After JCC declines $2.5M in state funds, Watertown learns it can use the money for other projects

WWNY After JCC declines $2.5M in state funds, Watertown learns it can use the money for other projects

WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) - Watertown can reallocate the $2.5 million that Jefferson Community College turned down.

The money was awarded as part of Watertown’s $10 million state prize given in 2017 in New York’s Downtown Revitalization Initiative, or DRI competition.

JCC planned to create an entrepreneurial center with the money and looked at several buildings around Public Square.

But, college President Dr. Ty Stone announced earlier this week that JCC declined the money, saying the COVID-19 pandemic along with a drop in enrollment led the college to scratch its plans.

She said the college needs to use it resources to do what it does best and that’s teaching and training.

Now Watertown will look at other projects to put the money towards. It must be a project that was identified in the Downtown Strategic Investment Plan.

One of those projects that was recommended, but didn’t make the final cut is the YMCA Community and Aquatics Center that is going into the former call center building.

“It’s certainly a project that was part of the DRI and could be considered for funding. Part of determining which projects could potentially be funded would be to reach out to developers, property owners that proposed those projects originally,” said Watertown City Planner Mike Lumbis.

Does all the $2.5 million have to be reallocated to one project or could the city split it up?

Lumbis said he’s waiting on an answer from the state.

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