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Ice skating rink at Cahill Square to be restored

Weather, cost considerations result in 4-3 board vote

Jan. 7, 2009

Cahill Square, the location of a skating rink for many years, may welcome skaters again, if the weather cooperates.

The Whitefish Bay Village Board on Jan. 5 voted 4-3 in favor of restoring the rink this winter.

Klode Park is the location of the village’s other rink, which the Department of Public Works is trying to get ready for the season.

The cost of creating a second rink would be roughly $2,750 in overtime labor, Public Works Superintendent Kevin Kaegi told trustees. But that spending is only the beginning, he said.

Maintaining an ice rink is a constant battle with the weather, he said. Sometimes it disappears in a thaw and often has to be cleared of snow and re-sprayed, he said. The cost of day work is $35 an hour, he said.

Mainly on the basis of cost, and because the unpredictability of the weather, trustees James Roemer, Rita Cheng and Julie Siegel voted against restoring the Cahill rink.

Voting in favor were Village President Kathleen Pritchard and trustees Richard Foster, Thomas Schmid and Thomas Fehring.

Ways to reduce the costs associated with the second rink were suggested, but will not be feasible for this year; they will be looked at for next season.

Fehring questioned if students could be hired for night spraying or if retired DPW workers would be interested in the job.

Pritchard said, “I’m interested in outsourcing.”

Several parents who brought their children to Monday’s meeting to advocate for a rink at Cahill said volunteers could help. They also asked if parents could raise money for a rink.

Pritchard also suggested contacting the Recreation Department and the Whitefish Bay School District, as they could both use a rink at Cahill.

Finally, the Whitefish Bay Civic Foundation could be asked if its offer years ago to help fund a second rink still might stand, Schmid suggested.

Decades ago, Whitefish Bay established a rink at Cahill. But there has not been a rink there for perhaps a decade, officials said, because of weather and cost.

Trustees favoring the Cahill rink said the warming house, which has been repaired, is larger, more children live around Cahill than around Klode and the parking lot is larger.

Jane Ford-Stewart can be reached at (262) 446-6607.

Area skating rinks

• Ozaukee Ice Center, 5505 W. Pioneer Road, Mequon

Public hours: 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday; 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday

Admission: $5, general; $4, children and seniors; skate rentals, $2.50

• Brown Deer Park lagoon, 7835 N. Green Bay Road, Brown Deer

Outdoor rink

Information: (414) 257-6100

• Longacre Pavilion, 7343 N. Longacre Road, Fox Point

Outdoor rink

Information: (414) 351-8900

(Call to make sure outdoor rinks are open)

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