Mayor Mike Jennings asked police Chief Bill Laney if his officers were ready for the holiday Tuesday.
“I just don’t want to see anyone get hurt,” Jennings said. “We want to wake up Wednesday morning and know everyone is safe.”
After the meeting, Jennings talked about why the small city attracts so many trick or treaters each year.
“It is viewed as being very safe with a lot of houses in a very small area,” Jennings said. “Businesses on the square will participate again with a lot of them in close proximity, and you have churches doing trunk or treat, where you can do a lot in a little time in a safe setting. It is not unusual to see a hayride or two, where the hayride begins somewhere. They come to town and do their trick or treating, then gather back at the wagon to complete the hayride.”
Jennings said Watertown Middle School generally provides parking, and several residents between the school and the square participate with their porch lights on to welcome the costumed children until about 8 p.m.
“Before they extended Daylight Saving Time to the first weekend in November, the events usually started about 5 p.m. or, as most parents would say, ‘at dark.’ It is a little different now, but it is not unusual to find several out going door to door while the sun is still up,” Jennings said. “Most everything winds down by about 8 p.m., or a little after. For a period of time, with good weather, Main Street looks similar to the Mile-Long Yard Sale with the number of people and vehicles moving around.”
Jennings stressed safety will be the top priority Tuesday night.
“If you come out, expect a large number of people with slow traffic and a lot of children going through yards taking the shortest route possible from one porch to the next,” he said.
In other business Tuesday evening, the council approved the purchase of a dump truck for $19,000.
The council also accepted a deed of gift from Wilson Bank & Trust for the Veterans Memorial and land next to the bank’s parking lot. The memorial was an Eagle Scout project from a few years ago.
The council also reappointed Alderman Tom Nix to the Joint Economic and Community Development Board. Jennings noted Nix had perfect attendance.
The council voted to increase city administrative assistant Lisa Baines’ pay rate to $13.50 per hour.
The council acknowledged several accomplishments, including Watertown High School’s volleyball team’s appearance in the state tournament for the first time in school history recently. Alderman Brandy Holcomb coaches the team.
“I was very proud,” Holcomb said.
Watertown’s cross-country girls team also qualified for the state meet after a third-place finish at regionals in Cookeville last week. The team includes Saranda Woodson, Emma Christensen, Emma Edwards, Ashlea Dickens and Isabella Riley. Alex Wims, a member of the cross-country boys team, qualified for state as an individual after he finished seventh at regionals.
Another Watertown student, Amanda Campbell, was named to the all-state choir.
Nona Lisa Pizzeria was voted one of the three best restaurants in Wilson County by Nashville Scene magazine readers recently. Alderman Katie Smith owns the Watertown pizza restaurant.
Holcomb, who also teaches drama at Watertown High School, said the winter play, “Cinderella,” would be performed Dec. 15 at 6:30 p.m. and Dec. 16 at 2:30 p.m. in the school auditorium. Admission is $5 per person.
Allen Cloud, 16, who is working to earn his Eagle Scout rank, attended the meeting to take notes for a report to fulfill one of his requirements. He asked if he could install a sign at City Hall as his project. Jennings said he believed an electronic sign was planned for City Hall, but would meet with Cloud to determine a project for him to earn his rank.