Tupper Lake’s outdoor skating is for sure; site unsure

TUPPER LAKE – The village board here will create an ice skating rink one way or another.

During Monday’s village board meeting, Mayor Paul Maroun said he has given Tupper Lake School District Superintendent Seth McGowan until Friday to make a decision on whether the rink can go next to the Civic Center.

If that plan were to take shape, the village would be responsible for installing lighting, constructing the rink and putting ice down, but the rink would be maintained by Civic Center employees.

The Tupper Lake Central School District owns the Civic Center, and Superintendent Seth McGowan said he’s all for the rink, but only if it doesn’t place an extra burden on the district’s budget.

“If the school doesn’t want to go through with it, I say we go ahead and put it at the park,” said Trustee David “Haji” Maroun. “I think the water and sewer department could pitch in and help out with it.”

David suggested putting the rink in the infield of the Municipal Park’s baseball field. He said access to the rink would be through the front gate.

Trustee Thomas Snyder asked if the nearby restrooms are heated, and village Clerk Mary Cassagrain said yes. Snyder suggested using the building adjoining the restrooms as a warming hut for skaters. That building is now used as cold storage for maintenance equipment, and the only access into it is a garage door.

“In probably two hours’ time you could pull that (garage door) up and put a front on it with a door, if you wanted to heat it,” Snyder said. “If you put the rink out in front of it, I think you’d come out with a much better product. Let’s not do something that we’re going to fail at.”

Snyder also suggested looking into the small brick building by the tennis courts as a potential location for restrooms.

“We need bathrooms for the playground, and we also need a permanent place for the outdoor rink,” Snyder said. “If that building can be rehabbed and redone, this spring is the time to do it. Then we have a place for the restrooms for the playground, and for the skating and the softball. Paint it, get a roof on it, and get it ready.”

Trustee Rick Donah said the village should consider seeking the town’s help in running the rink, which would be open Friday through Sunday.

“Now’s the time to start this project, while the weather is still nice for it,” Donah said. “I’d like to see us try to do it. Obviously, you have to walk before you can run.”

The board agreed to wait for McGowan’s response before a final decision is made.