WISCASSET, Maine — Cold weather is here and the town’s parks and recreation department has built the framework for a public ice skating rink. All that’s needed to turn a long-held goal by community officials into a reality are cash donations.
The town has been working with the Wiscasset Area Chamber of Commerce for the past few months to accomplish the project. The plywood siding for the rink, which is located at the Wiscasset community playground and ball fields on Route 27, are up. As soon as the town can afford a liner for the rink, the town will provide the water and winter will provide the cold.
“We’ve tried this in past years,” said Todd Souza, the town’s parks and recreation director. “It will be open to the public at no charge. We’re trying to get the community behind it and make it cost-free to the taxpayers.”
The rink, which is on a baseball field adjacent to the town’s public playground, measures 67 by 115 feet. Souza said it will be open to whoever wants to use it and that his hope is to hold community activities there.
The town is seeking donations totaling $1,000 for the purchase of a liner. That, along with the $600 in portable siding materials that have been purchased and erected, will make the ice rink a winter fixture for years to come. If all goes well, it’s possible that in the future the rink will include a skate rental operation and the capacity to host birthday parties and other events.
“We’re trying to make sure we raise the money before we order the liner, and there’s a three-week waiting period for the liner,” said Souza.
Souza said planning for fundraisers is in the works. The Wiscasset Area Chamber of Commerce has jump-started the effort with a $500 donation, which was used to purchase the siding materials. Souza said the parks and recreation department will maintain the rink once it’s operational.
“The temperatures are just getting to where we need them,” said Souza. “To make solid ice, we need to do it a half-inch at a time so it will take a few days to get a good 4 or 5 inches of ice. Hopefully, we’ll get this done sooner than later.”
To make a donation, contact the Wiscasset Parks and Recreation Department by calling 882-8230 or send a check to the Wiscasset Recreation Department, 242 Gardiner Road, Wiscasset 04578.