Watertown’s mayoral candidates have differing views on need for new downtown park (Audio)

May 19, 2021
Mike Tanner

WATERTOWN, S.D.–The two people running for Watertown mayor held another candidate forum Tuesday night.

Mayor Sarah Caron and challenger Ried Holien talked with members of the Watertown Home Builders Association about the tight housing market in the city, and how to streamline the permitting process for builders.

There was also conversation about Foundation Plaza. That’s the park that will be built on the north side of Kemp Avenue downtown, just south of County Fair Foods.

On Monday night, the city council voted unanimously to spend another one million dollars to develop and build the park, bringing the overall price tag to more than three-million dollars.

Mayor Caron says it’s a good investment, believing that a healthy downtown is critical to Watertown’s overall success….

Holien voted for the additional one million dollars in funding and says he’ll, “own that vote.” But he’s not entirely sold on the idea of the need for this project after talking with constituents….

Monday’s vote includes funding for an ice rink to be included in the park during the winter months.

That add-on alone adds another $500,000 to the cost of the project.

The city is working with the Confluence Design Group of Sioux Falls on what the finished product will look like. Construction is expected to begin later this year.