3/22/17 – We had an opportunity to sit down with the candidates for Beaver Dam’s ninth ward this week on WBEV’s Community Comment. That’s where incumbent Lisa Davidson is facing challenger Richard Barcus. Beaver Dam’s ninth aldermanic ward is home to most of Lake Shore Drive, an asphalt street without curb and gutter that winds along the shoreline. A $1.7-million-dollar reconstruction of the roadway from Oneida to Denning targeted for 2011 was scrapped. Residents opposed the project citing the loss of the neighborhood’s character and assessments of between $7000 and $10-thousand per homeowner. While such assessments are typical of projects with new sidewalks, curb and gutter and concrete roadway, city leaders were more responsive at the time to the “cookie cutter approach” to designing the road which would have resulted in the loss of around 75 trees. The project was eventually pushed back indefinitely so that limited funds could be directed to a new police station. Even though the roadway is considered to be in poor condition under a state rating system, the project has yet to be revisited and does not appear on the city’s current five-year plan for street repairs. Challenger Richard Barcus says he would like to see the street fixed but as a homeowner does not want to see the costs associated with news curbs and sidewalks. Barcus says you do not have to be a civil engineer to strike a grade and see where there are problems in the layout and of the street. He says he would like to see more blacktop work done than just filling holes. Alderwoman Lisa Davidson says she walks the street frequently and patching needs to be done in the short term while in the long term it is important to have the effected homeowners be part of the conversation. Davidson says the people most impacted have indicated that they do not want to see the street reconfigured excessively with the addition of sidewalks. She says if the matter comes up again while she is on the council, she would ask that the effected property owners have a greater involvement in the plans.
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