Cleaner lakes and cleaner air are reachable goals in Dane County, if innovations in County Executive Joe Parisi's 2013 budget come to light.
Parisi rolled out his "Clean Lakes, Clean Energy" budget at a news conference Thursday.
"Cleaning up our lakes, preserving our lands and investing in green energy like solar, wind and alternative fuels are shared values that enhance our quality of life in Dane County," Parisi said in prepared statements.
"My budget reflects a continued commitment to protecting and enhancing the resources that make our home such an attractive place to live, work and visit," Parisi said.
$4.5 million is earmarked toward cleaning up lakes, mainly through eliminating phosphorus, which is the chief culprit in producing ugly, smelly and sometimes toxic algae.
A manure digester being built in the town of Springfield in 2013 will have new technology to remove 100 percent of the phosphorus from animal waste brought to the digester.
Another pilot project will test the effectiveness of alum, an everyday household canning product, on preventing phosphorus from getting out of farm fields and into area waterways.
One of the more interesting items is the purchase of a fleet of snow plows that will run on natural gas.
This is in line with Parisi's intent to have the whole county vehicle fleet on CNG (compressed natural gas) by 2023.
The county has 16 CNG vehicles now and wants to double the number by the end of 2012, saving taxpayers $40,000 a year.
Other highlights of the "Clean Lakes, Clean Energy" budget include more staff to work on the clean lakes projects; a solar power system on the roof of the new highway garage at the landfill; and a pilot wind power project at a county facility.
Parisi will present his 2013 budget to the Dane County Board on Monday.