NEW: Watertown hitting the reset button on search for a new City Hall  (Audio)

September 8, 2022
Mike Tanner

WATERTOWN, S.D. — Plans to renovate the Wells Fargo Bank building (pictured) in downtown Watertown into a new City Hall are dead–at least for now.

The city received just one bid on renovation plans for the building, but it came in way over their roughly $5 million construction budget.

City Manager Amanda Mack says the plan was to go back to the contractor, Gray Construction, in an attempt to renegotiate a lower price, but those talks didn’t pan out…..

Too many facets of the renovation needed to be removed in order to get it within budget….

She tells KWAT News the city is walking away from renovation plans, and exploring their options…

The city bought the bank building for $1.3 million in late 2020. Mack says they’re not ready to sell it–at least not yet…

The purchase of the building was met with great enthusiasm by the city council at the time. Mack says there’s a sense of disappointment it didn’t work out…

Mack says the city has spent about $250,000 to $300,000 on architectual fees for a planned renovation of the building. She says they won’t be able to recover those costs.