Changes Possibly Coming To Beaver Dam Sidewalk Assessments

(Beaver Dam) City officials in Beaver Dam are discussing the possibility of changing the way some property owners are assessed for sidewalks during street reconstruction projects. Currently, the abutting taxpayer covers 100-percent of the cost to add new sidewalk fronting a property. While the installation of sidewalk is typically included in project designs, there is no ordinance on the books in Beaver Dam that mandates that streets have sidewalks. In some instancessidewalk is only installed on one side of the street. That is the case with the current reconstruction of Roosevelt Drive, where installing sidewalks on one side of the roadway was just too costly to justify. City officials learned with that project that it would be a violation of state statute to charge property owners on both sides of the street to pay for sidewalk installation on only one side. As a workaround, Alderman Ken Anderson is asking that property owners who pay for sidewalk, when neighbors across the street do not have to, be charged only 50-percent of the sidewalk cost. Anderson says its only fair. Alderman Jon Abfall noted that the property owner who pays 50-percent of the sidewalk cost still gets 100-percent of the value. With one dissenting vote, the Beaver Dam Administrative Committee this week agreed to have the city attorney research the matter and assemble a draft ordinance for discussion at a future meeting.