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Find out what's happening in the city. Below is a list of current news releases.

News Flash - All
News Flash - Press Releases
City of Watertown Planning Board Meeting 12/01/2015
The next meeting of the City of Watertown Planning Board has been scheduled for Tuesday, December 1, 2015 at 3:00 pm in Council Chambers at City Hall. A meeting agenda and application materials for the projects to be discussed can be found on the city website:
CitiBus Route Change Due to Construction
CitiBus route changes due to the Fatory Street reconstruction and closure of Mill Street Bridge are as follows. Effective November 25th The C-1 North Side Loop Bus Route will resume the regular route, turning from Pearl Street onto Factory Street, through Public Square and back to the Transfer Site.

The A-1 Bus Route will also resume its normal route.

Thank you for your patience and cooperation!

Crow Hazing to Continue 11/30 and 12/01
Wildlife Biologists from the City’s crow hazing contractor, Loomacres Wildlife Management, will be continuing their efforts to haze nuisance crow flocks within the City next week. Loomacres will conduct hazing activities during the evening hours of Monday, November 30 and Tuesday, December 1, 2015.

The harassment methods used to disperse crows include pyrotechnics, lasers, air rifles and other devices. Several of these methods produce loud noises and flashing lights (similar to sirens and fireworks) that will frighten the birds and may be heard or observed by local residents. We apologize in advance for any disturbance due to the noise and light.

Citizens are encouraged to provide the location, estimated size, and dates and times of crow flock sightings in their neighborhoods. Loomacres Wildlife Management relies on this information to identify nuisance crow flocks and to target hazing efforts. The toll-free number to report crow activities is 1-800-243-1462. Please dial Extension #1. To report crow activities online, go to

For further information or questions, contact the City Planning Office at (315) 785-7740.

Flags to be Flown at Half-Staff
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today directed flags on state government buildings to be flown at half-staff on Tuesday, November 24, in honor of a Fort Drum Soldier who died in Iraq on Thursday, November 19. Pvt. Christopher Castaneda died in a non-combat related incident at Al Asad Air Base. He was assigned to the 3rd Squadron, 71st Cavalry Regiment, of the 10th Mountain Division's 1st Brigade Combat Team. He was a resident of Fripp Island, South Carolina.

"On behalf of all New Yorkers, I extend our deepest sympathy to Pvt. Christopher Castaneda's loved ones," Governor Cuomo said. "We are saddened by his loss and join his fellow soldiers, his family, and his friends in honoring his service to our nation."

Governor Cuomo has directed that the flags on all State buildings be lowered to half-staff in honor of and in tribute to New York service members and those stationed in New York who are killed in action or die in a combat zone.

Thanksgiving Public Service Announcement
All Offices at City Hall, 245 Washington Street will be closed on both Thursday, November 26th and Friday, November 27th. REFUSE PICK UP

Due to the observance of the Thanksgiving Holiday, trash and recycling service will be:

Regular pick up Monday, November 23rd thru Wednesday,

November 25th Thursday, November 26th – NO PICK UP

Regular Thursday pick up will be on Friday Regular Friday pick up will be on Saturday


There will be no bus services Thursday, November 26th

City Hall Holiday Hours
Watertown City Hall Municipal Offices will be open to serve the public on the day before Thanksgiving Day (November 25, 2015), Christmas Eve (December 24, 2015) and New Year’s Eve (December 31, 2015) from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. On behalf of all City employees, we wish you a happy and healthy holiday season!

For further information or questions, contact City Manager’s Office at 785-7730.

Christmas Parade and Downtown Tree Lighting
On Friday, December 4, 2015 at 6:30 p.m., Downtown Watertown will be full of holiday cheer and bustling with activity as the City hosts the annual Christmas Parade and Downtown Tree Lighting Ceremony on Public Square. The holiday festivities will begin at 6:30 p.m. on the north side of Public Square with a musical performance by the General Brown 6th Grade Chorus. A musical performance by the award winning Northern Blend Chorus will follow at 6:45 p.m.

At 7:00 p.m., the annual Christmas Parade, featuring over 35 entries, including a special guest from the North Pole, will travel through Public Square. The parade route will start on Black River Parkway, enter Public Square at Mill Street, travel through the north side of Public Square and down Court Street before ending in the Court Street Parking Lot.

Following the parade at approximately 7:45 p.m., Mayor Jeffrey E. Graham and members of the City Council will officially kick off the holiday season with a countdown to turn on the City’s holiday music and light display.

After the parade and tree lighting, Santa and Mrs. Claus will be greeting children in the Public Square Gazebo until 8:45 p.m. Mulled cider, hot cocoa and coffee will be served free of charge during the event courtesy of the Downtown Business Association (DBA). For a full schedule of events, please visit

New this year is a holiday decorating contest sponsored by the Downtown Business Association. The theme of the contest is “Let Freedom Ring with the Bells of Christmas: A Salute to Our Military and the 10th Mountain Division.” The DBA is encouraging business and property owners to decorate their storefronts and buildings for the holiday season. The DBA Board will be judging all of the participating storefronts on December 1, 2015 and will announce the winners just prior to the parade. The winning business will receive a 2016 DBA membership and a pizza party. For contest rules and to register your business, go to

Entries for the Christmas Parade will be accepted up until the start of the parade. Any late entries will be placed in the line of march ahead of Santa Claus. Contact Parade Chairman Stanley Zaremba at (315) 416-1087 for more information.

Preparations for the holiday season and this event are already underway as City DPW crews are getting ready to install over 100 pole mounted decorations throughout the Downtown area. On Wednesday, November 18, 2015, DPW crews will erect a 30’ cut Christmas tree in the center of Public Square. The tree, donated to the City by the DBA, will be the centerpiece of the light and music display.

The music and light display features thousands of LED lights that are synchronized to a variety of holiday songs. The music and light display will run every 30 minutes each night from 4:30 p.m. until 10:00 p.m. from December 5, 2015 through January 5, 2016.

Beginning at 4:00 p.m. on the day of the event, all travel lanes on the north side of Public Square will be closed to traffic and on-street parking will be restricted. In addition, Black River Parkway, Court Street and portions of Mill Street will be closed to traffic for the parade, beginning at approximately 5:45 p.m.

Temporary barricades, traffic cones and signage will be placed, and a detour route will be established for the event. Parking will be available at one of the many City parking lots in the downtown area and at the Jefferson County Human Services Building North and South Parking Lots after 5:00 p.m.

Tree Lighting Contact: Michael Lumbis, Planner, City of Watertown
(315) 785-7740

Downtown Business Association Contact: David Winters, President
(315) 405-0142

Parade Contact: Stanley Zaremba, Parade Chairman
(315) 416-1087

Weather Related Municipal Codes
The Watertown Police Department and Department of Public Works would like to remind Watertown residents of the two following weather related municipal codes:

265-11.1 Snow or other obstructing substances in streets Residents are reminded that shoveling; snow blowing or plowing snow into or across City streets is prohibited. Violators can be summoned in Watertown City Court and face a possible fine.

293-21c – All night seasonal parking restrictions No person shall park any vehicle upon any street or road in the City of Watertown between the hours of 2:00am and 6:00am between November 1st and April 30th. This is to include the area known as the margin between the sidewalk and curb as this is where plows need to push the snow. Violators may be subject to a $25.00 fine and have their car towed off the road.

The City is asking for cooperation with these restrictions in order to expedite the snow removal process and ensure safe roadways.

Factory Street Reconstruction
For complete information on the Factory Street Reconstruction Project, please click here.