City council finds temporary solution to Watertown Golf Club parking

Watertown golf club parking

WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) - It's a temporary fix for the parking problem at Watertown's Thompson Park between the city and the Watertown Golf club.

A special meeting was called by council member Cody Horbacz Tuesday to talk about whether or not to take faster action when it comes to parking at Watertown Golf Club.

Some of the golf club's parking spaces spill onto city land and some council members wanted golfers to park on the street instead.

"I don't see why we would continue to allow them to continue to trespass on city property," Horbacz said.

But city attorney Robert Slye had a different idea: post a sign by the parking spaces in question, calling them public.

That means anyone can park there.

"You're entitled to declare a public parking lot, so we stop this issue of whether private person are using public property," Slye said.

Council members agreed to that option. It's a short-term fix as they work on a permanent solution to deal with the land issues centered on the Watertown Golf Club.

I'm happy with the solution," Mayor Joe Butler said. "Now we have to work on more of a longer-term solution to make sure those encroachments go away."

The parking is just one example of encroachments on Thompson Park land.

The golf club also has to put in a new septic system and move golf cart storage.

City manager Rick Finn has come to an agreement with the golf club to address those issue, plus have the club build a new parking area by July 30 pending city approval.

Council members learned Tuesday night that the golf club will take legal action if the city deviates from that agreement.

"It's not just one item," Butler said. "It's collective agreement that I think we should adhere to."

It's a path forward Horbacz is against. He says when it comes to the encroachment, the city is being too soft on the golf club.

"I think that it just appears that we are doing more favors for a private group that has been getting favors for the last several decades," he said.

Horbaz was the single “no” in Tuesday’s vote. The measure passed 4-1.

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