Dane Co. Jail Consolidation May Need More Funding Than Expected

MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) – A committee from Dane Co. is asking for additional funding of $ 23 million to continue the prison consolidation project.

The Public Protection and Justice Committee on Tuesday voted in favor of an amendment to the 2022 capital budget proposal. This would increase funding for the prison project, which currently costs $ 148 million.

“As a board of directors, we are committed to the taxpayers, to the citizens of Dane County, to consolidate our three penal institutions into one to make it a safer, more efficient place,” said District 19 Supervisor Tim Rockwell, who sponsored the amendment. , noted.

He cited the influence of the pandemic on the higher costs of building materials. “It was a big project, the biggest in Dane County history, sure, and there is a price tag to it,” he said.

The additional funding has not yet been approved by the supervisory board.

Dane County Sheriff Kalvin Barrett has said he supports the budget amendment. “I am committed to achieving the prison consolidation objectives defined by the county council and committees; delays and deviations from this plan continue to threaten the health and safety of those who live, work and volunteer at the CCB, ”said Barrett.

The sheriff noted that this December will mark five years since the Dane County Jail Update Study findings that the county should not “extend the life” of the jail but ” should endeavor to exit the building as quickly as possible “.

The seven-member Public Protection and Judiciary Committee included three supervisors who voted against the budget amendment. District 11 Supervisor Richelle Andrae said, “I think it’s important that we build exactly the right project for what we need and not over-build or under-build on the project. “

She said a lot has changed since the start of the project. “We have this very unique opportunity. Right in the middle of our planning project, a pandemic is coming. Let’s take this opportunity to ask every last question.

District 9 supervisor Alex Joers also voted against the budget amendment. He wrote to NBC15: “We have to finish the prison consolidation project. However, the amendment discussed last night was tabled prematurely. The dollar amount provided does not contain all the information we, as elected officials, need to make responsible and accurate decisions, nor does it facilitate movement on the project. “

Before the amendment goes to the supervisory board, it must first be passed by the county staff and finance committee.

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