(Beaver Dam) Rising prices and labor shortages are driving up costs for everything, including municipal infrastructure projects. The bids for the biggest projects in the city of Beaver Dam’s 2022 Capital Improvements Plan are coming in well above estimates.
The bids for the reconstruction of Haskell Street were at $559-thousand dollars, which is $109-thousand dollars higher than projected. At $968-thousand dollars, the bids for the restoration of the lagoon walls at Swan Park had a funding gap of $183-thousand dollars.
The city borrowed $1.4-million dollars over two previous budget cycles for the installation of a splash pad at Swan Park only to have bids come in at $1.7-million dollars this year. Fortunately for Beaver Dam taxpayers, the city was able to offset those increased costs with grant dollars.
A state Department of Natural Resources grant for the splash pad, initially considered a longshot, totaled $850-thousand dollars. And a $400-thousand dollar Community Development Block Grant helped fund the majority of the Haskell Street project, which was delayed for several years in hopes of capturing what many consider “free money.”
Those grants, coupled with rollover dollars from the 2021 CIP, freed up a total of approximately $775-thousand dollars according to a memo from the city’s finance consultant. The overages from the Swan Park improvements and the reconstruction of Haskell Street will account for $592-thousand dollars of the leftover funding.
That leaves $183-thousand dollars in borrowed money available on the books. Worth noting for Beaver Dam taxpayers, the Swan Park projects were also offset by donations from the public totaling $160-thousand dollars.