NEW: Key vote tonight will determine future of Watertown City Hall project

February 22, 2022
Mike Tanner

WATERTOWN, S.D.–We’ll know tonight whether or not the city of Watertown will move ahead with plans to relocate a new City Hall in the former Wells Fargo Bank building downtown.

The city council will vote on whether to begin the process of procuring construction bids for renovating the building. 

The city council, under the leadership of then Mayor Sarah Caron, voted to buy the building for $1.3 million in November 2020, without knowing how much the renovation costs would be.

Initial estimates indicated it would be in the $2 to $2.5 million range, but in an interview with KWAT News last week, Mayor Ried Holien said it could be closer to $4 million.

The mayor also said in order for city council meetings to be held in the bank building, an addition would have to be built onto it, adding to the costs.

Councilman Colin Paulsen says he will be voting against moving forward with the project.

On social media, Paulsen says Caron, “severely misled the public into believing it would say the city millions of dollars. The information given to the previous council did not fully encompass all the facts.”