This budget includes record amounts of funding for road construction, repair and maintenance, more clean air powered trucks that run on renewable fuel, and additional highway staff. My highway capital budget totals $27.7 million with an additional $28.3 million for day to day operations.
Over $22 million of this is for new projects next year – a new Dane County record high. Most notably, the budget includes the county’s share of funds ($6 million pending an agreement with the City of Fitchburg) to begin the renovation of Fish Hatchery Road. Pending a similar agreement with the City of Madison, the budget includes $1.6 million for the reconstruction of Buckeye Road. Additional significant projects are planned for Highway S (Mineral Point Road) and Highway P outside of Cross Plains.
While county government has many success stories, one of our areas of greatest growth is the Dane County Regional Airport. As passenger numbers increase (up 20% in the month of July 2018, over 8% year to date), so too do the number of direct flights and overall air service to what is truly the economic gateway to our community and region.
Given the vitality of our local economy and continued growth in both jobs and population, there’s little reason to anticipate a decline in our airport’s performance anytime soon. This budget includes $20-million for a bold modernization and expansion project of the Dane County Regional Airport’s Terminal. At an estimated total cost that could exceed $50-million, this project will expand the main terminal, add new gates to bring in additional flights, and replace the airport’s jet bridges along with adding a new bridge. It will also upgrade security, lighting, bathrooms, and plumbing, and add more space to the airport concourse.
In 2014, Dane County leased the former Badger Prairie Health Center Administration building to the Badger Prairie Needs Network (BPNN) for its work to support families in the Verona area. BPNN’s food pantry service area now assists households in six different school districts.
Since moving into the county facility, Badger Prairie Needs Network has increased the number of individuals it serves by 76% (13,300 people) and distributed items for over 425,000 meals. This incredibly effective organization has really taken off and is making a difference every day in the lives of so many. In this budget, I’m including $160,000 for further upgrades to the facility, which is still owned by Dane County. These improvements will provide a physical environment that accommodates the building’s new use and allow for additional cold and frozen food storage.