Beaver Dam Council Discusses $19 Million In Proposed Borrowing

(Beaver Dam) City officials in Beaver Dam Monday night discussed plans to borrow as much as $19-million dollars next year for roads, equipment and infrastructure. Just under $6-million dollars is part of the annual Capital Improvements Plan, which projects investments over the next five years while outlining a specific borrowing plan for the upcoming year. The 2021 CIP includes $4.25-million dollars for roads and $1.5-million for the Parks Department.

Alderman Mick Fischer noted that the $6-million is over three times what the city can borrow under its self-imposed borrowing cap, which requires three-fourths majority of the council to exceed.  

City Finance Director Zak Bloom explained that municipal borrowing is not cumulative and Beaver Dam sees between two-and-three million dollars of debt fall-off each year; next year Beaver Dam is expected to shed $2.5-million dollars in debt.

Mayor Becky Glewen pointed out the historically low interest rates and available debt capacity in saying that constituents are not happy that previous councils let the city get so far behind in fixing roads and infrastructure.  

The borrowing plan also includes a $1.4-million-dollar splash pad over two years to replace the aging pool at Swan Park, along with $415-thousand dollars for a fire department training facility and vehicle replacement, and $50-thousand dollars for an outdoor shooting range for the police department. The council can introduce amendments to the borrowing plan on Monday. 

Above and beyond the CIP, city officials Monday night also discussed borrowing between $10-and-$13-million dollars to relocate the Department of Public Works and Parks facilities from the southside of the city to the northside.

Alderman Fischer said he will be asking the council next week to put the question of a new public works facility to the voters in the form of a spring referendum. Mayor Glewen indicated that such a decision is the responsibility of elected officials.