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Archive for Friday, January 15, 1999

WEATHER PUTTING RINK ON THIN ICE

January 15, 1999

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For what it's worth, the city's newest outdoor ice-skating rink is finally solid enough to support human use.

Now, if Mother Nature would just do her part ...

"With the weather getting warmer it may be a moot point; I don't know, but it's ready now," said Fred DeVictor, the city's director of parks and recreation. "It's thick enough now."

Thursday morning, the makeshift rink in Buford M. Watson Jr. Park, southwest of Sixth and Kentucky streets, finally reached the 3-inch thickness necessary to safely handle groups of skaters frolicking in the winter air.

Parks and recreation officials have scrambled for more than a week to get the temporary pond prepared. They started filling the area with water Jan. 4, but some of it seeped away before enough of its surface could freeze.

That left a half-inch-thick layer of ice atop a thin pocket of air. Crews had to open the spigots again to fill the void, then wait for Mr. Freeze to work his magic.

Today, DeVictor said, the rink is ready. At least for now.

Forecasts call for temperatures in the high 40s to low 50s today through the weekend.

"Now we think it's safe enough for people to use it, but the weather's been up and down," he said.

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