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Plans to look at buying properties for City Hall parking

pWATERTOWN — Getting a parking spot in City Hall’s busy parking lot was only going to get worse./ppThat’s because more people are going to attend City Court on a daily basis, with a new Drug Court specifically to address the opioid crisis and a Veterans’ Court to be held in the Washington Street municipal building./ppBut city officials believe they have found a way to resolve the need for more parking. The city plans to purchase an apartment building at 201 Sterling St. and four other nearby properties and use them to expand parking./ppAccording to a purchase agreement, the city has a purchase option for the properties for $13,500 and a purchase agreement in place for the city to acquire them for $210,720 from owner Brian H. Murray./ppOver the years, the subject of finding ways to ease parking in the City Hall parking lot comes up every so often. /pp“To help address that situation, the Watertown City Council directed City Hall staff to enter negotiations with the owners of properties along Sterling Street and Goodale Street for the purposes of expansion of the City Hall parking lot,” City Attorney Robert J. Slye wrote in a June 5 memo./ppThe city would acquire the 9-unit apartment building and tear it down, a vacant lot at 209 Sterling St.; a vacant commercial property at 241 Goodale St. that was once the site of two-family house; and parking lots at 231 and 237 Goodale St./ppThe five properties are currently assessed at $152,900./ppIn recent weeks, council members discussed the transaction in executive sessions. /ppPreviously, council members agreed to make expanded parking at City Hall one of their goals in a proposed strategic plan they’re putting together./ppAbout three years ago, Mr. Murray purchased the Goodale properties for parking for the nearby Solar Building that he owns./ppIn 2015, the city looked into acquiring the properties and turning them into overflow parking for City Hall. Former landlord Perry F. McIntosh offered to sell the apartment building but the deal never went anywhere./ppThe nine-unit apartment building was the scene of two noteworthy fires over the years. In 2015, a woman died in an accidental fire in a first-story apartment, possibly after she put her socks in the oven to warm them. /ppAlmost five years earlier, a tenant barricaded himself in his apartment during a fire. He was never charged in connection with the February 2010 incident./p


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