EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

January 4, 2014

Haverhill offers ice-skating at local parks as alternative to pond, lakes

By Shawn Regan

---- — HAVERHILL — The city has flooded a basketball court at the 12th Avenue Playground for public ice-skating and plans to do the same at a lighted softball field at Riverside Park later this month if possible, Mayor James Fiorentini said.

The mayor said the city also tried to create an outdoor ice-skating area at a park on Portland Street, but the basketball court there was too deteriorated, he said.

Fiorentini said the city is trying to provide safe alternatives to skating on the city’s many lakes and ponds, which aren’t always safe.

“The harbormaster reports that ice is thick enough to skate in most of the areas that he tested, but he cannot test all areas so if you skate, please be careful,” Fiorentini posted Dec. 31 on his Facebook page. “The area of Round Pond near Concord Street is not safe in all areas so we ask that you not skate there. The city can never guarantee safety of outdoor skating.”

Last winter, the city opened a skating area at Riverside Park for skating up to 8 p.m. that was heavily used. The city spent about $3,000 to buy a kit that is expected to endure 15 seasons of use. It includes a plastic liner with an edging that holds in the 2 to 5 inches of water needed to create a smooth and level skating surface.

In past years the city has also flooded areas for skating at Swasey Field.