Watertown Lawmakers Reluctant To Lease Parking For State Workers
It could be tough to find parking during weekdays in downtown Watertown this summer.
The parking garage at the Dulles State Office Building will be closing next month for repairs, sending employees, and their cars, into the city looking for spaces.
To help, the state asked the city to lease some public spaces. Something the city didn't want to do.
"The City Council was a little reluctant to just rent blocks of spaces in municipal lots and tie them up so other people couldn't use them," said Mayor Jeff Graham.
The state was targeting multiple lots in the city.
"City Council discussed that and they were not interested in leasing the spots," said Watertown City Planner Ken Mix.
"The discussion went that they're public spots, so they're available to state employees as is," Mix said.
"They were looking for exclusivity and I couldn't support that because all that might solve the problem for the state employees, but that just displaces the other employees," said council member Roxanne Burns.
And what about everyone else looking for spaces in the city?
"They may find that they're not finding a space as easily," Mix said. "They may have to go to another parking lot to find locations to park."
Officials say they hope the state turns to other options to help the situation.
"To perhaps approach some private property owners that have parking lots that aren't fully utilized and maybe some churches that parking lots aren't necessarily utilized during the week, " Burns said.
The majority of people we spoke to who use the garage say they have hope - hope for nice weather this summer, which they say will make getting to work, from wherever they have to park, a little easier.