Outdoor SAC Treatment for COVID-19

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Outdoor SAC Treatment for COVID-19



Metropolitan Council Environmental Services (MCES) knows many cities have received inquiries this week about the impact SAC could have on restaurants and bars that are attempting to open in compliance with the governor’s order. The good news is MCES will not adjust or charge SAC during the order, given that these operations would be within current capacity and within the current statutory guidance.


Specifically, there will be no SAC due for restaurants that temporarily set up or expand outdoor seating due to the governor’s order.  This is in compliance with the SAC Statute because there is no additional capacity demanded on the system given the governor’s order of no indoor seating and a limit of 50 people outside.


Instead, Environmental Services will set up a tracking form for each city, where they will report to the Council the name, address, and new or expanded outdoor square feet for each restaurant that sets up temporary facilities.  These can be reported as the applications come in, weekly or at most, monthly.  Once the restriction is lifted, Environmental Services staff will send the list back to the cities and ask them to confirm that each restaurant is closing their outdoor facility or making it permanent.  If permanent, the normal SAC determination process will be followed.


This is the result of a collaborative meeting with about 15 city building officials, finance directors, and Council Member Wendy Wulff.  The tracking form and post-order follow up were at their (unanimous) request.  This was seen as the fastest and most business-friendly way to get restaurants back in business, while still tracking potential/future capacity demand on the system.


Please let me (ned.smith@metc.state.mn.us) or Jessie Nye (sacprogram@metc.state.mn.us) know if you have additional questions about this situation or the SAC process overall.  Feel free to forward this message as needed, especially to community development and building officials staff (although Jessie Nye is conducting separate outreach to those staff members).





Ned S. Smith

Environmental Services

Director, Finance and Revenue


Office 651-602-1162  |  Cell 612-250-4881

390 Robert Street North  |  St. Paul, MN | 55101  |  metrocouncil.org