by members of the public:
Restaurants, food courts, cafes, coffeehouses, and other similar establishments offering food or beverage for on-premises consumption.
Alcoholic beverage service businesses, including bars, taverns, brew pubs, breweries, microbreweries, distilleries, wineries, tasting rooms, special licensees, clubs, and other establishments offering alcoholic beverages for on-premises consumption. Cigar bars. Health clubs, health spas, gyms, aquatic centers, pools and hot springs, indoor facilities at ski areas, climbing gyms, fitness studios, and indoor recreational facilities. Movie and performance theaters, nightclubs, concert halls, bowling alleys, bingo halls, and music halls. Casinos.
The places subject to this Directive are permitted and encouraged to offer food and beverage using delivery service, window service, walk-up service, drive-through service, or drive-up service, and to use precautions in doing so to mitigate the potential transmission of COVID-19, including social distancing.
implements changes for COVID-19
Rosauers Supermarkets announced on March 18 that they were implementing special hours for seniors and at-risk shoppers only. They are already in force and occurring every Tuesday and Thursday morning from 7 until 9 a.m. Their intent is to address the shopping needs of vulnerable populations. The pharmacy will open at 8 a.m. on these days.
In addition, other temporary changes that have been made include a change in regular store hours to 7 a.m. until 8 p.m. daily. Quantity limits have been imposed on milk, eggs, toilet paper, paper towels, anti-bacterial items, household cleaners, water, cough and cold medications, hand soap, bleach and rubbing alcohol. In addition, no returns of merchandise are being accepted due to safety concerns related to the COFID-19 pandemic.
distancing – not social
Sacrifices are being called for in our daily routines due to the COVID-19 outbreak. That can be stressful, and stress can have a negative impact on the immune system over time. It is important to consider mental health as well as physical health in these difficult times.
While you are socially distancing yourself, make sure you still do things to keep yourself healthy. Eat a balanced nutritional diet, drink plenty of water, and take advantage of the opportunity to get some extra rest. Avoid the temptation to drown your fears in excess alcohol. Try to maintain a similar schedule for such things as waking up and going to bed. Get up, take a shower, and get dressed. If you are physically able, try to keep up some kind of regular exercise even if you can’t go to the gym. Take a walk outside in an area that isn’t crowded and where you can maintain the recommended six-foot distance from others. Start using that treadmill or elliptical that has been sitting around collecting dust. Follow along with a video or online exercise class in the privacy of your own living room where nobody cares what you’re wearing. Exercise stimulates brain chemicals that help lighten your mood. Another important consideration is to make sure that you have access to your regular medications. Don’t wait until the last minute to request those refills.
Try not to spend all day watching media reports for updates. Some of the information out there, especially on social media, is incorrect or misleading. While anxiety heightens your awareness and can be good to a certain extent, too much is obviously detrimental. Take the opportunity to watch that movie or television show you haven’t seen yet, or rediscover the excitement of curling up with a good book. Consider starting the home or craft project you’ve been putting off for months.
Most importantly, remember that social distancing should not mean social isolation. Keep up with your friends, family, and co-workers by phone or internet. Video calls on platforms like FaceTime, Zoom, or Skype are great ways to stay in touch. We all probably know someone who either lives alone or is not able to easily get out of the house. Does a neighbor need someone to pick up medications from the pharmacy or groceries from the store? Work it out by phone and then leave the items at their door. Being helpful doesn’t require close physical contact, just a kind heart. Libby is a small community. Let’s help take care of each other.
By Karen Lee Morrissette, M.D.
disconnects and waives late fees
To support their members financially impacted by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Flathead Electric Cooperative (FEC) will suspend disconnects and waive late fees effective Monday, March 23 until further notice.
FEC is urging members to pay what they can to avoid falling behind on their account and facing a large future balance, as well as to allow FEC to continue covering Co-op expenses.
It’s very important for members who are having trouble paying their electric bill to contact FEC at 406-751-4483 to discuss a payment plan to remain in good standing until the national emergency subsides. For additional information on FEC’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, visit www.flat headelectric.com/coronavirus.
Venture Inn takes measures to reduce COVID-19 exposure
By Troy Douthit
In light of the current challenges facing all of us during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Venture Inn Restaurant will be instituting the following measures to protect our guests and to reduce the spread of this illness. Beginning immediately, the dining room will be closed.
They will be offering our full menu with an enhanced carryout service. Guests need only place their order by phone, and their servers will bring it out to your car while you wait in our curbside service area. Look for their menu on Facebook and copies are available at the Venture Inn to take with you.
Paul Bunn, owner of the Venture Inn stated “In these trying times, we stand together with our community and friends, and will do everything in our power to keep our guests and employees safe while providing the best quality and service possible. We ask for your patience during this time. As the situation continues to evolve, so will our response.”
Please contact us at 293-7711 to place your order. Menus will be available on Facebook as well as the front desk of the Venture Inn. They welcome any comments you have to help enhance their service.