A First Look At Plans For New Watertown Court

A First Look At Plans For New Watertown Court

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We're getting a first look at blueprints for an expanded Jefferson County Court Complex, with room for Watertown's city court.

"It's a way to save money. It'll save not only the city taxpayer, but the taxpayers in general," said Watertown Mayor Joe Butler.

There are two options on the table: a one-floor and a two-floor addition to the complex on Arsenal Street. 

Both would add about 13,000 square feet to the current building. 

Butler says either option would likely cost more than $2 million, but that's half a million in savings from previous plans because the courts would share a security entrance.

"We're not duplicating a lobby and a foyer and all those other things that we'd have to have if built at a separate location," he said.

The two-floor option would put the city's criminal and civil courts on separate floors.

"The flip side is the single-story puts everybody - all the staff, all the security, all the public - on the same floor, but both are very feasible," said Justin Wood, Watertown city engineer.

Mayor Butler says the project is needed to follow state guidelines.

"The governor passed a law that added a full-time city judge and the corollary to that is you have to provide space for that additional judge," he said.

Butler says he and county officials will meet to discuss an agreement on moving forward and how the project will be financed. 

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