Watertown Development Company pulls out of M.O.U. on Watertown Ice Arena project (Audio)

August 16, 2021
Mike Tanner

WATERTOWN, S.D.–A change of direction in how a new Watertown ice arena might be funded, and who the players will be. 

Mayor Ried Holien says the Watertown Development Company is no longer a partner in a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on the project. But it’s not a dealbreaker…

Development Company Executive Director Mark Vaux says the WDC still supports the project from an economic development standpoint.

Mayor Holien and councilmen Bruce Buhler and Glen Vilhauer will be among a group of ten people that will tour seven ice arenas in the Twin Cities Thursday and Friday to get a look at what they want…or maybe don’t want…in Watertown’s ice arena.

Dick Strassburg is with the Tegra Group, Watertown’s consultant on the project…

Strassburg laid out a timeline for the project that calls for cost estimates to be complete by mid-October. A groundbreaking could happen this fall or next spring.

City Manager Amanda Mack suggested the project could be funded through a bond sale.  Councilman Glen Vilhauer was quick to point out that sales tax revenue bonds do not require a tax increase for residents.

The arena cost is estimated to be between $15 and $20 million.

The announced location is north of Hobby Lobby along Willow Creek Drive.