City council wrap-up: Fire truck purchase, pavilion restrictions & Ogilvie Foods property

Watertown city council wrap-up
Published: Dec. 6, 2022 at 6:07 AM EST
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WATERTOWN, New York (WWNY) - The city of Watertown will buy a new ladder truck from the city of Geneva.

The city council unanimously approved buying the truck for $40,000.

It comes as the city has one truck that has an issue with the ladder hydraulics. Another ladder truck needs repairs and is out of commission.

Fire Chief Matt Timerman says the truck from Geneva is up to standard and has had more than $25,000 invested in it over the past year.

“The price, I think, for this is very fair,” he said. “I appreciate it. We appreciate that and I think they are offering you that low price because they understand the scenario we are in from one municipality from another, so I think it is a fair deal and a good truck.”

The city has a brand-new ladder truck on the way but it’s not scheduled to arrive until December of 2023.

Butler Pavilion

The city council also voted 3-1 with one abstention to amend an existing ordinance to add the Joseph M. Butler Pavilion to the list of parks and recreational areas that are closed to the public from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m.

The ordinance was requested by city council members and introduced in November after some of the city’s homeless population began to live in the pavilion, leaving behind extensive damage.

Those living there have since been moved to the temporary homeless shelter on Main Avenue.

Mayor Jeff Smith along with council members Lisa Ruggiero and Sarah Compo Pierce voted in favor of the change while council member Cliff Olney voted against it. Council member Patrick Hickey abstained.

Ogilvie Foods property

The council voted unanimously to move forward with placing an environmental easement on the old Ogilvie Foods property on North Pleasent Street.

The land has been split into three areas, two of which will be zoned residential with the middle area being left as commercial.

The city hopes the street side areas can be developed into new housing while the center might be left as a community green space or park.

There are still a few steps before something can be built there.