Watertown has more options for spending COVID relief money

Watertown has more options for spending COVID relief money

Council member Lisa Ruggiero wants to save a city asset. “It might be good to get a bunch of those real little projects out of the way that we’ve always wanted to do if we had the money or move up the time-table on things we know we need to get done and just get them done,” he said. “I would be in favor, if I had enough support on council, to make the repairs to the Flynn pool,” she said.

Mix believes this could be one option to prepare Watertown for the end of its hydroelectric contract with National Grid, which brings in millions of dollars each year. It ends in 2030. Things that come to mind are: renovating city hall, or upgrading the city Department of Public Works facility. By using Washington’s money, city tax dollars can be saved for other projects.

Meanwhile, city council members are thinking about improvements they’d like to see. Ryan Henry-Wilkinson hopes the city will pave roads and put down new sidewalks with the money. According to the federal government, Watertown lost $8.3 million during the pandemic in 2020 – a much higher number than city officials anticipated. It gives the city more freedom on how to spend the money and it’s an opportunity for the city to use federal money on big projects instead of city taxpayer dollars.

Copyright 2021 WWNY. All rights reserved. However it’s spent, the city has time to think about it. The deadline to get projects done is December of 2026.

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