Saturday, November 18th, 2017

Will Watertown lose their train stop, too?


The Watertown Common Council unanimously agreed to put the building of a train station for the proposed high-speed train line on the ballot in April. Another community has decided to ask questions and hear the voice of the people before committing to another ongoing expense that may be more than they bargained for.

The question that will appear on April’s ballot will be: “Shall the city of Watertown expend public resources to design, develop, construct and/or maintain a train station to serve as a stop on the Milwaukee to Madison rail line?”

Last month a group of citizens collected over 1,500 valid signatures for a similar referendum question, but the council laid over taking action on that document at its last meeting because the language was not valid under state statutes. The council then agreed to sponsor a resolution posing a similar question at Tuesday’s meeting.

Because the initial petition from the citizens needed to be acted upon within 30 days of being submitted, the council rejected that resolution Tuesday. The council was able to reject the petition because it was not in an appropriate form for either adoption or submission to the electorate.

Alderman Steve Zgonc wonders if the state will answer everyone’s questions prior to the April election. My advice to Zgonc and the Watertown residents is that if you don’t have all of your questions answered by then, then your vote should be against building the train station.

Of course, the November election may just take care of the problem for Watertown ahead of time.

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