(Beaver Dam) The Beaver Dam Operations Committee Monday night signed off on special assessments for a street project, over the objections of property owners. The project would require expensive retaining walls on half of Roosevelt Drive and Warren Street. To save money, the blueprints were designed with sidewalks on the other side of the roadway. The initial hope was that taxpayers on both sides of the street would be assessed while splitting the costs for the single sidewalk. By the time designs were approved in May, the city had learned that would be illegal. 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.
Resident Amanda Ackley says residents were under the impression during most of the early planning that they would be splitting the costs of sidewalks with the property owners across the street who are not getting sidewalks. Ackley says if they had known, public input during early phases of the project would have been considerably different.
City Attorney Maryann Schacht says ordinances would have to be changed if the city were to allow a property owner to pay less than 100-percent of sidewalk costs.
The $950-thousand-dollar reconstruction of Roosevelt Drive and Warren Street is expected to start by month’s end 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. The city council will vote on the final assessments at a meeting on Monday.