Fire chief to retire

Jared Felkins • Jun 20, 2018 at 8:15 PM

Watertown fire chief John Jewell reiterated his plans for retirement while the Watertown City Council praised his work and heard plans for Jewell to serve as grand marshal of the Fourth of July parade during Tuesday night’s meeting. 

Jewell’s last official day as chief of the Watertown Volunteer Fire Department will be June 30, and just four days later he will be the grand marshal in the city’s annual Stars, Stripes and Squirtguns Parade. 

“We’re going to miss you,” said Mayor Pro-Tem Brandon Howard, who filled in for an absent Mayor Mike Jennings. “He will always be my chief.”

It was Jewell’s last report as chief to give to the council. He said the road that leads to the helipad behind Three Forks Community Park used for LifeFlight emergencies would soon need work, and the windsock should also be replaced. 

“Thank you for your cooperation,” he said. 

Jewell served as Wilson Emergency Management Agency director from 2008-2013 in between about a 20-year stint as Watertown fire chief. 

In other business, the council unanimously approved a revised sewer ordinance on first reading. Some of the changes include the amount and type of discharge for businesses and industries and that septic tanks would be the responsibility of the homeowner. The ordinance was previously approved by the state. 

The council also unanimously approved to extend the city’s budget, which would end June 30. 

The Stars, Stripes and Squirtguns Parade will begin at 3 p.m., and lineup will start at 2 p.m. at Round Lick Baptist Church. The parade will proceed along Main Street to the end of East Main Street. Organizers said the cost to enter the parade is $20 for businesses and political candidates and free for families, but everyone should register with the Watertown Chamber of Commerce. A no squirt zone will be featured during the parade, and water balloons will be banned this year due to past improper use. 

A political rally and bake sale is planned for 6 p.m. at Three Forks Community Park, and a fireworks show will begin after sunset. 

Howard also discussed an idea to renovate and bring in more playground equipment at Three Forks Community Park. He said he’d like to get a group together, form a list of needs and seek out businesses and organizations that would want to lend financial help to buy new equipment. 

“If we had 12-15 pieces of new equipment down there, it would be really great,” Howard said. “We need to work together to make this park better. I’d be willing to work with the chamber or whatever to make this happen.”

The council will meet July 17 at 6 p.m. at the Watertown Community Center. 


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