Several programs in the proposed Dane County budget that County Executive Joe Parisi unveiled Oct. 1 could affect Fitchburg area residents.

Those include social services, environmental protection and modern conveniences.

Parisi’s 2020 county budget proposal, headed to the Dane County Personnel and Finance committee for a round of public meetings next month, totals nearly $592 million, with a capital budget of more than $61.8 million. It would increase the operating portion of the county levy by 3.9% and increase of around $21.85 on the average home, valued at $300,967 this year, according to a county news release.

The County Board is set to vote on the 2020 budget at its Monday, Nov. 11 meeting.

Parisi said the budget “makes significant investments in compassionate services for our more vulnerable residents, infrastructure improvements to maintain public safety as our community continues to grow, and efforts to preserve our unique outdoor spaces.”

The budget includes $300,000 for the restoration of Badger Mill Creek, including habitat restoration around the Ice Age Trail.

The budget also includes $350,000 to purchase electric vehicle charging stations at 16 county sites, including Badger Prairie.

Human services initiatives, totaling $231.1 million, compose the most significant portion of the budget. Those initiatives include a $500,000 grant program for community centers to launch new mental and behavioral health work for kids and families, and over $600,000 in new funds for those centers to help address young peoples’ mental health needs.

The budget allots $33.6 million for “clean lakes, parks for people to play, and trails,” according to the news release, “a true commitment to a quality of life that keeps communities vibrant and growing.”

That includes doubling funding for the “Continuous Cover” program piloted last year to reduce run-off and preserve rural character, due to “overwhelming” interest, according to the news release. Last year, the county awarded grants to convert nearly 550 acres that had been in annual row crops into continuous, perennial cover.

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