Dodge County Board Backs ThriveED’s Application For Housing Grant

(Juneau) The Dodge County Board voted in favor this week to back ThriveED’s application for a grant to help spur housing development. Vickie Pratt with ThriveED, a non-profit organization that supports local businesses throughout Dodge and Jefferson Counties, says the grant will help fund a $150-thousand-dollar project that would bring housing consultants to both counties. She says the consultants would work directly with the municipalities on the type of housing they need, where they need it built, and how to fund construction.  

The grant is offered by the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation’s Rural Initiatives Program who would cover $75-thousand-dollars of the total cost. The Watertown Community Health Foundation has committed up to $40-thousand-dollars. Dodge and Jefferson Counties would have to pay $17,500 each.  

The resolution stated that funding would come from the yet approved 2022 budget. Supervisor David Guckenberger wanted to send to the resolution back to the Finance Committee to find funding that is available now. He says the committee cannot say that there is a $100-million-dollar plus budget for next year and the county will find the money somewhere, adding that is (quote) “not doing your job.”  

Supervisor and Finance Committee Member Dave Frohling says they did their job and that they identified potential funding from this year’s budget than could be carried forward if need be. A motion by Guckenberger to send it back to Finance failed.  

The reason the resolution was brought to the board in October was due the deadline for the grant application being at the end of the month. If the WEDC does not approve funding the project, no funds from the county would be allocated. This is a pilot program ThriveED proposed to the WEDC.