Watertown seeking grant for amphitheater at Thompson Park

WWNY Watertown seeking grant for amphitheater at Thompson Park

WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) - Watertown wants a permanent home for concerts and shows in Thompson Park. The city is looking to the Pentagon to help set the stage.

In the shadow of Thompson Park’s kite hill sits a monument to the 10th Mountain Division and its soldiers.

Watertown Mayor Jeff Smith says the city wants to build something on the hill with the troops in mind.

“Having an amphitheater at Thompson Park will certainly benefit Fort Drum soldiers and their families - putting on concerts, putting on shows, so that they can stay here locally, stay at home,” he said.

In that spirit, council has given the city the go ahead to apply for a Department of Defense grant - money meant for projects that improve the quality of life for soldiers and their families.

City Manager Ken Mix says Watertown is now putting out the call for architectural firms.

“To do a conceptual design and do some preliminary cost estimates, so that we have those for the application,” he said.

Mix says it’s early in the grant process.

Information about the money isn’t expected until next month, but even without all of the requirements in front of them, Smith says the city will need Fort Drum’s blessing to go for the funds.

“We’re going to need to approach garrison command and look for their support. I will be reaching to them, asking for them for ways that we can improve this grant, and partnering with garrison command out there to do this,” he said.

Smith says Watertown will match the figure it eventually presents to the DOD.

And the city is leaving the door open to use expected COVID relief from the federal government to help fund the amphitheater too.

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