Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway released her $355.2 million capital budget for 2022 Tuesday, which aims to help to address issues brought about during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a press release, Rhodes-Conway acknowledged the progress Dane County has made in administering COVID-19 vaccines, with 73.7% of residents having received at least one dose of the vaccine, and emphasized that her budget seeks to help Madison residents recover from the economic impact of the pandemic.
“COVID remains with us, and although we have made great progress with vaccination levels in Dane County, we face ongoing challenges with the impacts of the virus on those who are not yet vaccinated, especially our kids,” Rhodes-Conway said. “Our economy is recovering, but many of our residents continue to be disproportionately affected by the impacts of the pandemic on their work, their housing and their economic security.”
In the press release, Rhodes-Conway lists three primary objectives for her budget, including the advancement of public safety, increasing the availability of affordable housing and diversifying the city workforce.
Advancement of Public Safety
Rhodes-Conway stated that she plans to expand public safety measures by continuing to provide necessary funds to the Madison Police Department and dedicating over $1 million towards the Madison Dane County Violence Prevention Roadmap program, which seeks to address violent crime.
Rhodes-Conway additionally announced her intention to provide over $600,000 in funding for the CARES (Community Alternative Response Emergency Services) program which utilizes teams of paramedics to respond to non-violent mental health calls, to avoid police officers having to respond.
Rodes-Conway’s capital budget allocates $21.6 million towards housing issues in 2022, in addition to approximately $10 million in additional funding as a result of the mayor’s executive operating budget.
The mayor detailed several projects which will receive funding to combat housing related issues, including dedicating $2 million for homelessness service operations and $6.59 million to assist individuals looking to purchase homes in Madison.
Rhodes-Conway also stated that her budget aims to continue and expand environmentally friendly employment opportunities, with the mayor claiming that such programs have disproportionately advanced the economic wellbeing of minority communities.
The mayor listed several programs which she plans to dedicate funding to in order to expand employment with the city of Madison including the continuation of the high school apprenticeship program for the Fleets Department and a plan to create an infrastructure employment and training program to create public jobs in sidewalk installation and repair.