Two parking spaces will be designated for short-term parking downtown near where businesses have backdoor access from the Front Street alley in Beaver Dam, including the new bakery.
The Common Council approved marking two spots for 30-minute parking in the public lot next to the community theater building off West Maple Avenue from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. The ordinance change also puts the lot in line with other city lots when it comes to winter parking.
The council accepted an amendment from council member Ken Anderson to remove language saying that six spots would be “reserved” for apartment dwellers, which some local business owners expressed concern about. Anybody may park in the lot on alternating sides each day with a winter parking permit from 2 a.m. to 6 a.m. to help with clearing the lot of snow.
“We’re just trying to get in line with this parking lot like the other city lots are,” said Dan Mulhern, public works supervisor.
Council members emphasized that they want the signage to make clear that the two spots are for customers and not loading zones.
The council also accepted an amendment from council member Mick Fischer to make the spots for 30 minutes instead of 15.
“The reason I like the 30 is because it does encourage people to do just a little bit more popping around instead of just popping in and popping out,” said Council President Cris Olson. “Maybe that extra 15 minutes means they pop around the corner and see someone else, so I really like that idea to give a little bit more time for them to hopefully explore a little more of downtown.”
Kevin Burnett, Jaclyn Shelton and Mike Wissell voted no on the change to 30 minutes. Kara Nelson abstained. Burnett and Shelton said 15 minutes for two spots made more sense for people running in and running out for things like take-out and people making online orders. Mayor Becky Glewen also noted that shorter limits appear more common when she has gone out to shop.
“Businesses have moved more online. We want to continue to encourage that because that’s going away,” Glewen said. “There’s been a lot more take and make kits from businesses. I know we see that from all of the shops downtown as well, so it further encourages that order ahead and pick up.”
The final vote on the ordinance change was 10-1, with Jon Abfall voting no and Kara Nelson and Mike Wissell abstaining.