$663.3 million Dane County 2020 budget signed

Dane County’s $663.3 million 2020 budget has officially been signed.

The budget sets aside $52,000 to create a partnership with the youth mentor organization Operation Fresh Start to get high school graduates who do not have a driver’s license to complete the process.

This will help 120 more students get drivers education. The budget also adds $3 million to the affordable housing fund and creates a new division of housing access and affordability. Another highlight is almost $2 million to further address mental health.

“Someone was having mental health challenges, and there weren’t always the resources in the schools to help the young person and their family,” said Dane County Executive Joe Parisi. “So we created a program called Building Bridges, which puts two-person mental health teams in schools so they’re available to young people when they need help so that they can get connected to services and bring in their family and they can get the help they need.”

Another big piece of the budget is going toward fighting the effects of climate change and flooding. A sum of $5 million is being dedicated to creating a sediment removal crew. Equipment is also being purchased for the county so it can do its own hydraulic dredging.

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