EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Merrimack Valley

January 31, 2014

Rink in the Park may be done for the year

ANDOVER — The rink at The Park may have seen its last pair of skates.

Warm weather, and possible vandalism, appear to have combined to possibly doom the recreational experiment.

Ted Teichert, a former member of the Board of Selectmen who spearheaded the first-year effort, said that when warm weather weakened the ice, someone drove a stick through the middle of the rink, possibly perforating the tarp holding the water in.

As the ice melted, water drained out, leaving the edges of the tarp exposed.

Teichert said it appears someone may have then walked on the tarp, ripping it along the edges where the boards hold the contraption together.

Some volunteers attempted to pack snow along the edges to shore up the tarp, but again, Mother Nature intervened, melting the ice and the snow and letting even more water drain out.

As of yesterday, there was a solid layer of ice over the rink, but it was extremely rough with big cracks.

“It’s frozen, but the ice is bad,” he said. “It’s disappointing. We had 3 good weeks. People were very receptive.”

He said next year the group putting the rink together will purchase a stronger liner that won’t rip as easily. “We’ll also make it a little bigger,” he said. “Maybe a little longer. We will work on improving it.” He added that if it rains in the next day or two but the ice doesn’t melt, the rink could be saved.

Otherwise, it might be a case of, “wait ‘til next year.”

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