Why aren’t fountains working at Flower Memorial Library?

Published: Aug. 28, 2023 at 5:19 PM EDT
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WATERTOWN, New York (WWNY) - When you think of the Flower Memorial Library in Watertown, books may come to mind. But, you also might be wondering why the historic fountains out front aren’t working.

In 1904, it was called “the most beautiful library in the United States.” And the fountains in front of the Flower Memorial Library in Watertown are a big part of its landscape.

“That was part of Emma Flower Taylor’s original vision when she gifted our beautiful library to this community,” said Roxanne Burns, a former member of the Watertown City Council.

But those fountains have been covered. They haven’t operated all summer.

“It was determined there was water in the electrical conduit, so they’re not safe to operate right now,” said Watertown City Manager Ken Mix.

Burns sat on council for 16 years and has always been a strong advocate for the fountains. In the mid-2000s, she spearheaded a community fundraiser when they were at risk of being removed.

“Of course, as typical the community, the city of Watertown was very generous and very supportive of my effort. So we raised the money and we got the fountains up and running, and they’ve looked beautiful,” she said.

Mix says the city is currently waiting to get a quote to repair the fountains. He says he doesn’t expect it to cost much and they’ll come out of the city’s maintenance budget.

“They’re looking at an option of moving the pumps into the building so we don’t have to run electrical lines into the water,” he said.

Whatever the remedy may be, Burns hopes the fountains will continue to be maintained.