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Rhodes-Conway releases 2022 budget; housing and busing major highlights

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Madison mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway

MADISON (WKOW) -- Madison Mayor Satya-Rhodes Conway released her 2022 Executive Capital Budget and five-year Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) Tuesday.

The plan highlights green energy, housing and public transit as areas of focus.

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In a news release from the City of Madison, Rhodes-Conway said that Madison is still working through the many difficulties presented by the ongoing COVID-19. As such, she said it's important for the city to provide financial support for both businesses and people struggling with the pandemic.

“COVID is still present in our community, as are the unprecedented challenges it has created,” Rhodes-Conway said. “The ongoing response to the pandemic has reinforced the importance of resilience and sustainability, and my 2022 Executive Capital Budget seeks to focus our capital investments on those priorities.”

Housing assistance makes up a substantial portion of the funds, with $20 million dedicated to consumer lending programs and $42 million for affordable public housing. The CIP also calls for the redevelopment of existing public housing, such as Truax Apartments.

“Building back better from the pandemic means we must address racial equity and social justice – through sustainable ways of living and working, through housing options that are affordable for everyone, and through strategies to foster equitable business development. This budget makes investments to advance those goals," Rhodes-Conway said.

Rhodes-Conway's budget will continue to redevelop Madison's busing system. It devotes $4 million to developing a north-south line, as well as an east-west line that will soon enter construction. Additionally, the budget allocates $120,000 to include Madison in the Amtrak Connects US plan. This would provide a long-sought city-to-city train service through Madison.

The budget would also provide substantial funding for environmentally sustainable projects, including $16.5 million for purchasing electric city vehicles and $2,25 million for converting all city streetlights to LEDs.

The budget will be introduced to the Madison Common Council during its August 31 meeting.

Peter Culver

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