MILWAUKEE – On Thursday, September 8, the American Rescue Plan Act Task Force unanimously recommended rejection of a resolution, authored by Supervisor Juan Miguel Martinez which would have appropriated $19 million of American Rescue Plan Act funds to finance the Mitchell Domes rehabilitation.
“I am disappointed that our historic domes weren’t guaranteed a future today. This landmark is not only beloved by the south side of Milwaukee, but it is an iconic structure that is enjoyed by visitors from around the world.” said Supervisor Zerpa.
“This Task Force has spent millions of dollars on initiatives to ensure that houses in suburban Milwaukee aren’t falling into disrepair, potentially rushing foreclosures. They have taken care of our golf courses. Additionally, they’ve appropriated $20 million dollars for our Medical Examiner’s office to build a new facility. While I support Milwaukee County constructing a new facility for the Office of the Medical Examiner, and the Office of Emergency Management, pitting these two items against one another was a calculated way to justify not funding our Domes,” said Supervisor Martinez. “I fear that this historic structure will ultimately not be funded despite the incoming federal dollars. We need to do more to ensure its future. The Office of the Medical Examiner has offered autopsies to surrounding municipalities for below market value and has not always collected fees from those same municipalities according to a 2019 audit. I call on my colleagues on the County Board as well as the Office of the Medical Examiner to charge fees which would produce revenue to help fund this project. I consider this to be reasonably related to the actual and necessary cost of providing the service, as having a functioning space is a necessity. With common sense fiscal decisions, we can save our Domes!”
“We must find creative solutions to preserve a true jewel in the Milwaukee County Parks system,” said Supervisor Martin. “I am hopeful that generations to come will be able to enjoy the space to gather and view our one-of-a-kind plant collections.”
A 2019 audit of the Office of the Medical Examiner can be found here.
The American Rescue Plan Act Task Force unanimously recommended appropriating $20 million for the planned purchase of a purpose-built Center for Forensic Science and Protective Medicine facility to house the Office of the Medical Examiner and the Office of Emergency Management at their most recent meeting. Additionally, the task force recommended putting $18 million into funding affordable housing in the suburbs earlier this year.