Roads & Sidewalks Scrutinized In Watertown Budget SessionPosted: Updated:
Roads and sidewalks were the topics at Wednesday night's Watertown's city council budget session.
City engineer Justin Wood proposed a list of road projects for next year's budget. Nothing was confirmed, but lawmakers will select road projects before the budget is finalized.
Another proposal is to change the sidewalk program. Instead of the city doing the work, it would find an independent contractor, which would raise the cost. Wood proposed the city spend up to $500,000 on sidewalk replacements, up from the $125,000 the city has typically budgeted.
"It's going to cost the homeowner three times more to replace their sidewalk under the proposed program to contract it out," council member Cody Horbacz said. "The flip side of that is it might cost the city a little less or we can allocate those resources somewhere else like paving the streets to get more streets done."
"Having a good sidewalk network allows people to be active, safer," Wood said, "and that's something the citizens are really looking for."
Council members are working to avoid a hefty tax rate increase for 2018-2019. The proposed budget the council started with had an increase of just under 9 percent.