Beaver Dam Residents Rebuke Street Project Assessment Changes

(Beaver Dam) Some residents along a street reconstruction project in Beaver Dam are not happy that the city is doubling their assessment costs. The project would require expensive retaining walls for sidewalks on both sides of Roosevelt Drive and Warren Street.

To save money, the blueprints were designed with sidewalks on only one side of the roadway. City officials initially told residents that properties on both sides would be assessed and split the costs for the single sidewalk. By the time designs were approved in May, the city had learned that it would be illegal to assess both sides for one sidewalk. Half the residents are now being expected to pay 100-percent of the cost to install their sidewalks, just as any property owner would for new sidewalks in Beaver Dam.

A dozen of those residents were in attendance at a public hearing last Monday night. Among the speakers was current Alderman Ken Anderson, who was speaking as a resident who will be assessed and not as an alderman. Anderson says the city should be responsible for paying 50-percent of the cost of the sidewalk because the city had the support of the residents during initial phases when the residents were told they were only paying 50-percent of the sidewalk cost.

The city’s Operations Committee will discuss the assessment situation at a meeting on September 9. The $950-thousand-dollar reconstruction of Roosevelt Drive and Warren Street is expected to start in mid-September and continue until the first hard frost, then resume in the spring. Property owners would not be required to pay the assessment until after the project is complete.