Noting the recent drastic changes in day-to-day life, Dane County Executive Joe Parisi announced last week the county is temporarily freezing hiring for most positions.

In a Thursday, March 19, county news release, Parisi said the county’s budget will be “one of the casualties” of the crisis, with expected declines in sales tax and investment income – two key revenue sources for the county. To help mitigate those effects, he announced an immediate freeze on any position not critical to coronavirus response efforts.

Those positions exempt from the hiring freeze include janitorial positions, sheriff’s deputies, 911 communicators, election staff, Badger Prairie Health Care Center staff, social workers and airport and solid waste employees, the release said.

“Other positions will be subject to an appeal process to help prioritize the most critical county functions in the context of reduced resources,” the release said.

Parisi said if the current investment income trend continues for the balance of the year, the county will lose around $1.4 million in revenue. Other county programs will suffer losses, he said, including parks and Heritage Center revenues, and concessions at the Henry Vilas Zoo.

“At this point, we can only project that substantial financial declines are on the horizon,” Parisi said. “No one can yet foresee the duration of the mitigation strategies that are and will be implemented, so it is difficult to make predictions about the extent of the financial losses we face.

“These are historic times,” he continued. “We face a challenge like none we have experienced in this modern era.”

Email Unified Newspaper Group reporter Scott De Laruelle at scott.delaruelle@wcinet.com.