CHARLOTTE, Mich. — Charlotte's city ice-skating rink is open for the first time in years.
The rink, at 615 W. Shepherd St., was built in 2011 and is accessible year round. People can rollerblade there in the summer and go ice skating in the winter when the weather allows.
But for the past four years, the community hasn't been able to ice skate.
The rink doesn't have a cooling system, which means it relies on mother nature to provide good ice.
This year, mother nature came through.
The rink has been open for about a week, and Charlotte Mayor Michael Armitage said the public works department and fire department spent a couple of nights preparing it for the public.
"Especially in these times with the pandemic and everything else, I think it's really important to be able to provide whatever recreational activities we can. So luckily, the weather cooperated this year. We're able to get the ice on this rink," said Armitage.
The ice rink is free, though you have to bring your own skates.
Armitage said they're relying on the community to help keep it clean as the area gets snow. He says people have already been at the rink with their shovels and snow blowers and clearing the ice.
"Especially with the snowfall we've been getting and the colder temperatures and water main breaks and everything else that happens in this weather, it's kind of strain for us to be able to get staffing out here to clear it on a regular basis. So, we really do appreciate the community's help," said Armitage.
The rink doesn't have a cooling system. Armitage said that, even though he would love to see one, they probably won't be able to get one anytime soon due to the city's financial constraints.
An artificial ice skating rink was supposed to open in front of Lansing's City Hall in mid-February, but it got delayed. According to the Community Foundation, a partner in the project, the goal is to have it open by next week.
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