Welcome to another episode of Watertown 365 podcast for the week of October 1st. We bring you Watertown’s latest scoops, news & stories, with 2 business spotlights that you have to watch out for in the later part of this episode. Sit back and relax, and let’s begin with our first story. Are you a fan of ABBA? The Ultimate ABBA Tribute is coming to Watertown this Friday! Do you want to take part on raising funds to aid north country communities? United Way of NNY is hosting a benefit truck pull on Saturday. Exciting news as Watertown looks at moving to electric city vehicles. To slow the spread of the emerald ash borer, City is removing infested ash trees in Thompson Park. And know more details about the convenience store proposed for Cady Road. At the end of the episode, we will share to you the latest updates about COVID 19 in Jefferson County. Also, let’s show some love and support to our local businesses especially during this pandemic as we give the spotlight to 2 business in Watertown this week. All that and more today for this week’s Watertown365 podcast.
Abbacadabra: The Ultimate ABBA Tribute coming to Watertown Friday
“Abbacadabra: The Ultimate ABBA Tribute” is coming to the Dulles State Office Building at 7 p.m. Friday.
The concert is presented by the Disabled Persons Action Organization and Waite Toyota.
Now in its 15th year of touring, Abbacadabra has entertained audiences worldwide, in concerts and on TV. The show has been performed in Europe, the Caribbean, Mexico, Guatemala and across the U.S.
Opening up for the DPAO fall show will be local musician Mike Tyo.
Tickets for the concert are $20 each and may be purchased by calling DPAO at 315-782-0044 or by visiting any of the Watertown Kinney Drugs store locations.
The DPAO is requiring proof of vaccination, along with identification, to attend the show. That proof may include an original or a copy of a vaccination card or by showing the New York State Excelsior Pass.
Non-vaccinated individuals and children under 12 attending the show, DPAO says, must wear a mask at all times.
Proceeds from the concert will benefit the programs and services that DPAO provides to over 500 developmentally disabled children, adults and their families in Jefferson and Lewis counties.
United Way of NNY hosting benefit truck pull on Saturday
As part of its 100-year anniversary, the United Way of Northern New York will host a truck pull beginning at 10 a.m. Saturday at the Alex T. Duffy Fairgrounds.
Teams of up to 10 people are invited to pull a 55,000-pound Renzi Foodservice semi-truck 40 yards in the fastest time to raise funds to aid north country communities.
All proceeds go toward the United Way’s ALICE program, which is focused on helping local families who are employed that are struggling to make ends meet. ALICE is an acronym for Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed.
A similar truck pull was held Sept. 18 at SUNY Canton.
Saturday’s event will include food trucks: the Italian Affair (pizza) and Elm Street Tacos. A United Way spokesperson said that Garland City Beer Works will be there as well, serving beer. There will also be a 50/50 raffle and an area where military and first responder equipment will be featured.
The event is scheduled to conclude at 5 p.m.
The suggested donation for adult participants is $30, and $20 for students. Suggested registration cost for a corporate team of up to 10 people is $500.
Teams can sign up until the day of the competition. To preregister, go to unitedway-nny.org/truck-pull. Awards will be given to the top three teams.
raise funds to aid north country communities.
Watertown looks at moving to electric city vehicles
Watertown is imagining a future fleet of electric vehicles.
Right now, the closest the city has are hybrid SUVS used by Watertown police.
Moving more into an electric fleet was brought up this week at a council meeting after the governor announced she wants all new passenger cars and trucks sold in the state to be zero emission by 2035.
City officials don’t think it’ll take that long.
“It’s open for debate as to how quickly it will happen, but I think within the next decade, you’ll be seeing a majority of electric vehicles on the road. And that means our fleet here at the city have to transition over too,” said Watertown City Manager Ken Mix.
The city’s largest fleet is the Department of Public Works’ pickup trucks, with a few more in the water department.
Mix admits that could make it tougher to make a change quickly because there aren’t a ton of electric pickup trucks on the market right now.
He also says the city could need more charging stations.
City removing infested ash trees in Thompson Park
To slow the spread of the emerald ash borer, a total of 20 trees in Thompson Park will be removed by city Public Works crews.
Ten ash trees in the city-owned park were taken down Monday, with the remainder of the 20 to be removed Tuesday.
The infested trees are located in various locations in the park, including areas adjacent to the playground, stone rest rooms, Zoo New York, the pool and Rotary fitness center.
Over the next several years, 90 trees with the disease will be removed in the park. The idea is to minimize future risks of other ash trees. They will be replaced by newly planted trees.
“We don’t want to remove all of them at once,” said city planner and arborist Michael J. DeMarco, who’s overseeing the city’s emerald ash borer program.
The city hopes to save 17 ash trees in Thompson Park — and a total of 56 in the city — through chemical treatment over a two-year period.
Two years ago, the emerald ash borer, an invasive beetle that targets and kills ash trees, was discovered in the city.
The city has put together a plan to battle the beetles.
Unless proactively removed or chemically treated, all city-owned ash trees will become infested and succumb to damage.
The city has determined that 375 ash trees have been infested by the emerald ash borer and must be removed over the next five to 10 years. Last year, 50 were removed and another 50 will be taken down this year.
According to the city’s strategy, once trees are heavily infested, usually between four and seven years after initially infested, their wood becomes brittle and unstable, causing an increased risk to the public.
After infested trees are removed, the population of the beetle should diminish, Mr. DeMarco said.
City property owners with ash trees that have been infested can contact Mr. DeMarco to devise a strategy for those trees. Contact Mr. DeMarco at (315) 785-7884.
Convenience store proposed for Cady Road
A vacant building at County Route 62 and Cady Road that housed an exterminator business might soon be a convenience store and gas station.
The Jefferson County Planning Board will consider the project in the former Arrow Pest Control, 19784 Cady Road, on Tuesday afternoon.
Two weeks ago, the town of Watertown Planning Board reviewed the site plans for the convenience store, near the entrance of Exit 44 off Interstate 81, but took no action.
Tom Ross, who is designing the project is expected to get approval at the Oct. 6 meeting.
The developer is the Avichal Corporation, which is associated with the owners of Jefferson Dental Health. Plans call for renovating the interior of the 2,307-square-foot building but only cosmetic work is expected for its exterior.
Town planners expressed concerns that the setback for the canopy for the six gas pumps is too close to both Cady Road and Route 62. The developer will have to get an area variance because of that.
Construction is slated for next spring.
The county planning board meeting will be held virtually, starting at 3 p.m. Tuesday.
The convenience store will offer coffee, donuts and other items typical for that type of business, Mr. Ross said.
169 new COVID-19 cases reported Wednesday across tri-county area
No new deaths were attributed to the virus in Jefferson, St. Lawrence or Lewis counties.
St. Lawrence County reported 69 new cases, bringing its total of confirmed cases since the onset of the pandemic to 10,585. There are 16 people in the hospital due to the virus, an increase of one from Tuesday. The county has experienced 119 COVID-19-related deaths.
Jefferson County added 85 new cases, for a total of 9,049 confirmed cases. Thirteen people are hospitalized, a decrease of two from Tuesday. There have been 90 deaths.
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Thank you for tuning in to this week’s episode. Don’t forget to visit our website, https://watertown365.com/, to stay up-to-date on our local news. You can also visit and like our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/watertown365 and leave us some comments! Stay tuned for next week’s exciting episode! Have a great weekend and always stay safe!