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Some small, local things

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The budget proposal that will be voted on this week won't include consolidations of Department of Transportation offices, which should prompt a sigh of relief among downtown Watertown businesses.

The DOT headquarters in the Dulles State Office Building in Watertown could have moved out of the city under Gov. Andrew Cuomo's original proposal. State Sen. Patty Ritchie and Assemblywoman Addie Russell criticized the plan.

Politicians who are eager to talk about consolidating to save money generally dismiss the notion when it happens locally, saying that it will cost more in the long run to take away government workers from their necks of the woods.

But more important than whether the Interstate 81 connector could possibly be shepherded by an office out of Syracuse is the fact that hundreds of DOT employees work in the Dulles building, a stone's throw from Public Square. What happens when all those lunch dollars leave? The downtown area is already hurting because of the departure of one of the big banks there.

A representative for Mrs. Ritchie and Mrs. Russell herself confirmed this news.

Mrs. Ritchie also sent out a news release saying that the Department of Environmental Conservation will maintain 24-hour policing of a walleye run in Rossie, which will help net the support of anglers in the area.

Just two of this year's small-picture victories.

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