City To Purchase, Demolish Former Dry Cleaner For Use As Parking Lot

(Beaver Dam) The Beaver Dam Common Council Tuesday night approved the purchase of a downtown property for use as a parking lot. The former dry cleaner at 111 West Maple Avenue is being acquired by the city for $86-thousand dollars. The money comes from the downtown revitalization funding borrowed earlier this year for multiple projects aimed at enhancing the downtown. The parking lot is expected to serve the neighboring Beaver Dam Area Community Theatre’s Fine Arts Center along with other Maple Avenue businesses and businesses along the north side of Front Street, which have rear access and limited on-street parking. The property will only work as a parking lot because of underground contamination concerns. It would not be cost-effective for a private interest to purchase the property and invest in clean-up for redevelopment. However, a municipality can take ownership and “cap” the parcel by putting in an asphalt parking lot, avoiding contamination clean-up costs. The projected cost of demolition is $30-thousand dollars. There were two dissenting voted with Alderman Ken Anderson calling the plan a giveaway to a private entity, the neighboring community theatre.