(Beaver Dam) The Beaver Dam Community Development Committee on Friday signed-off on changes to the city’s façade improvement grant program. The matching grant is currently available to property owners in the downtown revitalization district and is intended to beautify the area through a partnership with public and private dollars. The fund was initially established with $75-thousand dollars but the account was depleted last year, primarily because of the mural festival.
The grant requires a 66-percent match on the part of the property owner capped at $5000. The proposed changes approved in committee Friday would only impact the 100 and 200 blocks of Front Street, increasing the match to 50-percent and capping the maximum project cost at $10-thousand dollars. Other amendments approved by the committee allow for the backside of buildings to be considered for grant funding, joining the front and sides of structures. In addition, artistic features – including but not limited to murals – would continue to be considered for grant funding but only ten-percent of the fund could be used for art. The changes will be considered in the Operations Committee on Monday before advancing to the full common council.
The Community Development Committee Friday also discussed the purchase of the downtown building at 126 Front Street in closed session. No action was taken and the committee will meet again on Wednesday and possibly take action at that time. The purchase and demolition of a building is included in a recently completed downtown revitalization study. The pathway created by the removal would lead to the new Beaver Dam Area Community Theatre building on Maple Avenue. City officials have called it one of the best ways to leverage public and private dollars in the revitalization effort.
Listen to the committee meeting: