(Beaver Dam) Some of the projects from phase one of Beaver Dam’s downtown revitalization plan are collecting dust. Phase Two borrowing for 2019 was finalized last month totaling $181-thousand dollars primarily for a pedestrian bridge in the Tower parking lot that is part of a larger river walk concept. Back in March, the Beaver Dam Common Council approved Phase One borrowing of $550-thousand dollars to address four initial elements of the plan that were intended to be undertaken earlier this year. That included landscaping, trees, a façade grant program and the acquisition and demolition of a Front Street building. The façade program has been established with the borrowed money. The matching grant is available to property owners in the downtown revitalization district, intended to beautify the area through a partnership with public and private dollars. In September, earth was moved to plant 17 trees throughout the downtown, complementing a decorative walkway between American Bank and McKinstry’s Home Furnishings which will soon have signage and lighting added. But, Mayor Becky Glewen says that acquisition and demolition of a downtown building on the northside of Front Street is taking longer than anticipated. She says there have been extensive conversations and an offer had been made but declined. At this time she says there is no identified project and the money is still available as options are being considered.
Glewen told us recently on WBEV’s Community Comment that elaborate landscaping identified for the corner of Front and Center Streets is on hold indefinitely. She says the funds identified for landscaping were re-directed to the building acquisition and demolition plan. Any major landscaping work would have to be undertaken by private investors as the item was not in the newest budget.
Once a Front Street building is removed it would create a walkway to Maple Avenue, allowing patrons of the new community theatre to have direct access to the downtown. The alley north of Front Street, between North Spring and North Center streets, will be getting a complete overhaul next year.