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The Daily Cardinal Est. 1892
Wednesday, April 24, 2024
Dane County Executive Joe Parisi signed the county budget this week.

Dane County Executive Joe Parisi signed the county budget this week.

Parisi signs 2017 budget with property tax raise

The Dane County Board approved a budget for 2017 in a 34-2 vote Monday, which “makes unprecedented investments in compassionate services,” according to Dane County Executive Joe Parisi.

Parisi signed the $587,112,816 budget Friday. According to a press release from County Executive Communications Director Stephanie Miller, the budget puts forth new initiatives to improve the City of Madison, while maintaining what has always been important to Dane County residents.

The new initiatives include improving the clean-up efforts in lakes, as well as assisting schools through the increased number of mental health associates, assisting teenagers in acquiring a driver’s license and larger investments to help the mentally handicapped.

With the fourth Mental Health Crisis Team on its way for the Madison School District, Miller said, “The new team will focus exclusively on the La Follette attendance area and be jointly funded by the school district and county.”

The new budget will also expand funding for mental health programs outside of Madison, such as in Sun Prairie, DeForest and Verona School Districts. A total of $694,925 will be used to battle the effects of mental illness, which Parisi said are “far reaching, affecting classrooms, families and workplaces.”

Phosphorus is another element toward which the budget money will be allocated. To enhance water quality, “Dane County will invest $12 million over the next four years,” Miller continued, “to remove 870,000 pounds.” A charge of $15 per pound will be assessed.

The Office of the County Executive also reported that three times as much money will be used for solar power. Climate change and the reduction of burning fossil fuels is evident in the budget, as a renewable form of natural gas is desired to operate county equipment like snow plows.

Given Madison’s ranking as one of America’s friendliest cities to bikers, the Dane County Board has also approved $2 million to fund the engineers and designers necessary to create three new bike trails. The budget for road work itself was not clarified.

The 2017 budget is said to increase property taxes by nearly 3 percent, or by about $22 for the average Madison home, according to the press release.

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