Dane Co. board defers vote on additional $24 million for prison consolidation project

MADISON, Wis. — The Dane County Board of Supervisors on Thursday postponed a vote on a resolution to spend an additional $24 million on the Dane County Jail Consolidation Project.

The resolution the board estimated that it would have amended the county’s 2022 budget to allow for the issuance of additional general bonds of $24.48 million to cover project cost overruns of $150 million. The resolution cited “recent market developments” that made it necessary to request additional funds.

After about two hours of public comments and discussions between supporters and opponents of the consolidation plan, the supervisors postponed consideration of the resolution until their next meeting.

Dane County Sheriff Kalvin Barrett has been candid about the need to improve the jail, calling the current facility “inhumane and bordering on unconstitutional”.

Earlier this month, board chair Analise Eicher suggested downscaling the original prison proposal – which called for a new seven-story, 922-bed facility behind the public safety building. in downtown Madison – constructing a four-story tower and completing minimal renovations to the existing public safety building. Barrett said he wasn’t ready to give up on the original proposal.

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