Wakefield council votes to create ice rink by Sunday Lake


December 10, 2019


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Wakefield — Members of the Wakefield City Council voted Monday evening to create an ice rink for free public use on the southwest corner of Sunday Lake.

The site is in the same vicinity as the large snowman that appears each winter by Lakeshore Drive, near U.S. 2.

Street lighting, hydrant water, and park restrooms are available in the same area.

“I think we’ve got to do something for the kids,” said Marco Movrich, a member of the city’s planning commission who was in the audience on Monday evening.

City Manager Robert Brown, Jr. also pointed out that city surveys have shown strong support for a rink.

Members first discussed the possibility of other locations, such as the old pavilion on the north side of the lake. Movrich said the advantage of the pavilion would be the roof.

Mayor pro Tempore Amy Tarro, however, said that the pavilion’s cement walls are a concern. “I just worry about the kids getting hurt there,” she said, adding that it also could be a challenge for city workers to flood the pavilion.

Movrich and Mayor Dale White agreed that, in the future, a rink in the downtown region might be a good choice.

White added, however, “Let’s see what kind of turnout we get before we go too crazy.” He recommended keeping current plans “simple” at a place that is “easy to flood.”

Brown later told the Daily Globe that he expects the rink to be open by the end of the month, at which point he said “people can come and go as they please.”

There will be no formal hours or monitoring, he said. Brown also explained that the size of the rink has yet to be determined.

In other news, council members voted unanimously to accept $14,000 from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development Division, along with $3,000 from the Wakefield Township Board of Trustees, toward the purchase of a refill station for breathing equipment used by the city’s volunteer fire department.

The total cost of the equipment is $25,618, which will leave the city responsible to pay $8,618 for its part of the 55/45 cost-share grant.

The action followed a public hearing, during which Wakefield Fire Chief Lou Boetto reminded that the current refill station is a 1981 model that does not meet standards of the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Organization.

“We’re way out of compliance,” said Boetto of the current system. He said the new system has the capacity to “pretty much keep the whole county going.”

In addition to servicing Wakefield, Boetto said the new system also will be used to fill tanks for Marenisco, which does not have its own station.

The board also voted to pass the following three motions in relation to the Eddy Park Campground:

A “hard” opening date of the Friday before Memorial Day and a closing date of the first Monday in October;

A new refund schedule that will allow 100% refunds for cancellations made by Feb. 1 and no refunds after April 6, with a 50% refund from March 1-23 and a 25% refund from March 24-April 6.

Aan increase in seasonal rate costs from $1,000 to $1,300 for campground sites with cement pads.

During council comments, the mayor commended the city’s Department of Public Works for its ability to keep up with a recent barrage of snowstorms that have brought heavy wet snow and icy rain to the region repeatedly.

“I think they’ve done one heck of a job for a small community,” said White.

At the end of the meeting, the council entered a closed session regarding a matter that City Attorney Ray O’Dea said could not be disclosed.

The city’s Board of Review will meet today at 4 p.m.

The Wakefield Planning Commission will meet today at 5:30 p.m.

“Coffee with Council” will meet on Saturday from 9-11 a.m.

The City Council will have its next regular meeting on Dec. 23 at 5:30 p.m.

All city meetings and the coffee session will take place in the council room of the municipal building. The public is welcome.


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