Seal of Dane County County of Dane
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County Executive's Office

2020 County Budget Initiatives: Climate Change

Weed Barge Acker Farms

Adapting and Mitigating

County Executive Parisi’s budget creates a brand new sediment removal crew and purchases the equipment needed for the county to do its own hydraulic dredging. This ensures for years to come Dane County has the equipment and staff expertise in house to manage new work demands created by the new realities that pose unique challenges to a quickly growing area with diverse water resources.

$5 million in new county dollars is being included in this budget to purchase equipment needed for sediment removal work and the staff to carry out the job. This adds 4 new positions dedicated to this Yahara Chain of Lakes sediment removal work in the Land and Water Resources Department.

Like all areas, Dane County is susceptible to future flooding resulting from climate change induced extreme weather. Given that, County Executive Parisi is creating the new Dane County Flood Risk Reduction Fund to ensure the county can vie for public ownership of lands facing a similar situation to what we saw with the Acker Farm next to Pheasant Branch this summer. This fund will start off with $3 million in 2020.

$400,000 is being included in the 2020 budget to expedite the clean-up and repair of Pheasant Branch Conservancy from last year’s flooding. These dollars, when teamed with a county grant award to the City of Middleton this fall, will put Dane County close to $900,000 to help restore the Conservancy.

County Executive Parisi is doubling funding available for Dane County’s Continuous Cover Program by including $1.5 million in his 2020 budget. The benefits to this program are many – reducing phosphorus and carbon emissions, protecting lands for conservation in the face of expanding development pressures, and promoting habitats good for pollinators who continue to face adversity from challenges like pesticides and climate change.

CNG Plow Landfill Biogas Facility

Renewable Energy

Dane County is on the verge of having over 95 vehicles, including dozens of previously diesel guzzling heavy trucks and plows, running on compressed natural gas. This budget includes $1.2 million to further the fueling infrastructure needed to support Dane County’s CNG fleet countywide.

County Executive Parisi’s 2020 budget builds upon the county’s “green” fleet and adds infrastructure at county facilities to promote electric vehicle usage. He is including $350,000 to purchase electric vehicle charging stations at 16 county sites: five county dog parks – (Prairie Moraine, Badger Prairie, Token Creek, Capital Springs, and Viking Parks) along with the Alliant Energy Center, Job Center, Badger Prairie Nursing Home, and other county office buildings. Electric cars for the county fleet will also be acquired, expanding Dane County’s focus on cleaner transportation sources.

This budget includes $900,000 to take heat from the Renewable Natural Gas (RNG) plant at the landfill and run it to county facilities at the East District Campus. Heat from the processes used to convert landfill gas into vehicle fuel can be gathered and pumped under the highway to the medical examiner/911 facilities. This will further advance Dane County’s commitment to self-sustainability.

Future solar arrays are slated for the Sheriff’s Training Center outside of Waunakee, parks equipment facilities, and Consolidated Food Services.

The solar projects in this and previous budgets have put Dane County on a path to being 100% within a matter of a few years – not decades.