Beaver Dam Common Council Approves $5.9-Million Borrowing Plan

(Beaver Dam) The Beaver Dam Common Council Monday night approved next year’s borrowing for streets, infrastructure, and equipment. The Capital Improvements Plan totals $5.9-million dollars, which includes $4.25-million dollars for roads and $1.5-million dollars for parks.

Four attempts to remove or scale-back projects failed to garner majority support of the council. That included efforts to remove $300-thousand dollars for a fire department training facility and reduce funding for the $445-thousand-dollar repair of the lagoon retention walls at Swan Park. An attempt to reduce funding over two budget cycles for a proposed $1.4-million-dollar splash pad at Swan Park also fell short.

The longest debate was over Phase Two of the $1.2-million-dollar reconstruction of South Spring Street. A half-million dollars is being covered by a state grant, awarded because the project addresses walking, biking and motorist needs.

Alderman Mick Fischer questioned the need for a $200-thousand dollar walking bridge near the Watermark as part of the street project. City officials indicated that they would have to ask the DOT if the city would still qualify for the grant if the bridge was removed. A majority of the council however sided with Council President Chris Olson who said the bridge was a small price to pay for the remaining $300-thosuand in grant funds.  

For the past ten years, the city has been limited to borrowing $1.7-million dollars. The cap can be exceeded with three-fourths approval of the council, which is eleven of 14 alderpersons. Last week, the council voted unanimously to exceed their self-imposed borrowing cap, though that resolution did not indicate the amount to be borrowed, that was settled last night at $5.9-million dollars as proposed. Talks are underway to increase the cap but that would not happen until 2022 at the earliest.

City officials now turn their attention to the 2021 city budget, which will be debated beginning on Monday.