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Cold temperatures revive ice rink closed in 1996 Portable facility open nights, weekends

THE BALTIMORE SUN

The Westminster city ice rink, which was closed during the winter of 1996 and melted into a pool of watery slush last winter, is back in service.

City officials are hoping for colder temperatures that will allow for months of skating this winter.

The city Recreation and Parks Department opened the rink last weekend, attracting about 75 skaters. The portable 70-by-150-foot outdoor rink is in Dutterer Family Park in the 300 block of Winters Alley.

Warm temperatures last January and February turned the rink into "the largest wading pool in Carroll County," said Ronald J. Schroers, city recreation and activities supervisor.

City workers opened the rink this year in response to requests for a place to skate during the Christmas holiday, Schroers said.

The rink, which was in service for the first time in 1995 on a ball diamond in the City Park, remained closed in 1996 because of construction work at Dutterer Park, the rink's permanent location. The ball diamond had looked like a level site, but a survey showed a 2-foot difference in elevation from one end of the rink to the other, Schroers said.

"It worked. We had a lot of people skating. We just had 2 feet of water on one side and 4 inches on the other," he said.

Skaters must provide skates. The city charges $2 admission to cover operating expenses. Hot chocolate is on sale for 75 cents.

The rink will be open 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday, depending on weather conditions.

To find out whether the rink is open, call the rink conditions hot line, 410-751-5501.

Pub Date: 12/31/98

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