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Area News

Skating Rink Taking Shape in Augusta

Terry Prather, The Ledger Independent

If there is a budding ice skater in the Augusta area, the chance to shine will be coming in November. This week Augusta city maintenance crews began assembling an ice-skating rink on West Second Street.

Ice may be the wrong term because the synthetic surface is not ice, but a product that allows skating with regular ice skates, but no frozen water, or even cold weather required.

Augusta officials learned of the availability of a gently used rink in late 2013, which the city of Alexandria had used for two special events then decided to sell.

According to Alexandria officials, the 25 feet by 50 feet rink was purchased to be used at Christmas in Alexandria in 2012, “...which went well.”

But constant inclement weather in 2013 saw most of the festival canceled and the city decided to not continue with the holiday project, and to sell the rink.

"We had about $12,000 to $15,000 into the project," said Alexandria Mayor William Rachford. "It was really a community project. I am glad to see Augusta can take over and make good use of it."

Augusta officials, with a solid history of White Christmas movie ties, including the Rosemary Clooney House Museum displays of mementos and costumes related to the movie, and its annual White Christmas theme parade festivities, jumped on the chance to buy the rink, “...at a considerably reduced price.”

Using funds which it received from Clopay Corporation to be used for recreation projects, Augusta officials paid only $2,000 for the entire package of rink and skates, officials said.

The area of the tennis courts along West Second Street seemed the logical location, with a flat surface to erect the rink and easy public access, Augusta officials said.

“There are also dozens of skates, in all sizes,” said Gretchen England, Augusta city clerk.

Plans are to have the rink ready for use, at least, in November and December, and coordinate with merchant and holiday festivities, officials said.

The Ledger Independent is online at: http://www.maysville-online.com