Kennedy Responds to Criticism

7/18/11 – The closeness of the new Beaver Dam Police Department to Park Avenue will take some getting used to. That’s according to Mayor Tom Kennedy and comes in response to some criticism from the public about the five-foot setback between the roadway and the police station. Kennedy says, unlike a residential neighborhood, it is a commonly accepted practice for a downtown building to closely hug the sidewalk. Kennedy admits the setback looks short because the former YMCA building, where the new police station is being built, had a 20-foot setback and the neighboring Dodge County Historical Society is even further back. The police station is being built on the former YMCA property, which the city acquired in 2009 after the price tag dropped from $400,000 to $75,000. Kennedy says the city was able to keep costs low by making efficient use of the footprint of the property. Because of the closeness of the police station to the sidewalk, some aldermen have criticized the decision to have squad cars enter the police garage through the back parking lot and exit right onto Park Avenue. Kennedy says the planning team thoroughly studied the issue and sensors will be installed to alert police of foot and vehicular traffic and alert pedestrians of an exiting squad car.