Watertown lawmakers sell land for YMCA project & lower Wolves fees

Watertown city council wrap-up

WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) - The city of Watertown is giving the YMCA a larger piece of land to ensure its downtown plans can go forward.

Council members Monday night approved the sale of additional land to the Jefferson County Industrial Development Agency at the site of the YMCA’s proposed community and aquatics center.

To make it official, the council had to put a price tag of $1 on the deal.

The Y wants to build a seven-lane lap pool that will allow Watertown to host regional and district meets.

Officials say 200 or more families could be drawn to one event, bringing between $150,000 to $300,000 in revenue as those families explore the city.

“Regional meets, as you heard, bring a lot of people in,” Mayor Jeff Smith said, “and just again, more people in the downtown area is good for downtown businesses, which is good for the city.”

“Just really good to know that we’re going to be able to move forward on the project and really get going on all of the architectural and design pieces,” YMCA CEO Denise Young said.

Young says they hope to have the center done by the end of summer 2022.

The council also voted to cut the cost of ice time for the Watertown Wolves hockey team.

The International Development Hockey League typically pays $150 per hour of scheduled time for games at Watertown’s Municipal Arena.

Since fans won’t be able to go see the Wolves play this year because of COVID-19 restrictions, city officials are bringing the fee down to $80 dollars per hour.

Smith says the break helps the Wolves with lost revenue and is still a revenue source for the city.

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