(Beaver Dam) Beaver Dam Mayor Becky Glewen discussed the process that led to the sale of the old Lakeview Hospital for development as a high-end condominium when she was our guest Friday on WBEV’s Community Comment. The common council earlier this month approved the city’s acquisition and sale of the Executive Apartment property along with the old hospital for the lakefront project. Glewen says it is excited to take care of a problem that has been an issue in the community for so long.
The conversation also encompassed criticisms that called into question the extent of closed session meetings needed to finalize the project. City Attorney Mary Ann Schacht was on hand to emphasize that all meetings were conducted in compliance with the state’s Open Meetings Law. We asked Schacht to elaborate not so much on the closed session meetings, but what the law allows as far as the initial conversations that paved the way for the closed session meetings. In this case, working with condo developer WDS Construction. Schact says such conversations are permissible because an official committee was not involved but instead what is called an “ad hoc committee.” She says there is no violation of the open meetings law for those who meet to discuss the possibility of something happening in the future.
Glewen says the partnership developed out of conversations with the now former owner of the old hospital, the Beaver Dam Community Hospital. Glewen says hospital officials had conversations with developers early on and brought that partnership to the table with them.
The city purchased the shuttered Lakeview Hospital on La Crosse Street for $225-thousand dollars from the Beaver Dam Community Hospital and turned around and sold it for a dollar. The costs will be paid with revenue from a planned Tax Increment Finance District established around the new condo. The new development is expected to add $4-million dollars to the tax rolls. Money from TIF #9 would also be used to pay for the $1.2-million dollars needed to raze the hospital. The city also bought and sold the nearby Executive Apartment site at 600 West Third Street, along with the hospital, to JCW Development, a company owned by Beaver Dam-based WDS Construction.
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