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Watertown Hockey Association President, Vince Foley speaks to the City Council expressed his frustration with the lack of progress on the project over the years and encouraged them to keep moving forward to get it built.  

The Watertown City Council met for their regular meeting on Monday night.  One of the agenda items was an update on the ice arena project.  That update follows recent comments from Mayor Sarah Caron that the chair of the Ice Arena Committee and her mayoral opponent, Ried Holien had stepped down from his leadership role on the committee and had also prevented city staff from seeing soil boring samples taken from the proposed ice arena build site in NE Watertown. At the meeting, Holien emphasized during his opening comments, that he was still the chair of the committee….. 

The ice arena project has been on the city’s radar for years but has remained out of touch until recently when a memorandum of understanding between four key players in the development of the project was signed. The MOU signed by Watertown Mayor Sarah Caron on behalf of the City, Jim Redlinger of the Watertown Development Company, Jamie Andrews of J&J Earthworks and Jesse Craig of Craig Development, established the Public -Private Partnership to move the project forward.  City Council Alderman Don Roby explained the idea behind the Memorandum of Understanding…..

Dick Strassburg, an architect from the TEGRA Group has worked on major projects including Target Field in Minneapolis and the Sioux Falls Event Center.  He has been hired as the city’s expert on the project. Strassburg said his role is to ensure the project continues to move forward. He said the project is currently in a “Snarly Phase” where many decisions are still be made regarding the project and that is leading to frustration. He said that is typical during this phase…...

After hearing from Strassburg, Ward C Alderman Michael Heuer asked a couple of questions regarding the project, one which concerned the soil borings and led to a response from City Engineer and Public Works Director Heath Von Eye…

Prior to wrapping up discussion on the project, Holien cautioned against making negative comments about the project, an obvious response to the mayors’ earlier comments that Holien had purposely hid the results of the soil borings from city staff…….

Holien said the now is the time to build the ice arena ….

Caron, responded directly to Holien’s comments, urging him to utilize city staff in the decisions made in the project……… 

Holien responded back to Mayor Caron….

Vince Foley, President of the Watertown Hockey Association expressed his frustration with the lack of progress on the project……

In conclusion the council was urged by Holien to continue with the MOU process and to keep the project moving forward.