DANE COUNTY BOARD TO REVIEW EQUITY PROGRESS
October 16, 2019
Sharon Corrigan, County Board Chair, 608.333.2285
Thursday meeting includes MGE solar power buy, Indian Lake Park land acquisition
Continuing its effort to break down barriers and reduce racial disparities, the Dane County Board on Thursday will consider a resolution to review how the various county departments are performing when it comes to hiring, inclusion, conflict resolution and best practices.
The equity plan review is among the key items before the County Board at its regular meeting in Room 201 of the City-County Building at 210 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. in downtown Madison. The meeting begins at 7 p.m. and is open to the public.
“This review will help us shine a light on how we are doing and on what areas might need more attention,” said County Board Chair Sharon Corrigan (District 26, Middleton). “This board is committed to heightening awareness, eliminating disparities and achieving equity in all county functions.”
Following the release of the 2013 Race to Equity report that highlighted alarming racial disparities in Dane County, Supervisors approved the “Dane County Equity Initiative” which called for a strategic action plan for county government. The initiative also established the Racial Equity Social Justice staff team which continues to meet on a monthly basis.
In addition, the Board established the Tamara D. Grigsby Office for Equity and Inclusion (OEI), to guide Dane County’s equal opportunity, affirmative action, contract compliance and civil rights compliance functions. Working with the Office for Equity and Inclusion, each department was asked to draft an equity plan to be posted on the OEI website.
The resolution before the Board Thursday calls for each standing committee of the County Board -- as part of the 2020 budget process and each budget going forward -- to review the equity plans of each department for which it has oversight. It also provides for a review of the equity plans by the OEI Advisory Board while urging all departments to complete their plans in a timely fashion.
“I'm glad to see our departments are responding to this equity initiative but more work needs to be done,” said resolution lead sponsor Supervisor Shelia Stubbs (District 23, Madison). “Making sure that county government works for everyone must remain a core focus of what we do."
Also Thursday, the Board will consider a 30-year agreement with Madison Gas & Electric to purchase the electricity to be generated at a solar photovoltaic power installation planned for 67 acres of land north of the Dane County Regional Airport. The 9-megawatt facility will be developed and operated by MGE under a leasing arrangement with the county.
When completed and operating at full capacity, the solar power installation will provide up to 40 percent of the county’s electricity needs at an estimated savings of $137,000 in the first year alone. The county’s purchase of renewable electricity from the airport will also reduce greenhouse gas emissions by the equivalent of 2,700 cars or the burning of 7,000 tons of coal annually.
"This exciting clean energy partnership with MGE not only will reduce carbon emissions but will save taxpayers money by reducing electric costs for county operations,” said Supervisor Chuck Erickson (District 13, Madison) who serves on the county’s Public Works Sustainability Subcommittee.
In other action Thursday, the Board will consider purchase of 23 acres of land to expand Indian Lake County Park and provide a better link to the Ice Age National Scenic Trail. The $168,000 purchase will increase opportunities for public recreation while providing a rerouting of the existing “Red Trail” to aid in resolving some erosion issues.
The full meeting agenda is available at https://dane.legistar.com/View.ashx?M=A&ID=643904&GUID=F2A8C486-E14F-4C60-8811-980762C404F9.