BREAKING: Watertown finds its new City Hall  (Audio)

April 1, 2024

Mike Tanner

WATERTOWN, S.D.–Three-and-a-half years after the city of Watertown purchased  the former Wells Fargo Bank building downtown, they’re moving ahead to renovate it and expand it into what will become a new City Hall.

The price tag for that work will be $4.2 million. That’s on top of the $1.3 million dollars the city spent to buy the building.

Monday night’s vote was not without lengthy debate however.

The vote for a full renovation and expansion of the building was 6-1 in favor.

The only “no” vote came from Mayor Ried Holien, who has been consistent in saying this move does not provide a, “generational solution” for Watertown…..

The mayor said the city had a chance to get out from underneath this deal, but never pulled the trigger…..

The mayor says he does not want his vote against the project to be seen as an, “anti-Watertown vote”……

Councilman Bruce Buhler sees this renovation and expansion of the bank building in an entirely different light…

Buhler and Holien are the only two current members of the council who were also council members when the bank building was purchased in November 2020.

The building will require an expansion to include a new city council chambers.

Initially, there was discussion on the merits of whether to enclose the teller canopy area into indoor parking space for city vehicles. Councilman Randy Tupper questioned the need for it, wondering if it could be added in future years.

But the parking garage is included as part of the total project. That construction piece alone will cost $266,000.

The contract for all of the work was awarded to Huff Construction of Aberdeen, which provided the lowest of the seven bids that were received.