(Beaver Dam) The installation of trees in downtown Beaver Dam will not interfere with the opening of car doors. The city’s Operations Committee this week signed-off on bids for trees 17 trees in the concrete sidewalks on the 100 and 200 blocks of Front Street. Forward Construction Group of Beloit has also been tabbed to install brick pavers and lighting in the pedestrian walkway between the tower parking lot and Front Street, next to American Bank. The total contract is for $79-thousand dollars. City Engineer Ritchie Piltz says careful deliberation was given to the layout of the trees and they are being spaced to avoid interfering not only with the opening of car doors but also with existing water utility lines and the new decorative street lights.
The tree’s may also last a little longer that the city forester first estimated with a best-case-scenario now estimated at ten-to-15 years. Piltz says that the trees will be installed in the red brick section of the sidewalk along the curb. A special mulch being used instead of metal grating, increasing the life expectancy by a few years and making the dead trees easier to remove.
The city forester also expressed concern that the sidewalks could cave-in if fill is not adequately compacted during the tree planting process. Council President Robert Ballweg asked who would be liable to pay for the repairs. Under the way city ordinance is currently written, the repair would be the responsibility of the property owner. Flowering Pear trees have been identified for the downtown based on a recommendation from the DNR for urban areas in southeast Wisconsin. In March, the council approved borrowing $580-thousand dollars to address four primary elements of the downtown revitalization plan: landscaping, trees, a façade grant program and the acquisition and demolition of a Front Street building. The elements were identified in a downtown revitalization study that was unveiled earlier in the year.