Andover Townsman, Andover, MA


November 21, 2013

Smooth as ice: Park rink skates through approval


“We would like to start a list of people who’d be interested in helping,” she said. “Once it’s built, if we have a team of shovelers we could email, that would be helpful.”

Mike Roli of 2 College Circle told selectmen that while he is against putting a playground at The Park, he is in favor of the rink.

“I see this as a Currier and Ives moment,” he said. “It could be done tastefully. People can utilize it at night. I have a neighbor whose front lawn is a rink for his son. I think this is a good proposal.”

The Planning Board is currently mulling a master plan for The Park, which includes various proposals, including construction of a playground. A number of people have come out in opposition to such a play area.

John Pasquale of Whittier Street said he was concerned that allowing the rink could open a can of worms that would force the town to allow other uses, including a playground.

“This could be an end-around opening a Pandora’s box,” he said. “You put a skating rink over there, but you can’t put a playground?”

Stapczynski said he spoke with the town's senior planner, Lisa Schwarz, about whether the rink would somehow violate the proposed master plan at The Park and she reported it was “not in conflict with what they are doing.” Plus, he said, a rink is temporary while a playground would be permanent.

Teichert said after the meeting that he and other volunteers would have to figure out the best way to maintain the quality of the ice, including shoveling and resurfacing with water in case the ice gets too rough.

Plus, he said, everyone is praying for a cold winter.

Pasquale agreed.

“You’ve got to pray for the weather, otherwise all you’ve got is a duck pond there,” he said.




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