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Temporary Holiday Ice Rink Approved, Could Become Permanent

OSWEGO, NY – The Port City’s Civic Plaza will be transformed into an outdoor ice rink next month. And, if one councilor has his way, the plaza on the south side of Oswego City Hall just might receive a major facelift in the future.

At the Oct. 11 council meeting, the mayor was authorized to execute a contract with Artificial Ice Events for the rental of the ice rink for the city’s tree lighting event in November.

On Sept. 26, the council authorized the transfer of funds to the Tourism Contracted Services account and to the Youth Bureau’s Materials and Supplies account to cover the cost of additional decorations, rental of an ice rink, and promotion of the Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony.

“Any activity that draws people downtown is good for the business community as well as the city,” Seventh Ward Councilor Robert Corradino said. “But at the same time, I think we have to be smart about how we spend the taxpayers’ money.

The councilor said he did balk at the additional costs at the last meeting, but added that the cost has been reduced by about $1,500 making the price tag more palatable.

“I think we should use this as an opportunity, to be honest with you, to maybe look at the direction we can go in the short-term and long-term. We shouldn’t just have this event and pay the money for this ice rink and not do something,” he said.

He’d like to see data on how many people attended the holiday event and how many came down just for the ice rink.

Between now and next year, he’d like to see the city seek support from some local businesses support this … “somebody step up and maybe offset some of the costs.”

“To me, that’s a short-term goal. A long-term goal, wouldn’t it be smarter than to spend $5,000, why not take that (money) and reconfigure, and repurpose our plaza. It’s a beautiful plaza. But it has one function. Why not see, and this isn’t going to be done tomorrow, see if we can find some funds, repurpose the plaza into a more functioning plaza, one that can be used multi-seasonal. A fountain in the summer time. A skating rink in the winter time. That way we get more bang for our buck. Of course, there would be costs associated with that,” he said.

He proposes hiring (young) temporary workers to man the rink. The money the city is spending to rent a rink could be used as the operating budget for a rink in the future, he said.

“Why not take this plaza and repurpose it; something we could use as a draw in downtown?” he said. “It could possibly be home to small, three-on-three hockey tournaments.”

For the holiday tree lighting and expo, the rink will be located at the West Second Street side of City Hall.

There will be skating from noon to 10 p.m.

The event will run from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Nov. 26 with a variety of activities.

9 Comments

  1. How about putting it back as a street and get those 40 parking spots back. THAT would help downtown business more than Sullivan’s Folly has.

  2. Another recycled Syracuse idea..if you must copy Syracuse, how about odd/even parking year round so people can adapt to it instead of Charging people to park on the streets they already pay for in a tough spot in the winter? And old timer has a point. I had to park and walk 3 blocks to do business downtown!

  3. We already have a place for people to skate. The skaters would be taking up the few parking spaces we have now for shoppers. I already pay enough for taxes and cannot afford to pay more so, thanks but no thanks. If there is enough people that want to skate let them raise the money to build and maintain for there own use. Why should tax payers be expected to pay for things that only a few people want. If you want it, you pay for it.

  4. If you read the article it is an idea, nothing set in stone! It was an idea they came up with! We are not copying Syracuse at all, this is a big skating town and it would be nice to have a permanent outdoor skating rink. The skating rink that is being put up for the tree lighting event is a great idea, the kids will love it! This will keep kids out of trouble and give them something to do if it were permanent. No need to get mad about it, this is for the KIDS in our city. As far as parking downtown, i have never had a problem parking, so i have to walk a bit, walking is good for you anyway! Instead of being so negative, why not think about the kids in our city!

  5. Is City Hall going to stay open during the same hours as skating so the shakers have a bathroom to use or are you leaving that to the store owners whos parking will be used up? Parking in downtown is a pain. City Hall has tied up way to much for themselves and with the people living above the stores there is even less for shoppers.

  6. Regarding “Lots of Complaining” – You obviously have not been Disabled in your life. Sure walking IS good for you….IF YOU CAN! There are a limited number of Handicapped spots. Aside from that, the “Syracuse” comment I made was due to the Ice Skating festivities at Clinton Square. We already have a rink here in Oswego. So far the issues promised to be looked at by the Barlow administration have either been ignored or dismissed. Parking (both winter and downtown) and the Fire Department. If you remember correctly, the boy mayor said his predecessor had it wrong when he tried to lay off firefighters by closing the west side Fire Station (Which he could not by state law) so he found another way. He also promised Downtown merchants he would help with the parking situation..so yeah, let’s take away MORE spots in the winter…great idea.

  7. Just want to point out there are no parking spots in Civic Plaza. They were done away with during the Sullivan administration . . .

  8. I think the the one night of skaters during the tree lighting will be lovely.
    Changing the subject… Instead of the Barlow administration putting so much focus on the Downtown area, I would like to see something done to get rid of the Drug Dealers. I would be willing to bet I am not the only tax payer in Oswego that feels the same way.

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