Beaver Dam Looking At Hiring Downtown Redevelopment Position

9/4/17 – One of the ideas that came out of a downtown Beaver Dam revitalization meeting two weeks ago was the usefulness of having a full-time person dedicated to the downtown. The city council recently hired a firm to conduct a study of the downtown revitalization area which is bordered by Mill, Vita, Maple and Beaver streets. Architect Zach Benedict with MKM Architecture and Design of Fort Wayne, Indiana says there is something to be said for having someone who is specifically dedicated to the development of any specific area. Benedict cautions that a person dedicated full-time to the downtown is not a magic bullet but communities have that position, and it’s the right person, it’s worth their weight in gold. He says it is an anomaly that Beaver Dam does not have such a person for a community its size. Methods of paying for the position that were discussed at the meeting include the use of Tax Increment Finance dollars or the establishment of a Business Improvement District, where businesses would pay a tax that would be used for improvements. Mayor Becky Glewen says it’s difficult to think about adding staff under the city’s budget constraints but she says it is something she will look at. The study is in the information gathering stage and moves this month to conceptual planning with a final report expected in October.