City officials hear concerns about homeless people sleeping under pavilion at J.B. Wise parking lot

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WATERTOWN — City officials have received a few recent complaints about homeless people sleeping overnight in the J.B Wise parking lot pavilion.

City Council members have heard that homeless people have been seen sleeping on picnic tables and that hypodermic needles have been found around the pavilion in the downtown parking lot.

The subject came up during Monday night’s council meeting about residents expressing concerns over the situation.

Council members didn’t make any decisions about what should be done, although they initially expressed concern about possible drug activity occurring and whether police patrols should be used to check on the pavilion.

City Manager Kenneth A. Mix said homelessness is complex.

“It just shows you that it’s more and more an issue in the city,” He said. “And they’ll have to go some place else.”

They briefly talked about passing an ordinance to close the pavilion for public use at night. City parks are closed at night.

When he was involved in the Saturday morning farmers market a few years ago, Mr. Mix said he remembered seeing homeless people in the pavilion in the morning who picked up their belongings, went into the restrooms and then left.

On Monday, a local property manager met with Mr. Mix to talk about people breaking into vacant buildings in the city and leaving hypodermic needles behind.

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