Feedback: $1M To Build A Watertown City Courtroom?

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Watertown's part-time city judge, Catherine Palermo, becomes full-time in the spring. 

Her salary will be paid by the state.

"The state picks up all personnel costs related to the court. But municipalities are required to provide a venue, and an appropriate venue according to certain standards," said Watertown Mayor Jeff Graham. 

And what that means for Watertown City Hall is a second courtroom and more offices. 

That's why the city engineer is poking through back rooms, looking for more space.

"We do have space. It's pretty well cut up because it was used by the police department, but there's space we can work with," said City Engineer Kurt Hauk.

With some current offices moved, the new courtroom will likely be next to the current one and just slightly smaller.

But a brand new courtroom and extensive office renovations won't come cheap.

In fact, the early figure being mentioned is around $1 million.

"It's tough to put a cost on it right now because we really don't know the impact, but that's probably a good number to start with," said Hauk. 

Asbestos removal and new wiring and plumbing are just part of what will make the project expensive.

"But our job is to work with the Office of Court Administration to try to mitigate some of those costs," said Graham.

The city has to give a prelimary floor plan to the state by the end of February.

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Wednesday, September 3, 2014
, Watertown, NY

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