(Beaver Dam) Progress is being made with revitalization efforts in downtown Beaver Dam. Earlier this year, the Beaver Dam Common Council approved borrowing $580-thousand dollars to address four primary elements of the 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 this year. The decorative red bricks along Front Street were cut into and dug out yesterday to make way for tree plantings, which will take place this year.
Beaver Dam Chamber President Phil Fritsche, who sits on the Community Development Committee, says developing a pathway to the new theatre location would be a great opportunity to show off the new-look downtown. He says the theatre, which will be located at 117 West Maple Avenue, will be a beautiful new asset to the downtown and will attract a lot of new people to the city. Fritsche also encourages visitors to check out the businesses located near the new theatre and believes a pass-through from the Tower Parking Lot which would then head south on Front Street then north on Maple Avenue would help accomplish that.
American Bank in Beaver Dam will soon be opening a public square in the Tower Parking Lot filled with stone features, picnic tables and an Amish-built gazebo style structure. The project was fully funded by American Bank, without the use of city or taxpayer funds. President John Oathout hopes to see the effort reciprocated by other downtown business to beatify the downtown. Fritsche agrees and says positive developments often leads to more positive developments.
The concrete walkway between American Bank and McKinstry’s Home Furnishings has been removed so that a decorative walkway can be poured. An archway and planters are also planned. Fritsche says other businesses not necessary located in downtown have supported improvement efforts. He says the Beaver Dam Wal-Mart has put money into landscaping the green space across from Ming’s Restaurant.