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updated: 11/27/2012 3:54 PM

Roselle's artificial ice rink coming to Turner Park

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  • Roselle residents will be able to skate in Turner Park this winter even when it's not cold enough to use Turner Pond.

      Roselle residents will be able to skate in Turner Park this winter even when it's not cold enough to use Turner Pond.
    Courtesy Roselle Park District

 

Even when days aren't cold enough this winter to ice skate on Turner Pond in Roselle, residents still can bring their blades.

The village board on Monday unanimously approved an intergovernmental agreement with Roselle Park District to allow park district patrons to use Roselle's artificial ice rink in the park at 81 E. Devon.

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The park board is slated to approve its end of the agreement Tuesday night.

Roselle purchased the 45-by-45-foot rink for nearly $29,000 in late 2010 from Artificial Ice Events. It was assembled during the past two winters in the new Main Street Civic Plaza on Main and Prospect Streets.

The idea was to add a recreational attraction to the downtown retail district, but residents seldom used the rink.

"This was one of those ideas that just didn't work," Trustee Terrence Wittman said. "But now it's going to be utilized instead of sitting in the garage."

Under the agreement, the village retains ownership of the rink, but the park district pays to operate, install and maintain it. Roselle officials said they think the park district will have more success attracting users, since its mission is to promote recreation.

Although the rink will be in Turner Park this winter, the park district could potentially use it any time of year. That's because it uses synthetic ice made of a plastic polymer, which fits together like a giant jigsaw puzzle, according to the manufacturer. The panels are treated with a lubricating solution that reduces friction and enhances glide and speed.

While the surface creates about 10 percent more drag than real ice, the key is to use freshly-sharpened skates. The rink can accommodate about 35 skaters at once.

The park district does not charge to skate on Turner Pond and no skate rental is available. It is expected park officials will keep the same rules for the artificial rink.

If the agreement works successfully this year, officials said it has an automatic renewal clause and the park district can use the rink again next year.

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