DANE COUNTY SCORES WELL ON EQUITY CONTRACTING
August 16, 2017
Sharon Corrigan, County Board Chair 608.333.2285
Consultant finds proper policies in place but urges more agency collaboration
Dane County has adopted excellent contracting and procurement policies in its ongoing effort to eliminate racial disparities, says a national consultant in a new report.
MGT Consulting of Florida has just completed a thorough review of county contracting practices and found that Dane County has detailed policies in place offering “ample policy guidance and direction” for purchasing goods and services.
The report also said Dane County policies are as good as or better than those of other units of government reviewed by MGT and found no evidence that any rules are being circumvented.
“This report confirms that we are on the right track in putting the financial muscle of Dane County to work addressing the troublesome disparities in our community,” said County Board Chair Sharon Corrigan. “At the same time, MGT indicates there is still work to be done to implement those policies.”
The MGT report will be presented to the Dane County Board’s Executive Committee Thursday at 5 p.m. prior to the regular full board meeting at 7 p.m. in Room 201 of the City County Building.
A copy of the report is available here.
The 2015 Dane County Racial Equity Analysis laid out goals for reducing economic inequality and identified government contracting and purchasing as one area where policy makers could make an impact. Dane County has an annual operating budget of nearly $650 million.
The MGT report said the challenge remains translating the goals of addressing racial disparities into tangible action and results. It made several recommendations, including having the Purchasing Division and other departments involved in significant procurement activities, such as Department of Human Services and Public Works, collaborate with the Office for Equity and Inclusion in identifying additional opportunities for greater utilization of minority- and women-owned businesses that provide goods and services used by Dane County.
“By all measures, Dane County is thriving but as the report shows the challenge is in making sure that prosperity is shared throughout our communities of color,” said Supervisor Sheila Stubbs of Madison “Obviously this is a major challenge but as elected officials we need to make sure we use every tool at our disposal to the utmost.”
Also Thursday the Dane County Board will:
Consider a contract with Movin’ Out Inc. of Madison to assist with a 48-unit affordable housing project on West Broadway. Movin’ Out was awarded $384,000 to support the project but statutes do not allow the county to make a grant directly to Movin’ Out for development costs. Instead, an alternative strategy was developed where the county will purchase a portion of the building using a condominium arrangement and lease the unit back to Movin’ Out for a nominal fee.
Consider a $75,000 contract with BIOFerm USA of Madison for a biogas cleaning system for converting landfill gas into high BTU biomethane at the Dane County Rodefeld Landfill on U.S. 12 & 18. The $18 million project is designed to turn waste methane into compressed natural gas or “CNG” that can be sold via pipeline. Dane County is looking to replace lost revenue when a 10-year contract to generate electricity from landfill gas for Madison Gas & Electric expires in 2019.
Consider a $63,000 contract with Strand Associates for professional services to develop plans and specifications for construction to remove stream bed sediments from Dorn Creek. The project is the first phase of a multi-year effort to dredge phosphorus laden material that is contributing to excessive weed growth and dangerous algae blooms in the Yahara chain of lakes. ?Dorn Creek is located northwest of Madison, and flows into Lake Mendota at Governor Nelson State Park.
Hear Dane County Watershed Management Coordinator Sue Jones, in her annual presentation to the County Board, speak about improving Dane County waters through inclusive partnerships. She will focus on the Lakes and Watershed Commission priorities of reducing phosphorus and chloride pollution, and equity and inclusion approaches being taken by the Commission and Land and Water Resources Department.