Facade program uses loans,
In response to a Feb 28. Daily Citizen letter by Jack Yuds arguing against using city funds to improve downtown buildings, I would agree that simply giving money to downtown property owners would be irresponsible.
However, the capital improvements plan (which is not just about facade repairs downtown, but also badly needed road repair, city and park facilities improvements, police and fire funds, improved treescaping, and a home repair loan program) does not propose to give money away. It actually sets aside funds for a loan program for downtown facade improvement. The Landmark Commission already has a program like this, but demand is high, and there are not enough funds to go around. Other borrowing opportunities do not seem to be filling the gap.
When our downtown is crumbling, we all collectively bear the financial and cultural burden. Just as when one house on a street is in disrepair, not only do property values around go down, but so does local pride.
This lending program for downtown buildings is part of a larger effort to make our city competitive in a marketplace that demands higher quality infrastructure. With investment, Beaver Dam’s economic and civic vitality will grow.
Kelly Welz, Beaver Dam