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Proposed Racine County Capital Projects Detailed

June 12, 2024 11:15a

(WGTD)---Racine County Executive Jonathan Delagrave is proposing a package of building projects worth $124 million. It’s a total that Delagrave—in speaking to the county board Tuesday night—admitted is probably unprecedented in county history.

Almost half of the total would finance a new, badly-needed, comprehensive emergency communications system and a new sheriff’s department substation to house it. Other measures include updating the Reefpoint Marina, covering part of the cost of an ice arena and approving the final funding piece for a new county mental health and substance abuse center that was announced a year-and-a-half ago.

Delagrave and other county officials laid out the projects in detail. "There's going to be some tough decisions that each of you are going to have to weigh and make," he said. "But I'm hoping we can come to a general consensus and tell our citiziens that yes we had to invest in this."

Delagrave noted that there’s wiggle room in some of his proposals: Several projects could be phased in. But Delagrave—who’s been county exec for nearly 10 years—believes strongly in the projects. "I got one last battle in me. This is it," he said. "It's paramount to how we move forward as a county for the ext 20 years." 

County Board Chair Tom Kramer said almost all of the projects have actually been on the table for some time. "It's a lot of money. But these are a lot of needs we have," Kramer said in a phone interview Wednesday morning. "We want to set the county up for the future." 

The impact on county taxpayers is expected to be discussed in depth June 19th. A public hearing will be held June 25th.

The county has a history of frugal spending. Delagrave reminded the board that Racine County ranks last among all Wisconsin counties in per capita spending. Also, it's just one of three counties without a county sales tax.