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updated: 12/12/2014 7:06 PM

Island Lake won't build ice rink at Converse Park this winter

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Citing financial concerns, Island Lake officials won't erect an ice-skating rink at Converse Park this winter.

Instead, skaters should enjoy the ice on the town's namesake lake, officials said during Thursday's village board meeting.

The rink has been an annual tradition at the park, which is on Route 176 at Converse Road, but building and maintaining the rink is a lot of work, officials said.

Crews have to buy and prepare a tarp to put on the grass over which water is frozen, Trustee Keith Johns said.

Additionally, public works crews remove snow from the surface during winter, Mayor Charles Amrich said.

Trustee Chuck Cermak took credit for suggesting the rink not be put up this winter. The rink isn't used by many people "for the money we spend on it," he said.

No cost estimates were provided during the discussion.

Veterans Park, which is off Lakeview Drive near Route 176, may be a good spot to skate because it has a house that can be used as a warming shelter, Amrich said.

Island Lake has struggled financially in recent years. Unusually exorbitant legal bills drained the village coffers during the previous administration. In 2013, officials discovered a police pension account had been underfunded for years.

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