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When life hands you ice, make a rink

By Staff | Jan 31, 2016

A look at the ice rink located at West City Park

What started out with an idea from the community has finally come to be a reality in Winnebago.

But, it wasn’t without a few hang ups at first.

It was in September of 2015 when a couple of members of the community came forward at a Winnebago City Council meeting with the idea to bring an ice skating rink back into town.

In fact, Andy Jacobsen and his daughter Marie arrived at that meeting more than four months ago with a petition from others in town who agreed with the idea.

“We wanted to test the waters, not propose a major construction but just get some ice to skate on this year,”?Jacobsen had told the council at the time.

And, many of the council members agreed with the idea and remembered having the ice skating rink in town when they were growing up in Winnebago.

“I think it’s a fabulous idea. When I was a kid we were there all the time,”?council member Jean Anderson had said. “And it is good to get activities going for the kids.”

And, it was that point that got the ball rolling.

City administrator Chris Ziegler said he would bring it to the Parks and Recreation Committee which is where the brainstorming started.

Soon ideas were being passed around as to where the best location for a temporary ice rink could be located.

However, it was by no fault of the city staff and committees in Winnebago that the process would be delayed even further.

Mother Nature put a hold on the addition to the community for quite some time this winter, as temperatures were not cooperative for ice.

But, when the temperatures finally did come down low enough to make ice, the city staff began searching for a location in town again.

“The crew has been trying for over a week, but Mother Nature isn’t cooperating well,” Ziegler said.

They suggested locations near the baseball fields, by the water tower and others but nothing seemed to fit the bill.

In fact, they attempted to fill and freeze a spot by the water tower but the area would not hold water long enough to freeze for ice skating.

Finally, as of Jan. 21, the city was happy to announce that city staff, including Ashley Bleess and Clint Eastman, have successfully found a location for the ice skating rink.

And, that location is on the basketball court at West City Park.

So, now, just as many had hoped to add activities for local children, as well as adults, everyone in the Winnebago area can now strap on their ice skates and head out and enjoy another option for activities in town.