A plan by Westhampton Beach Village Trustee Sue Farrell to provide a winter activity for families and children in Westhampton Beach has finally come to fruition — an ice skating rink now sits at the Village Marina.
“There isn’t much in the village for the kids in the winter,” said Farrell. “I thought this would be a fun idea.”
At a cost of $4,500, the skating rink was recently installed.
According to Mayor Conrad Teller, the rink is made of plastic piping and can be easily relocated or taken down.
“It is not a permanent structure,” said the mayor. “It will be taken down when the season is over.”
Trustee Toni-Jo-Bark says this is an excellent feature of the rink.
“It’s great that it’s not permanent.”
The rink, said Teller, holds between four and six inches of water, which only recently started to freeze.
Just this week, some brave children and their parents took to the ice, finding it bumpy with footprints from those who attempted to step on it before it was fully solid.
“They didn’t seem to mind the bumps,” said Farrell of the skaters,” but we were afraid for the safety of the kids.”
Farrell said to remedy the situation; the village purchased an $800 ice shaver, which will smooth the ice for safer skating. The machine was slated to arrive on Thursday.
According to Teller, throughout the winter, the village will keep a watchful eye on the state of the ice and may restrict the rink’s usage depending on the state of the ice.
In a press release on the village’s website, the village warns, “a sign has been erected to notify individuals whether skating is permitted each day, as this will be contingent on may factors, including the weather.”
The village further asks residents not to “step on or test the ice.” The reason: “It will affect the surface and may lead to delays for optimal freezing.”
Westhampton Beach joins other east end entities in offering ice-skating to residents in the winter. The Village of Greenport installed a permanent, outdoor rink several years back in Mitchell Park. For a fee, those looking to skate can rent a pair of skates and try out the ice. Also offering ice-skating is the Buckskill Winter Club in East Hampton. Their outdoor rink is NHL regulation size.