December 13, 2016
County Board Chair Sharon Corrigan - 608.333.2285
County Board

Thanks to a grant from the Wisconsin Division of Emergency Management, the Dane County Board is moving forward on replacing an armored rescue vehicle used by the Sheriff’s Department.


Acceptance of the $225,000 grant was approved by the Board’s Personnel and Finance Committee last week and will go before the full Dane County Board at its regular meeting Thursday, Dec. 15.


The Lenco BearCat armored vehicle will replace a similar model that was damaged in April, 2008. The vehicle is designed to protect officers and the public during high-pressure incidents with armed subjects.


Paul Rusk, Chair of the Public Protection and Judiciary Committee, concurred, “It is important to understand this defensive vehicle saves lives, both law enforcement and community members.”


Dane County Sheriff Dave Mahoney explained to the Board that he understands concerns about the use of heavy equipment by local police departments but emphasized the vehicle with its rubber tires, glass windows and flashing lights is primarily a defensive vehicle for protection and rescue purposes. “This replacement BearCat is not a military vehicle,” he said. “It is a civilian armored vehicle much like the vehicles that pull up every day in front of the courthouse, grocery store or bank.”


County Board Chair Sharon Corrigan said she agrees with Mahoney.  “Accepting this grant helps keep our officers out of harm’s way which helps ensure public safety”, she said.  The County Board will consider accepting the grant funding for the BearCat replacement on Thursday.


The County Board will also consider a major initiative regarding water quality at its meeting this week.  Continuing its efforts to improve Madison-area waters, the Board is set to approve a plan for addressing farm runoff while also providing grants to local governments for controlling urban storm water.


The Board is expected to OK a five-year agreement with the Yahara Watershed Improvement Network to address phosphorus reduction in the northeast section of the county. Phosphorous is the byproduct of animal waste and a major contributor to weed and algae growth in the lakes.


The five-year deal under which Dane County will receive up to $2.25 million, calls for farmers to work with the county to adopt adaptive managements practices such as limiting manure spreading during the winter, fencing to keep livestock out of streams and other conservation measures. The county will provide revenue and staffing assistance via the Land & Water Resources Department as provided in the 2017 budget.


“This is an ‘upstream approach’ to improving water quality by helping our farmers to adopt the most modern management practices available,” said Corrigan.


The Yahara Watershed Improvement Network was established in 2012 by the Madison Metropolitan Sewerage District with input from various stakeholders including Dane County. The long-term goal is to reduce phosphorus levels in the Rock River, which ultimately receives discharges from the sewerage district via Badfish Creek.


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