Beaver Dam Adopts 2020 Borrowing Plan

(Beaver Dam) The Beaver Dam Common Council Monday night approved borrowing for next year. The Capital Improvements Plan, or CIP, totals $4.78-million dollars for streets, infrastructure, buildings and major equipment purchases. A grant is lowering next year’s long-term borrowing to $3.78-million dollars.

The city is receiving one-million dollars toward the $2.6-million-dollar reconstruction of South Spring Street from Judson Drive to East South Street. The utility is paying for $1-million dollars of underground work on that stretch, leaving the tax levy obligation at $600-thousand dollars. However, taxpayers will fund $420-thousand dollars for improvements on a two-block stretch of Spring from South Street to East Mill while another $170-thousand dollars is being spent for mill and overlay work from Judson Drive to the city limits. Next year, the five-year plan has identified $680-thousand dollars to finish South Spring from East Mill to Park Avenue/ Highway 33.

Speaking of grants, City Engineering Coordinator Ritchie Piltz announced Monday night that  Beaver Dam is receiving a $1.4-million-dollar federal grant for the reconstruction of East Davis Street. The project slated for 2021 runs from Spring to University. The grant covers 80-percent of the cost, not counting engineering, leaving the taxpayer obligation at $550-thousand dollars.

Other street projects in the 2020 CIP include the repaving of Prospect Avenue from Eilbes Avenue to North Crystal Lake Road at a cost of $360-thousand dollars. South Center Road from the city limits to Highway 151 is being repaved at a cost of $190-thousand dollars.

The process of connecting North Center Street with North Spring Street via Woodland Drive in 2021 is getting started next year with $150-thousand dollars directed to engineering and land purchases.

Another $160-thousand dollars will be directed sealcoating various streets.

The city already has around $300-thousand dollars in unspent monies from previous borrowing cycles for downtown revitalization that still needs to be used. That unspent money – coupled with revenue starting to come in from a downtown TIF District – will be used to fix a retaining wall along the river in the tower parking lot and for river walk enhancements behind the Watermark.

Other projects approved as part of the capital budget include $111-thousand dollars for improvements at city hall; $100-thousand dollars in equipment for the fire department; a new roof for the city-owned Dodge County Historical Society Museum at $36-thousand dollars; and $290-thousand dollars for improvements to four of the city’s two dozen parks, specifically the Athletic Field, Vo-Tech, Lakeview and an expansion of the new dog park.

The CIP was adopted on an 11-to-3 vote. In voting no, Alderman Mick Fischer pointed to a 1997 resolution in noting that CIP borrowing should generally target projects in excess of $40-thousand dollars or instead be part of each departments operating budget. There are ten items below that benchmark in the budget. Mayor Becky Glewen noted that revenue caps have since “forced a municipalities hand on borrowing.” Alderwoman Jaci Shelton applauded the CIP noting that 76-percent of the borrowing is for streets which she noted has been a major concern among constituents.