City of Watertown, local politicians stop plans for $3M second city courtroom

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WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWTI) — The City of Watertown will no longer be required to construct a high-cost, second city courtroom.

Watertown City Mayor Jeff Smith announced on December 15 that the debate regarding a multimillion dollar, state mandated, second city courtroom has come to an end. According to Mayor Smith, the City will no longer be required to construct the courtroom.

Mayor Smith stated that this was through the help of state legislators Senator Patty Ritchie and Assemblyman Mark Walczyk.

Mayor Jeff Smith released the following statements regarding the second city court room decision.

Thanks to the efforts of State Senator Patty Ritchie and Assemblyman Mark Walczyk, the City will no longer be required to construct a $3 million, second city courtroom.

On the campaign trail, my opponents repeatedly voiced support for moving ahead with this project. After legislation to do away with a second city courtroom was introduced, right up until recently, many said this bill becoming law was a longshot and that it would never happen.

I am glad we persevered and together, did what many said was impossible. On behalf of Watertown City Council, I would like to extend my sincere thanks to Senator Ritchie and Assemblyman Walczyk for partnering with the City on this issue and advocating tirelessly for passage of this bill. I would also like to express my appreciation to Governor Cuomo for signing this measure into law.

Local governments are under immense pressure to make ends meet—especially now, in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. I am thrilled that together, we were able to deliver real relief to the hardworking taxpayers of our City. 

Mayor Jeff Smith, December 15, 2020

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