Residents speak out about keeping Watertown City Hall downtown  (Audio)

April 12, 2023
Mike Tanner

WATERTOWN, S.D.–If public feedback from one city council work session is any indication, it’s clear Watertown residents want their City Hall to remain downtown.

Tuesday’s work session featured one person after another speaking on the importance of keeping the hub of city government operations downtown.

The council is exploring the idea of building a new City Hall on Highway 20 near Bramble Park Zoo to replace the aging and overcrowded City Hall across from County Fair Foods.

Chris Schilken is the former executive director of the Watertown Development Company. He says the city has done a lot in recent years to revitalize downtown, and moving City Hall out would kill the momentum that’s been built….

Don Roby spoke. He’s a former city councilman….

Chuck Sherman spoke on behalf of the non-profit “Friends of the Goss Opera House.” He says the group believes downtown is where City Hall needs to remain….

Megan Olson is the former president of the Watetown Area Chamber of Commerce…

Watertown Mayor Ried Holien….

Others speaking in support of a downtown location were former Police Chief Jo Vitek and recently retired Watertown Community Foundation President Jan DeBerg.