Dane Co. Executive signs $696 million 2021 county budget

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Published: Nov. 13, 2020 at 2:42 PM CST|Updated: Nov. 13, 2020 at 2:46 PM CST
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - Dane County Executive Joe Parisi signed the 2021 county budget on Friday, which includes multiple points to address the impact COVID-19 has had on the community.

“Everything we have done leading up to this pandemic laid the groundwork for our response to it,” Parisi said. “Our shared sense of community and willingness to do whatever it takes to help one another is prevailing as we navigate this unrivaled time.”

The 2021 Budget: Resilient, Resolved, Continued Commitment to Community includes $9 million to continue to provide hotel rooms for those facing homelessness. The county hopes that this funding will keep those in need stay in a safer environment through June of 2021, citing the risk of COVID-19 now that the colder months are upon us.

Parisi also noted that mental health and addiction will continue to be a top priority during the pandemic and in the future. There was $300,000 allocated to study if developing a Behavioral Health Triage and Restoration Center would be possible. The center would be meant to divert those experiencing a mental health crisis away from a jail or emergency room, and instead encourage mental health resources and support.

Also included in the budget was $1 million to cover full staffing costs of the Behavioral Health Resource Center. Parisi believes this is one of the first of its kind in the country.

Affordable housing was another concern as the COVID-19 pandemic continues and the County Board included $7 million to the 2021 Dane County Affordable Housing Fund. This fund will work to build new housing across the county.

The total budget is set at $696 million, according to a news release. Parisi released the budget proposal in early October.

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