(Beaver Dam) The Beaver Dam Common Council Monday approved the placement of a binding referendum on the November ballot seeking to fund a half dozen new positions in the fire department. The hiring’s are the conclusion of a staffing study that also recommends the construction of a northside substation, which would not be part of this referendum.
Council President Chris Olson says there are valid concerns with firefighter burn-out justifying the need for additional staffing. Alderwoman Kara Nelson says the hiring’s are the easiest solution but cautioned her colleagues that they were not elected to make easy decisions. Alderman Dave Hanson says taxpayers want a voice in a tax rate increase. Alderman Jack Yuds says that his constituents want the right to make the choice themselves.
The budget impact ranges from $487-thousand dollars next year to $607-thousand dollars in 2026. The additional staff are expected to reduce overtime costs by up to $110-thousand dollars. The impact for property owners would be $44-per $100-thousand dollars of assessed value. The vote was 11-to-3 with alderpersons Heidi Freeby, Kara Nelson and Mike Wissell voting no.
2021 – $487,604
2022 – $524,748
2023 – $541,182
2024 – $546,582
2025 – $564,816
2026 – $607,464
Pictured: Fire Chief Alan Mannel during Monday’s Common Council meeting via Zoom video conferencing