Court Complex Moves Forward, Questions About Need Continue

Court Complex Moves Forward, Questions About Need Continue

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Watertown city leaders and Jefferson County lawmakers are planning to meet to discuss building a new city court complex on to the existing Jefferson County Court Complex.

Watertown Mayor Joe Butler tells 7 News he wants to meet as soon as possible. He says he wants talk about the layout of the complex, the obligations of the city and county, and work on a shared services agreement.

County Legislature Chair Scott Gray says while the city is responsible for coming up with the design he wants to make sure it works with the existing county building.

"Make sure that the building that's going to be attached, the addition that's going to attached, is going to be in keeping with the current building," he said.

Even though the new complex would be attached to the county building, it's the city's responsibility to pay for it.

It will be at least $2 million.

But one member of city council is still questioning if building a new complex is necessary. The state says the city needs a second courtroom since it has two full time court judges.

Councilman Cody Horbacz disagrees with this unfunded state mandate.

"I know that's the state's decision that's been handed down, but I really believe that at the municipality level we should really have a say in whether or not we spend that kind of money," he said.

In the past, Councilwoman Teresa Macaluso has also said she feels there's no need for a new city court complex. We reached out to her to see if she's changed her mind, she hasn't.

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