Holien “frustrated beyond all belief” over Watertown’s City Hall mess  (Audio)

September 20, 2023
Mike Tanner

WATERTOWN, S.D.–Its been nearly three years since the city of Watertown bought a vacant bank building downtown for $1.3 million with the intention of remodeling it into a new City Hall.

But today, the Wells Fargo building continues to sit empty, with the city seemingly no closer to figuring out what their next move will be.

This summer, the city council declared the building surplus property, giving them the option of getting it off their hands by selling it to a private developer.

That has not gone well either. Mayor Ried Holien tells KWAT News that just one bid has been received. He was hoping for more…

What if the city council rejects that only bid? What then???

The city has sunk $380,000 into non-recoverable remodeling fees for a project that’s never gotten off the ground. The mayor doesn’t mince words when describing his feelings on how all of this has turned out……

The mayor has said all along that he’s looking for a “generational solution” to Watertown’s City Hall needs, and he’s been consistent in saying he doesn’t believe the bank building gets it done…

The current City Hall is an aging building with a bad layout, that’s had mold issues over the years.

The city floated the idea of building a new City Hall along Highway 20 near the Stockmen’s Cafe site, but that was quickly shot down by the public who wants to see it remain in the downtown area.

Holien says the council will likely consider the only bid they received to sell the current City Hall sometime in November.