A proposed 2018 operating budget for Dane County that includes funding for an expensive new jail and a renewed focus on mental illness showcases how the county meets the needs of its diverse population and makes it a special place to live, Dane County Executive Joe Parisi said.

A new jail with a $76 million price tag — the most expensive project in county history — is the biggest-ticket item of the $538 million budget that would increase taxes of the average Madison home (valued at $269,377) by $54.74 or 6.9 percent, according to Parisi. He said he gave his OK to the project after he was promised the project would address several issues, including improving conditions for the mentally ill.

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