Despite getting a late start this year, the organizers of the Greendale Ice Rink are determined to provide free skating to the community.
Jackie Schweitzer, Director of Greendale's Park & Recreation Department, says ideally they need to have two to four inches of frost in the ground before the ground ice rink can be used, but that hasn't happened because of this winter's unseasonably warm weather.
Crew members started working on the rink thinking they might have some luck during the last winter storm but the warm weather that followed delayed the work once again. Schweitzer said it needs to be single digits to low-teen temperatures to get the ice rink started. Crews, made up of one to three people, have put in about 30 hours of work this season.
Schweitzer said Sunday night looks like it might be cold enough. Last year there were also delays and there were only six skating days. The first year the rink was built there were 25 skating days.
The community-found ice rink was constructed in December 2010 by a group of local residents who were nostalgic for the local rink they recalled from growing up in the village. Now under the direction of the Park & Recreation Department, Schweitzer says the rink is self-sustaining and no tax dollars are used to fund it. She said it costs an average of $4,000 a season to operate the ice rink and that all the money comes from donations, which are used to pay for the labor, equipment and the water bill.
About $8,000 was spent the first year for the initial expenditures. Schweitzer said there is some money left over from last year but still needs to raise $1,200 to $1,500.
Schweitzer also said that a Greendale Middle School class was disappointed earlier this week when they were told they could not have an ice skating outing due to the closure of the rink.
If people want to know the status of the rink they can drive by or call the Park and Recreation Department at (414) 423-2790.