Lights … Camera … Watertown


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In May, Mayor Steve Washburn told Carver County News about efforts to start promoting Watertown and everything it has to offer. At the time this conversation followed housing and efforts to combat those issues. He mentioned millennials and their natural inclination to more urban areas, but he said Watertown will always have it’s own special flare.

“There’s a lot of people that want that, but there’s a lot of people that want what we have,” he said in May. “Good schools, open spaces and the small town feel.”

In the second week of June, that promotion tool, a Watertown video, is almost ready.

The video is almost exactly three minutes long and covers every aspect of Watertown that Washburn talks about as key areas of focus for the city. Those things are schools, parks, business and the “small town feel”.

The video features Washburn, taking the viewer on a visual tour of the city with a narrative throughout. He starts by saying the things he fell in love with 17 years ago when he and his wife moved to Watertown.

“Because of Watertown’s small town charm, great schools, affordable living, open spaces and vibrant businesses, today things in Watertown are even better,” he said.

He continues, saying Watertown is a place to start a family or live out your golden years. A goal that is consistent with the city’s comprehensive plans.

The video mentions Watertown as a gateway to agriculture and a short drive to the Twin Cities for more cultural entertainment. It also mentions the new fiber optic line, a partnership with Carver County to bring “blazing-fast internet”. It also touches on the Luce Line Trail, the Crow River, the thriving school system and the wonderful fireman and emergency responders.

“Most of all we take pride in our small town charm and just being friendly,” ends the video, before it leaves the viewers with thoughts about what they’re looking for in a home and that Watertown can bring you, community involvement, friendly neighbors, a great place to start a business and an opportunity to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city.

On June 13, the city council went over any last touches that should be made, but all in all approved of the promo. Creators of the video had gotten rid of stock shots and added more local businesses, homes and added more children and families.

“It adds the closeness to home,” said city administrator Shane Fineran.

Council member Deborah Everson said it made the video more personable, the only thing it was missing was a call to action, suggesting viewers go and visit Watertown.

Washburn said he hopes this is the start to a few 30 second commercials to keep people up to date with what is going on in the community and updates that are being made.

“We want to promote the things that are going on,” Washburn said.

An example he stated was the progress and benefits from filling empty lots that can be seen in the budget. He said after those commercials he hopes to do something focusing on the parks and trail system. Washburn noted these types of promotions are important because Watertown is competing with their neighbors like Delano and Waconia.

“We need to promote what’s great about us, and that’s the kind of intent,” he said.

Washburn said Watertown has had a lot of success in the last few years and these promotions should make the community feel good about that and have viewers understand the call to action.