CATSKILL — With the year’s first winter storm on the way, it’s time for village residents to break out their skates.
After being set back by warm weather last year, the village has prepared the ice skating rink at Elliott Park.
The Department of Public Works was putting the finishing touches on the rink Tuesday, Village Trustee Joseph Kozloski said.
“It should be open as soon as the ice is thick enough to skate on,” Kozloski said, adding that the cold temperatures later this week will help.
The rink is located on an 80-foot-by-120-foot fenced-in blacktop surface. The village purchased a liner for the rink in 2019 for $1,200.
“Last year [Village Trustee] Pete Grasse and I really tried to get the ice rink up and running but with the huge snowstorm in November and some water main breaks, it just didn’t happen fully,” Village Trustee Natasha Law said. “We got it prepped this year using volunteers from a local construction company [Oscar Franco Home Remodeling], so this year it made the process much smoother.”
Grasse agreed there were stumbling blocks in previous years.
“The year before, I missed the opportunity because I didn’t have anybody to get the site prepped in time,” he said. “And last year, the weather didn’t cooperate. With the impending storm coming, I said we have to get this liner in now.”
The cold weather this week will help with the project, Law added.
“Pete was watching the weather and saw we were getting some cold weather this week and with the help from our amazing Department of Public Works, we got it all set up and filled with water,” she said.
The rink hasn’t been fully operational in about 15 years, Grasse said.
“It’s a good idea,” Kozloski said. “Years ago we used to have it where the ladies softball team is now. People enjoyed skating onto it. We tried it in the past and a lot of times because of the weather or whatever else, it hasn’t come to fruition.”
Legislator Matthew Luvera, R-Catskill, was pleased to see the rink come to life.
“I’m very happy to hear that the village installed the ice rink again,” he said. “This is a great opportunity for residents of all ages to enjoy the outdoors during this pandemic.”
“I think with everything that has happened this year, little things like this really bring some holiday cheer and that’s what it is all about for me,” she said. “The rink is huge so families can social distance.”
Children under the age of 12 are asked to wear a helmet and skate under the supervision of an adult, Law said.
A set of bleachers, donated by Catskill Central School, was installed next to the rink, Grasse said. The rink will be lighted and there is plenty of parking, he added.
Law is exploring the idea of selling hot chocolate and snacks at the rink, she said, but it may not happen until next year.
“Just know, next year will be even better,” she said.
Anyone with ice skates they wish to donate should bring them to the Department of Public Works, Grasse said.
“It’s great for the community during these times,” he said. “It gives the kids an opportunity to do something outside. Hopefully we will be able to maintain the ice and enjoy it throughout the winter.”