City Council approves comprehensive plan

Public Square is dusted with snow the morning after a recent storm. Julia Hopkins/Watertown Daily Times

WATERTOWN — After years of working on it, the city finally has its first comprehensive plan.

The City Council on Monday night unanimously approved the city’s blueprint for the future.

The $180,000 comprehensive plan will take Watertown into the next 30 years.

“This was years in the making and we’ll see the benefits for years to come,” Mayor Joseph M. Butler Jr. said.

City officials have been working on the blueprint for the city for a couple of years and planning it for more than a decade.

In August 2018, the city retained consultant Elan Planning, Saratoga Springs, to help put together the plan.

The city was one of a handful of communities in the state that had never put together a comprehensive plan.

Councilwoman Lisa Ruggiero said it takes the city into the future.

“It’s something to be proud of,” she said. “It took a lot of work.

The inch-think document includes plans to make major zoning changes, evaluating the way the city handles code enforcement, a new land use map and recommendations for downtown, economic development, city parks and increasing public access to the Black River.

The city received a $90,000 grant from the Empire State Development agency and is using $75,000 from its Community Development Block Grant program, so the city’s share is actually $18,000.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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