Niles ice rink won’t open this year

Published 9:25 am Monday, January 11, 2016

Much like other winter activities hindered by lack of snow, there won’t be any ice-skating this year, at least not on the City of Niles’ rink.

Administrator Ric Huff said last week that the city’s ice rink will not open this winter because of work that is scheduled to be done on the property, which is owned by American Electric Power.

For years, the city has leased the land at the corner of Howard and Front Streets for use as an ice rink in the winter.

Huff said he was notified by AEP officials recently that AEP plans to begin environmental remediation of the property Feb. 1. Work will include improvements to the building on site.

“They expect to complete their work in 2016 and we should have access for next winter,” Huff said via email.

The Niles City Council is expected to consider renewing a two-year lease for recreational use of the property at tonight’s regular meeting.

Another issue, Huff said, is the weather, since the rink has no cooling system.

“When the ground isn’t frozen it warms the water from below so you can’t make ice even when the air is cold enough to make ice,” Huff said. “But beside the ground not being frozen the air hasn’t consistently been cold enough to make ice either.”