TREMONT — Frosty temperatures have dampened many people’s desires to spend time outdoors. But the cold days have an upside: the conditions were perfect for opening the new ice skating rink here.
The 60-by-100-foot rink opened on Wednesday, Dec. 26, on town-owned property on Harbor Drive.
For the past three years, members of the town’s Recreation Board have been working on the project. The previous attempts, according to board member Jeff Watson, were not planned correctly.
“The whole project kind of failed because we weren’t doing it right,” Watson said.
He said previous attempts used clear liners instead of the traditional white liner. He explained that clear liners attract sunlight and, with high temperatures, doomed the first efforts.
This year, Watson and his daughter installed the liner and boards that surround the rink. They used a $4,550 kit from a Wisconsin company called NiceRink. The setup took about half a day. The rink is similar to the one set up many winters in a field at College of the Atlantic in Bar Harbor.
Watson said he pumped 10,000 gallons of water into the rink from a nearby well. One of the town’s fire trucks brought over another 10,000 gallons.
The well, while not plentiful enough to be the sole source of water, will help when the rink needs to be resurfaced.
The cost of the rink’s parts and required labor is $8,300. The town budgeted $3,200 for the rink in the 2017-2018 fiscal year, but made up the difference by voting in July to allocate $6,650 to the project. The funds came from a carryover in the Recreation Board budget.
Board member Amy Murphy said the ground was leveled in 2015. The well and electric hookups to power lights at the rink were done this year. Fire Chief Keith Higgins told the Islander the project is a great addition to the town.
Another amenity of the rink is a 10-by-20-foot warming and equipment shed built by Mount Desert High School senior Nolan Murphy in September as his Eagle Scout project. He raised $2,600 for the shed, which he said was built in two long weekends.