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Watertown Housing Authority celebrates with tenants, looks to future

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The Watertown Housing Authority’s sixth annual summer bash celebrated both the end of summer and all of the agency’s accomplishments throughout the year.

Held Friday between the agency’s East Hills and Meadowbrook family complexes, off Eastern Boulevard, the event let families enjoy games, activities and a free meal, while Executive Director Michael C. Robare expressed the agency’s commitment to maintaining and expanding housing options for those who are low-income in the city.

“Part of our five-year plan is to replace those units that were demolished at Maywood,” he said. “It depends what the need is.”

He said the agency owns property behind the back fence of both East Hills and Meadowbrook complexes. The agency also has other available property, or could renovate a building to build more family units, or perhaps a four- or five-story high-rise for seniors. Replacing the four demolished units at Maywood or bringing a whole other site to fruition means more federal dollars will be pumped into the local community, Mr. Robare said.

Building additional properties may take five years or more, he said.

“We’ve got to put a plan together, get HUD approval, finances to pay for it, go out for procurement, and it all takes time,” Mr. Robare said.

Aside from new structures, a new playground will be built at the Maywood family complex, off Grove Street. Skyline Apartments also will get some modernizations, and LeRay Street Apartments eventually will have a revamped parking lot.

Aja R. Williams, a resident of the Meadowbrook complex, said she’s noticed the changes in facade at East Hills and the new playground between Meadowbrook and East Hills. The agency’s summer bash is always a bonus to her family’s summer fun plans, she said.

“It’s something for all kids to do in the neighborhood, and it gives the kids a break from the norm of the park or playground,” she said.

She brought her two daughters, Anastaja M., 4, and Serenity L., 10, and two children she baby-sits to the event.

“I like the bouncy house,” Anastaja said, after she tugged on her mother’s shirt, begging for an orange snow cone.

The summer bash offered visits from the Watertown Fire Department, the Alcohol and Substance Abuse Council of Jefferson County, the Jefferson County Dairy Princess and the Watertown Family YMCA. Games and activities included sack races, ring toss, Texas horseshoes, ladder ball, face painting, balloon animals and a bounce house. A barbecue lunch also was provided.


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