Parisi signs 2022 Dane County budget, touting pandemic relief and climate change initiatives

Parisi Crisis Triage Center Announcement

MADISON, Wis. — Dane County Executive Joe Parisi signed the county’s 2022 budget on Wednesday morning, touting its investments in mental health, efforts to fight climate change, and helping the county rebound from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The 2022 Dane County budget puts a strategic focus on the health and well-being of our people and protection of the resources and places that define us,” Parisi said in a statement. “This budget builds on successful county initiatives while exploring new opportunities to make a difference in Dane County residents’ lives.”

“We continue to operate in difficult and uncertain times, but by working together and fostering partnerships, we are making investments to meet the needs of our communities and our people,” Parisi added.

Among the things included in the $754.9 million budget:

  • $15.6 million in highway projects, including $2 million for the reconstruction of Highway M north of Lake Mendota.
  • $10 million for site acquisition, planning, and development of a Crisis Triage Center, a one-stop facility that will aim to help keep people out of the criminal justice system and link them with services to address any barriers they may face. An additional $1 million will be dedicated to service and operational needs when the Triage Center opens.
  • $8.2 million for the county’s “Hotels to Housing” program to help families experiencing homelessness search for and get housing and help pay housing costs for up to two years.
  • $4.7 million in American Rescue and Recovery funds being set aside for yet-unknown pandemic-related expenses that may emerge in the next year.
  • $5 million to buy trailers that haul compressed natural gas to help convert more County trucks away from diesel.
  • $3.2 million to buy eight more compressed natural gas-powered snowplows.
  • $2 million for the installation of a new compressed natural gas-filling station at the county highway garage on Fish Hatchery Road.
  • $3 million set aside for the next phase of flood reduction dredging in the Yahara River, from Lake Kengonsa to County Highway B.
  • $2.5 million for the county’s “Continuous Cover Program” dedicated to conservation and water quality.
  • $1 million to extend housing protections for those at risk of homelessness and add funds to the county’s Emergency Food Pandemic Response partnership with Second Harvest.
  • $250,000 to help launch a new mobile and virtual mental health program with the Dane County Sheriff’s Office.

The budget was approved by the county board earlier this month and included roughly $1 million more in operating spending and $6 million more in capital spending than Parisi had originally proposed.

Taxes on the average home in Dane County will increase by an average of nearly $68, according to previous news releases.