Redevelopment Authority approves Town Square funding

These two buildings, 111 and 115 W. Main St., will remain up until the Redevelopment Authority receives approval of a grant application for Phase II testing to be done on the location. According to RDA Executive Director Kristen Fish-Peterson, the approval may not come for a few more weeks.

The first step in a funding plan for the new Watertown Town Square was completed during a meeting in City Hall Wednesday.

The Watertown Redevelopment Authority approved providing $1 million in funding for the Town Square project from its own accounts. According to RDA Executive Director Kristen Fish-Peterson, the strategy splits funding with $1 million coming from the RDA, $1 million from the City of Watertown and $1 million to $1.8 million from fundraising and grant writing to achieve the project’s preliminary $2.8 million to $3.8 million budget.

Fish-Peterson also said the finance committee and common council will discuss the city’s portion of the funding over the next couple of weeks.

During the meeting, Fish-Peterson also outlined the current progress of the demolition of the 100 block buildings.

According to Fish-Peterson, the RDA approved an application to the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. for Phase II testing funding using a matching fund from the state’s Department of Natural Resources. The application will ask the state to fund $125,739 to complete the testing.

Fish-Peterson said once this process is complete, the group can move forward with the demolition of the two remaining 100-block buildings, 111 and 115 W. Main St. According to Fish-Peterson, it may take a few weeks to receive the approval to continue the demolition.

“Everything is on track for the demolition and testing,” Fish-Peterson said. “At the same time, SmithGroup is refining designs for the Town Square and we are working on our grant writing and fundraising efforts. Everything is moving along on the timeline we originally presented.”

According to the original timeline, the demolition of the 100 block buildings will be completed sometime this spring, while the whole project is projected to be completed sometime in fall of 2021.

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