Dane County approves 2015 Budget

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“In crafting the 2015 budget, we focused on protecting a quality of life that our community values and that also keeps our economic development and job creation far outpacing the rest of the state,” Parisi said. “I am grateful to the many partners and other elected officials who worked with me to meet these goals.”

The 2015 operating budget totals $532.7 million and the capital budget borrowing totals $42.4 million.  The rainy day fund balance, which was in negative numbers when Parisi took office due to the recession, is projected to reach $20 million by the end of 2015.

“This budget is all about progress,” Dane County Board Chair Sharon Corrigan said. “It addresses our most pressing needs, moving Dane County forward toward better emergency response, fewer people in homelessness and smarter criminal justice while keeping up our infrastructure, caring for our most vulnerable citizens and remaining respectful of our hardworking taxpayers.”

Parisi noted a few of the budget highlights, including:

  • 46 miles of additional roads being plowed 24-hours-a-day when needed and seven new compressed natural gas snowplows that help combat climate change and save taxpayer money on fuel
  • A partnership with the Dane County Medical Examiner and Rock County, formalized in this budget that  produces revenue for the county and allows for funding top-notch staff to conduct death investigations
  • Unprecedented $10 million in efforts to clean up Dane County lakes and waters, realized through new partnerships and such programs as manure storage, expanded conservation practices and high-tech removal of 100% phosphorus from manure
  • Development of new bike paths and recreational spaces, including  the Lower Yahara Trail and a PARC-and-Ride bike program
  • A focus on investments to get families out of homeless shelters and into affordable housing as well as building on job training and employment services for youth with Operation Fresh Start and Project Big Step.
  • Upgrades to the DaneCom radio system, eight new 911 communicator pre-hires, five new Sheriff pre-hires and $100,000 for upgrades to Emergency Management’s Incident Command Vehicle, used during such events as the Verona tornado
  • Pilot environmental projects that can protect Dane County’s environment, including  solar at the medical examiner’s new building and the landfill, and a CO2 elimination system to be tested at the landfill that could result in marketable commodities
  • $750,000 for improvements to bring more concerts and shows to the Coliseum
  • $20,000 for outreach to Dane County’s growing Latino population on opportunities for both economic development and access to affordable housing.

County taxes represent roughly 15% of an indivdual’s property tax bill and the signed budget equates to a $23.14 increase on the average Madison home valued at $237,678

“In challenging economic times and when facing economic uncertainties, I am proud that in Dane County we worked together to keep costs down for taxpayers through collaboration,” Parisi added. “We protected important services, quality of life and our communities’ most vulnerable.”