Feedback: City Turns Water Back On At North Side Improvement League

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The North Side Improvement League, which had its water turned off earlier this week, will have the supply turned back on.

That's because the league finally paid off its city water bill Thursday.

Earlier in the day, the water situation led to speculation that the financially-troubled league was in danger of closing.

The lights were out, the doors were locked and the sign outside the building said the league's weekly bingo games are cancelled.

However, the president of the North Side Improvement League says the Watertown league is not closing.

Water Superintendent Mike Sligar said the city turned off the water to the Mill Street building on Monday.

He said the league had not paid its water bill from last March.

"The North Side Improvement League fell into this group of delinquent accounts and on Monday the 21st we did shut their water off," said Sligar.

League President Brenda Parker would only say that the league is not closing and that she'd have more information next Tuesday.

She characterized the information as good news.

As for the water bill, Parker said she simply forgot to pay it.

After 7 News spoke with Parker, the city said Parker's husband came to city hall to pay off the $232 water bill.

The league's water was expected to be turned back on by Thursday evening.

The league has been plagued with financial problems in recent years.

John Michael, whose band has performed at the league for countless events, played a benefit that instead of raising money for the league, actually lost it.

He spoke with us Wednesday. 

"The expenses ran higher than the profits were on the whole thing and sadly when they needed to make money, they ended up losing," he said.

Michael said the league is a centerpiece of the community and has been since it opened over one hundred years ago.

"It's a great community organization and it would be a pity to see it fall to the wayside," he said.

In June 2012, the league owed back taxes, prompting a central New York man to buy the tax sale certificate for nearly $3,000.

By November 2012, the league paid the taxes and said it was no longer in danger of losing its building.

In June 2013, the league once again owed back taxes - this time totalling approximately $6,000.

The league has until June 2015 to pay off the debt or lose the building.

The North Side Improvement League was founded in 1911.

It has been in the Mill Street building since 1969.

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Wednesday, October 22, 2014
, Watertown, NY

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