The City will have the money to make a deposit on the purchase of a property that includes a pond on the Westside of Watertown, and a small part of Waltham, after a vote made by the City Council on Tuesday night.
The Council approved a transfer of $100,000 from the City Council Reserve to the Acquisition of Land account. The money will be used to go toward the purchase of the 6.67-acre parcel that includes Walker’s Pond. The area would be used for public open space and recreation space, said George Proakis, who attended his first meeting as Watertown’s new City Manager.
“This is a site that, as I understand as a newcomer, that the community has spent many years discussing the benefits of using the site as open space and having it available to the community as open space. This vote is a key part of bringing that forward and making that happen, hopefully during this calendar year.”
Proakis said that the transfer was relatively simple, but the purpose is “far more significant.”
“With the transfer would allow the City to put down a deposit and sign an agreement on how we would acquire this piece of land,” Proakis said.
The area, also known as Lot 8, sits mostly on the far western end of Watertown, between Waltham Street and Pleasant Street, and was formerly owned by Raytheon and is currently owned by Seyon. A small section, 0.47 acres, sits in Waltham. A special act of the State Legislature, also called a Home Rule Petition, must be approved to allow Watertown to purchase land in another municipality.
“There is a Home Rule petition pending before the Legislature, which your Council voted to move to the Legislature, which would allow us to purchase the Waltham land, as well, so that we could own the one site together,” Proakis said. “The City of Waltham has been supportive of that, our legislative delegation has been supportive of that.”
The Council voted unanimously to approve the transfer.