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Washington County Proposes Plan to #JustFixIt for Local County Highways

Board to Consider 2050 Transportation Network Sustainability Plan

At its January 24th meeting, the Public Works Committee approved the draft 2050 Transportation Network Sustainability Plan for Washington County.  The plan provides a strategic roadmap to conduct recommended maintenance, resurfacing and reconstruction of all County Highways on a timely basis, coupled with a sufficient funding model within the confines State of Wisconsin mandated revenue limits.  The plan was named as a goal of the Washington County Board of Supervisors at its most recent strategic planning meeting in 2017. 

When asked about the proposed plan, Public Works Committee Chairman John Bulawa said, "Time and again we have heard from voters that adequately funding our transportation network was one of their highest priority, #JustFixIt.  This plan leverages the County Board's diligent efforts from Priority Based Budgeting to redirect hard earned taxpayer dollars from lower priority programs into the higher priority of ensuring 'Effective Mobility and Reliable Infrastructure' for the quality of life of the citizens of Washington County."

The County Highway Department maintains 186 miles of county highway.  "A well‐maintained, reliable, and accessible transportation network has always been a goal of the Department, and it is imperative that we plan for a system of county highways that will enhance safety, ease congestion, and ensure efficient mobility well into the future. We are excited to present a plan that will not only continue the County's tradition of a high-quality county highway system but enhance that tradition for many decades into the future," said County Highway Commissioner Scott Schmidt. 

Items of interest in the plan include the following:

  • Road, bridge and maintenance projects are presented through 2050
  • Future road improvement costs adjusted for inflation for the transportation system in the County are estimated at $143,772,460 through 2050
  • County sales tax and State/Federal revenues are the primary funding mechanism for County infrastructure maintenance
  • Although all options are presented, no new taxes or fees are proposed to offset additional funds needed within the first 10 years of the plan (2018-2028)
  • If implemented, the County's future road system needs will be adequately funded and maintained through 2050

"As the State of Wisconsin and most local governments across the State struggle to develop solutions to adequately fund even the most basic maintenance of their respective road systems, Washington County is leading the way to #JustFixIt by putting forth a plan which would 100% fund the maintenance, resurfacing and reconstruction of all county highways for the next three decades," said County Administrator Joshua Schoemann.  "I believe this plan will serve as a model across the State, further demonstrating how setting priorities can result in solutions to maximize the use of every taxpayer dollar we receive and meeting the expectations for essential government services."

The full plan will be considered by the full County Board for final approval on February 13th and can be found on the County's website.

2050 Transportation Network Sustainability Plan

Economic Development Washington County (EDWC) Develops Plan to Operate without County Taxes

County Board Approves EDWC Sustainability Plan
At its March 13th meeting, the Washington County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a plan to support Economic Development Washington County without County tax contributions beginning in 2022. The plan "doubles down" on investment in the County's Economic Development Strategy. It funds the County's Revolving Loan Fund programs to the tune of an additional $10 million and steps down the County's contributions to EDWC's operating budget over the next five years (2018-2022). The result is an astonishing $18.5 million dollar evergreen fund for economic development enabling EDWC to use fees for service and interest earnings to sustain their operations.

"This plan is a great example of a strategic investment for Washington County," said County Administrator Joshua Schoemann. "The direction and injection of tax payer resources to economic growth and vitality of the County through EDWC with the intent to attract, retain and develop businesses is no coincidence." Economic Growth and Vitality was named a top priority in the County's priority based budgeting exercise.

EDWC has geared their efforts into growing the current economic status of Washington County through decision support, deal structuring, and consulting services. The ultimate goal is to create an attractive and competitive economic atmosphere. With 98% of EDWC customers being existing Washington County corporations, EDWC's success includes 2,222 new jobs created, $146,742,504 new annual wages, and $491,377,913 in new annual sales over the past six years (2011-2016).

"EDWC has become recognized statewide how it innovatively structures deals to create a win-win for both Washington County growth companies and the local residents who work for them," said EDWC's Executive Director, Christian Tscheschlok, "funding our work in this way extends that innovative capability to fuel a self-sustaining growth engine, adding a third win: a lesser burden for taxpayers as the base grows from each resulting success."

In 2017, the County created an Advisory Committee to meet with various entities such as EDWC with the objective to work together and develop an effective financial sustainability plan that will assist each entity to become independent of County funding to sustain their operations. EDWC's plan marks the first outside entity plan to be approved by the County Board. Earlier, the County Board approved the Transportation Network Sustainability Plan to fund road maintenance and the Parks Fiscal Sustainability Plan to fund parks. These initiatives have enabled Washington County to better meet taxpayer demands to achieve lower taxes and quality services.

2018 Full Service Clean Sweep

2018 Full Service Clean Sweep
May 5th (Saturday - 8 am - Noon)

Washington County Slinger Highway Shop  
 314 West Washington St., (Hwy 175)

Slinger, WI 53086

The Full Service Clean Sweep is an opportunity for 
Washington County residents to properly dispose or recycle unwanted
Hazardous Waste, Electronics, TV's and Large Household Appliances 
Pharmaceutical Medication and Used Tires.

There is a $30.00/Vehicle Pre-Registration Fee charged for disposal of Hazardous Waste, Electronics, TVs and Large Appliances. Pharmaceutical Medication Collection is FREE of Charge.
Disposal Fees Apply for Tires.

Damkot Named President of Wisconsin Land Information Association

Washington County Data Services Manager/Land Information Officer, Eric Damkot, was announced as president of the Wisconsin Land Information Association (WLIA) at its annual conference last week in Elkhart Lake.

"This is a tremendous honor for Eric and is indicative of the type of leadership culture that we hope to foster in Washington County," said County Administrator Joshua Schoemann. "We are continually seeking opportunities to foster collaboration and develop new, innovative solutions for government and private industry. I can think of no better person to help lead Wisconsin's GIS professionals than Eric."

The WLIA is made up of professionals dedicated to bringing geographic information system (GIS) solutions to problems facing both government and private industry. For 30 years its nearly 1,000 members throughout Wisconsin have been leaders in the development, operation and maintenance of a network of statewide GIS and land information systems. WLIA members facilitate rural broadband mapping, e911, real estate development, and conservation planning. Its members provide emergency management maps and applications addressing flooding and other public safety concerns. The data WLIA members produce is essential for economic development, public safety, emergency management, environmental monitoring, engineering, transportation, marketing and demographic analysis, utilities and more.

Damkot previously served 3 years on the WLIA board of directors and was the association's president-elect/annual conference committee chair in 2017. While on the board, he served on various committees including 2 years as chair of its legislative committee.

2018 Budget-in-Brief is Now Available

The Budget-in-Brief is a summary document of the County's 2018 Budget. Please refer to the Finance Department Website Page for the full budget document.