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County Supervisors Propose $2 Million for Sustainability

For more information contact:

Supervisor Robin Schmidt, 608.576.1161


Issued By: County Board Supervisors
View only releases from County Board Supervisors

Supervisors Robin Schmidt and Chuck Erickson, along with County Board Chair John Hendrick, plan to propose an amendment to the 2014 capital budget allocating $2 million to make County projects more energy efficient and environmentally friendly. The 2013 allocation was just $100,000.


The Sustainable Management and Renewable Technology (SMART) Fund would be used to support sustainability goals adopted by the board in 2012. The money will be allocated to make existing capital and maintenance needs, as well as new projects, more efficient.


“When we talk about sustainability, we’re talking about the sustainability of the County Budget,” said Hendrick. “This investment will pay huge dividends over time.”


Examples of projects that could be funded by SMART fund dollars include priorities identified by County Executive Joe Parisi, such as energy efficiency upgrades at the Human Services Building or migrating County vehicles to run on compressed natural gas.


SMART funds, which would come from the issuing of long-term bonds and short-term notes, could also be used to cover the cost difference between a conventional vehicle and a fuel efficient one. Other uses could include replacement of HVAC systems and appliances in County buildings, or replacing lights in parking ramps with LED lamps. The County Board estimates that would cost $22,500 up front but could save as much as $65,000 per year in energy costs.


“Environmental stewardship and energy efficiency are top priorities of this board,” said Schmidt. “By building on the success of our initial investment, we will continue to reduce our operating costs, saving both taxpayer money and global resources.”


“We adopted sustainability principles last fall, and we mean to live by those principles,” said Erickson. “We are serious about getting the County off of fossil fuels and synthetic chemicals. This budget amendment is the first step toward achieving those goals.”


The Board adopted the following resolution in October 2012:


Dane County strives to operate in a sustainable way that will:

  • Reduce and eventually eliminate county government’s contribution to fossil fuel dependence and to wasteful use of scarce metals and minerals;
  • Reduce and eventually eliminate county government’s contribution to dependence upon persistent chemicals and wasteful use of synthetic substances;
  • Reduce and eventually eliminate county government’s contribution to encroachment upon nature and harm to life-sustaining ecosystems (e.g., land, water, wildlife, forest, soil, ecosystems); and
  • Reduce and eventually eliminate county government’s contribution to conditions that undermine people’s ability to meet their basic human needs.


The SMART Fund amendment is cosponsored by Supervisors Shelia Stubbs, Dorothy Krause, Heidi Wegleitner, Patrick Downing, Maureen McCarville, Nick Zweifel, Carl Chenoweth, Carousel Bayrd, Mary Kolar, Matt Veldran, Al Matano, and Kyle Richmond.

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