Lakes of Willow Creek second addition approved by Watertown City Council

WATERTOWN, S.D.(Press Release} The Lakes of Willow Creek second addition received three separate approvals at Tuesday’s City Council meeting, including annexing land into the City, establishing zoning in said area, and approving a development agreement.

The development is one of the first large projects near the new Prairie Lakes Ice Arena that is nearing completion in January 2024.

Increased traffic will occur in the area as the development is near 3rd Avenue Northeast and 31st Street Northeast, including several semis with loaded gravel trucks, as there is also an active gravel pit mine in the very Northeast portion of 31st Street Northeast.

Watertown resident Doug Allen spoke up.

The developer, listed as J & J Land Sales LLC, will be constructing a full-width road on 3rd Avenue Northeast that will span the distance of the development, and on each side reaching 31st Street Northeast and 19th Street Northeast, it will remain gravel or crushed asphalt.

Public Works Director/City Engineer Heath VonEye explains more.

Councilman Bruce Buhler inquired what kind of an estimated expense the City would incur if it completed the street paving. City Engineer Justin Peterson recalled from memory but estimated about $4 million for the entire length and nearly $2 million if the City only finished the road to 19th Street Northeast.

The City will reimburse the developer for the north side of the road construction completion for an estimated $148,845.40….

The resident responded he understood the dilemma, but “it seems odd” they wouldn’t want to finish the complete road.

Councilman Dan Schutte told a story of driving a 4-wheel drive pickup on a rainy day on 31st Street Northeast, and it continuously kept pulling him into the ditch and said the road would be an issue.

Director VonEye says he understands the value of getting the road entirely constructed. Still, it could compromise other projects scheduled as part of the pavement management plan and if the funds are available in the Capital Improvement Plan or CIP fund.

Councilman Randy Tupper inquired what recourse the City has if a developer does not fulfill their portion of an agreement on any project, not this one specifically, and Director VonEye responded.

No mention of potential legal action was discussed.

The Council voted unanimously to approve all three items.