Watertown plans accessibility, security upgrades for city courtroom

Published: Aug. 4, 2021 at 1:34 PM EDT
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WATERTOWN, New York (WWNY) - Watertown doesn’t have to build a second city courtroom, but there’s still work to do on the existing one.

City officials recently met with Judge James Murphy, who oversees this area’s judicial district, to go over the upgrades.

“I think we came away with an agreement that there needs to be some improvements, and the city is willing to do that. Now we just have to figure out what they are, and how they’ll be implemented. He seemed to be amenable to phasing it over time,” said Watertown City Manager Ken Mix.

He says the goal is to do the work in phases. The first would make the courtroom accessible for people with disabilities to meet government standards.

Mix says that means adding ramps leading to the jury box and judge’s seat.

Phase one would also improve security at city hall.

“There’s a concern after the shooting that was just half a block from here earlier this year. Things like that can happen anywhere. And we do have a courtroom in our facility and security has always been a concern there,” said Mix.

He says the city is putting together a full plan to present to Judge Murphy.

Mix doesn’t have a price tag for that plan at this time.

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