Watertown Moving Toward Having an Adopt-an-Island Program

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Watertown City Hall

Watertown Town Hall

Watertown Town Hall

Looking for a way to beatify more spots around town, the Public Works subcommittee has recommended creating an adopt-an-island program.

The concept of having businesses and groups care for plantings in traffic islands around town has been considered in the past, and this week Councilor Ken Woodland brought the request to the Public Works subcommittee.

“It will address traffic islands in town along with other identified spaces,” Woodland said. “Local businesses can team up with the town.”

The subcommittee considered whether to have a contractor hired by the town do the work, whether to allow businesses to hire their own contractor and/or allowing volunteers do the planting and care for it.

Public Works Superintendent Gerald Mee suggested that the town find a contractor.

“I am 100 percent in favor (of adopt-an-island). I think it is a great idea,” Mee said. “I’d prefer asking a landscaper to take the island and maintain it. They should be licensed and insured landscapers.”

Using volunteers would not be a good idea, Mee said.

“The problems from the town’s perspective is liability, safety and consistency,” Mee said.

Not every landscaped island would be up for the program, Mee said. The DPW would continue to care for the delta in Watertown Square, and other larger and prominent areas around town.

The subcommittee did not decide how much to charge for sponsoring an island. Nor did they say how big the signs would be.

The Public Works subcommittee voted to recommend to the full Town Council to have the DPW design maintenance specifications and with a sign specifications for a pilot adopt-an-island program.

Subcommittee members said they would like to start the program next spring, but if there is interest, it could start as soon as the fall.

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