Editor's Note: The following column was written by Waukesha County Executive Dan Vrakas.
Last month, I introduced my executive budget to the Waukesha County Board of Supervisors. I am extremely proud of this budget, which reduces spending and county taxes on a median-valued home. In many ways, this accomplishment is due to Waukesha County’s commitment to seeking partnerships to increase efficiency.
In the past two years, Waukesha County has saved local municipalities more than $2 million through partnerships and collaborations. Providing consolidated emergency dispatch services, signing municipal contracts for police patrols, and working together on highway and other projects have contributed to this savings.
Some key partnerships in next year’s budget include:
- Joint Dispatch: In September, the County began providing 24 hour emergency 9-1-1 dispatching to residents of the City of New Berlin. According to an independent study, this will save New Berlin an estimated $900,000 per year.
- Waukesha County will begin the design phase to migrate its trunked radio systems from analogue to digital. As part of the upgrades, the county is cooperating with Milwaukee County to jointly fund a study. We hope the study will result in a plan to increase public safety communication between our respective counties and save tax dollars for both counties.
- The Department of Public Works is working with the University of Wisconsin System to increase energy efficiency in order to save utility costs at UW- Waukesha. Through cost-sharing, the county will save significant dollars on the purchase of equipment while the college will save on energy bills.
I am confident that these partnerships, and many others, will continue to pay future dividends.