(Beaver Dam) The Beaver Dam Common Council Monday night approved the installation of camera’s in Swan Park. The Beaver Dam Rotary Club spearheaded the effort as part of an plan to monitor their annual Christmas Light Display for malfunctions and vandalism. Wireless internet covering the entire the park will also be made available for use year-round. Police will have access to the cameras year-round. The Rotary is making the initial $10-thousand-dollar investment and Interquest will cover all maintenance free for five years. After five years, the equipment could be sold to the city for one dollar once in place.
The cameras would have infrared technology for night viewing. The number of camera’s is estimated at five-to-six with locations to be determined throughout the park, not just in the area of the display.
Alderwoman Jaci Shelton raised privacy concerns with a private business having access to the footage not to mention police access. Shelton says the proliferation of cameras in public spaces could turn Beaver Dam into a police state.
Sheriff Dale Schmidt, a Rotarian, suggested an amendment that would only allow the Rotary Club to monitor the light display in the months of November, December and January.
The resolution was approved, with the amendment, on a nine-to-four vote with alderpersons Kara Nelson, Chris Olson, Jaci Shelton and Jon Abfall voting no.