KEY LISTENING SESSIONS AHEAD FOR COUNTY BOARD
October 12, 2018
Sharon Corrigan, County Board Chair 608.333.2285
Public feedback sought on budget, Alliant Energy Center, future growth
The Dane County Board wants to hear from a broader slice of the community, and residents will have a great opportunity next week to weigh in on a variety of important issues.
On Wednesday, the Board will host a public hearing on County Executive Joe Parisi’s proposed 2019 budget. The hearing begins at 7 p.m. in Room 201 of the City-County Building in downtown Madison.
Parisi has proposed a $557.3 million operating budget and $63.2 million capital budget for next year. It would boost the county property tax levy by .35 percent, with a home valued at $285,000 seeing the country portion of their taxes dropping $12.
The budget calls for over $18 million for flood risk mitigation and managing future responses to extreme weather. It also establishes a new a mental health mobile crisis intervention team and includes $20 million in capital spending for upgrades at the Dane County Regional Airport terminal.
"This board has made it a priority to encourage a more diverse group of people to get involved in their local government and this a perfect chance for feedback," said County Board Chair Sharon Corrigan (District 26, Middleton). “I’d like to personally invite new voices into the discussion as we move forward.”
"It's important for us to hear from those we serve. The budget is a reflection of our values,” said Supervisor Patrick Miles (District 34, McFarland) who chairs the Personnel & Finance Committee. "The more we hear from those we serve, the better the budget will reflect what's important to them."
In July, the Board launched its "Engage Dane" initiative (https://board.countyofdane.com/Engage-Dane) aimed at improving communication between elected officials and local residents -- including people of color, seniors and those living in rural areas. The goal is to have an action plan in place by the end of this year.
A team that includes County Board Supervisors Paul Nelson (District 9, far West Madison and Middleton); Kelly Danner (District 11, near West Madison) Yogesh Chawla (District 6, near East Madison) and Tanya Buckingham (District 24, southeast Madison and Monona) has already been meeting with different community groups to gather input on the Engage Dane effort.
“One thing we are hearing clearly is that people would like to be involved in a conversation rather than being talked at,” said Buckingham. “Our job as elected officials is to make sure we are representing all residents and responding to their concerns.”
Another opportunity for public involvement comes Monday with the unveiling of the draft Alliant Energy Center Campus Master Plan (https://aecstudy.countyofdane.com/). A public event is scheduled from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the Alliant Energy Center’s Exhibition Hall, with beverages and hors d ’oeuvres being served, to get reaction to the draft plan.
The Master Plan calls for a major redevelopment of the 164-acre county-owned campus that would include upgrades to existing facilities along with new projects such as hotels, restaurants and activity spaces. One goal is to provide employment opportunities and boost economic development in the neighborhoods adjacent to the center while also improving connections to Lake Monona and the downtown.
“We’d love your take on this draft,” said Corrigan. “This is the early stage of a long-term process to reinvigorate an underutilized asset and now is the time to get involved.”
Also, the Dane County Board is participating with leaders from business, government and the nonprofit sector in asking residents and visitors to take a 10-minute “A Greater Madison Vision” survey to share views on how the region should grow and develop.
The online survey allows respondents to choose a preferred approach to housing, jobs, transportation, roads, rural preservation, water and the environment. The survey is live now at www.greatermadisonvision.com and runs through November 12.