Construction and concern in Watertown

Published: Sep. 8, 2022 at 4:50 PM EDT
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WATERTOWN, New York (WWNY) - If you’re driving through downtown Watertown, you can’t help but notice all of the construction going on. But not everyone in the construction zone is a fan of what’s to come.

Progress is being made on Watertown’s Downtown Revitalization Initiative or DRI Streetscape project.

The work will make parts of Court, Coffeen and Franklin streets along with Lachanauer Plaza more pedestrian friendly.

“We have had a couple issues here or there, minor little things that have come up but overall things are moving along pretty good,” said

Planning and Community Development Director Michael Lumbis.

It’s not sitting well with Jason Gilmore, who owns a building along Coffeen Street.

Gilmore wouldn’t go on camera but says he runs a towing company along with a landscaping/snow plow business. He says all will be negatively affected by the city’s improvements.

Gilmore says when the curbs and sidewalks are put in, he believes it won’t be good for his business because the trucks and the trailers won’t be able to get through and he also says he was never definitively told when construction would start.

Lumbis disagrees, saying the city communicated as much as it could.

“We did reach out and try to get as much input as possible. Unfortunately, maybe we didn’t catch everybody but we are working with them to try and see if we can make some minor adjustments,” he said.

Construction will continue into the fall before winter stops the work. Lumbis anticipates the project will be complete next June.