Watertown lawmakers vote to borrow half of Thompson Park pool cost

Watertown lawmakers vote to borrow half of Thompson Park pool cost
The new Watertown city council met for the first time Monday night. (Source: WWNY)

WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) - In their first meeting of the year Monday night, Watertown city council members voted unanimously in favor of borrowing money to pay for half of the Thompson Park pool project.

Lawmakers had previously voted to use nearly $3 million from the city's fund balance -- along with a state grant -- to pay for the project.

Mayor Jeff Smith, who ran his campaign against the pool, proposed the idea at Monday night's meeting.

Smith, who has said he wanted to look into the possibility of closing one of the cities other two pools, told council members that having a loan payment on the Thompson Park pool wouldn't affect another closing.

"The payment of this bond would not effect the closure of the pool," Smith said.

"But does that mean you're still looking at closing one?" asked council member Lisa Ruggiero.

"Well, we will have to address that at budget time or in the future," Smith said. "This bonding has nothing to do in terms of that."

"I understand that," Ruggiero said.

"Those are two totally separate issues," council member Jesse Rochia said.

Council members also voted in favor of a three-month moratorium on digital billboards to give officials time to amend the city’s sign ordinance.

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