Dog Control, Adult Apartments & New Member Top Busy Council Agen

Dog Control, Adult Apartments & New Member Top Busy Council Agenda

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Watertown's city council had a busy session at its first meeting of 2019.

Among the topics on a busy agenda were dog control, looking for contamination on Vanduzee Street, a proposed apartment complex on Pine Street, and a new council member.

Council members approved a three-year deal with Jefferson County for dog control.

It will cost the city $145,000 a year, a price tag that lawmakers want to find a way to lower.

"That gives us some time to consider the alternatives," council member Lisa Ruggiero said.

"This is more than just cost savings," city manager Rick Finn said. "This was basically the city reaching out in partnership with the towns and the counties."

City officials want to find out if there's any contamination at property the city owns on Vanduzee Street.

Lawmakers approved a soil and underground storage tank investigation that costs a little more than $17,000.

"To determine if there's any contamination, petroleum, pesticides, a variety of other chemicals," Mayor Joe Butler said.

"You're making homeowners leave," Watertown resident Tony Soluri said about a proposal to create a new apartment building in his neighborhood.

The company Genuine Homes wants to take the former Angels Inn Adult Home building on Pine Street and turn it into a nine-unit complex.

"There's no low income 6 to 800 range for one- to two-bedroom for elderly anywhere unless you want to live in, like a tower," James Adams of Genuine Homes said. "If you think about it that way it wouldn't be like young kids in that aspect."

"The traffic would be more," Soluri said. "Nine people driving up and down a dead-end street?"

At the end of the meeting, Sarah Compo was sworn in as the city council's new member, taking the seat previously held by Mark Walczyk.

"Thank you again for giving me this opportunity," Compo said. "I'm really excited to dig in, work with you all and being a part of the team now."

Council members also approved a four-year deal with the city police union, which includes raises for police officers.

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