County board’s Black Caucus announces jail funding gap plan

The Black Caucus of the Dane County Board has introduced a plan to fix a funding gap for the troubled jail consolidation project, according to a Wisconsin State Journal report. The latest version of the project includes a five-story building with 725 beds and the deletion of acute medical housing on the fourth floor. In a statement, supervisors explained, “Data indicate that if disparities are reduced, a smaller jail will meet the county’s needs for years to come.” The Dane County Board had appropriated $166 million to consolidate its existing jail facilities in a six-story tower with 825 beds. However, even with a smaller project scope, the compromised plan from March is about $10 million over budget. By cutting a floor to the project, a referendum for additional funding will not be necessary for the November ballot.