The razing of buildings to make way for the new Town Square at Main and Water streets got a big boost late last week.

The Watertown Redevelopment Authority and City of Watertown Thursday received notice of award and grant contracts from Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. for Phase II Environmental Testing and Demolition.

Grants totaling $165,300, give the green light to proceed with project located in the 100 West Main Street block, which includes the former home of the Watertown Daily Times and Neil Stolsmark’s Okinawa Kobudo.

“It is gratifying that the WEDC views the further development of our downtown as worthy of significant financial support,” said Rob Marchant, chairman of the Watertown RDA. “We will use this award and grant to complete the demolition and further environmental testing required to prepare the site for future construction.”

“WEDC is committed to working with communities throughout Wisconsin to invest in revitalizing their downtowns and enhancing their business districts,” said Missy Hughes, secretary and CEO of WEDC, the state’s lead economic development organization. “The town square project has the potential to be a true catalyst for downtown Watertown, giving a boost to other businesses, creating jobs, and bringing additional development to the area.”“Having a vibrant downtown with amenities like Watertown’s new town square will attract many people and positively contribute to a better quality of life.”

Final demolition is scheduled for the week of May 11.

In addition to demolition and preparing the site for construction, the RDA, with the help of the SmithGroup, applied for a significant grant to fund portions of the development of the riverwalk/trail, stormwater management, and a few other items related to the building of town square.

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