City will discuss vacant building law

Jerry Moore/Watertown Daily Times

WATERTOWN — The city has a financial mechanism to pay for the planned City Hall parking project.

On Monday night, City Council members agreed to borrow $500,000 for the project to purchase an apartment building across the street at 201 Sterling St. and four other nearby properties and then expand parking at City Hall.

Parking will only get busier with the completion of the $3.15 million court renovations that include adding a second courtroom in City Hall.

The city has agreed to purchase the five properties for $210,720 from owner Brian H. Murray. The additional parking will create between 25 and 28 spaces.

City Manager Rick Finn said the project will coincide with the courtroom project.

“There will be enough parking with the additional parking,” he said.

Design and engineering work for the project has not started. Mr. Murray will be responsible for the demolition of the apartment building.

More people are going to be attending City Court on a daily basis, with a new Drug Court specifically to address the opioid crisis and a Veterans’ Court to be held in the Washington Street municipal building.

The properties include a nine-unit apartment building, which will be torn down, a vacant lot at 209 Sterling St.; a vacant commercial property at 241 Goodale St. that was once the site of a two-family house; and parking lots at 231 and 237 Goodale St.

The city is considering to close off Goodale Street, a one-way street, as part of the project.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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