‘Dry’ ice rink in line for $99K grant; could be built by ’12

09/07/2011 7:35 PM |

DRAWING COURTESY OF MARTIN SENDLEWSKI | An artist rendering of the ice skating rink being floated for downtown Riverhead.

Riverhead is in line to get a big chunk of money to help pay for a year-round synthetic ice rink downtown, which could be up and running next year, county and town officials announced Wednesday.

“I just found out we were awarded a $99,000 grant for the ice rink downtown, so we will be moving forward with the synthetic ice rink,” Riverhead Supervisor Sean Walter said at a Town Board meeting Wednesday.

County Legislator Ed Romaine (R-Center Moriches) said $99,000 worth of a $500,000 downtown revitalization grant coming through the county will pay for most, if not all, of the rink’s construction.

He credited his district’s representative on the county’s downtown revitalization committee, the Business Improvement District Management Association’s president, Ray Pickersgill, for securing the funds.

“It will be a family attraction that will draw a lot of people to downtown riverhead,” he said. “One-fifth [of the $500,000 county grant] is coming to downtown Riverhead.”

The rink is proposed to be built in the downtown parking lot, which runs along the Peconic River, behind the Riverhead Grill.

The Legislature is set to vote on approving the funds at its meeting Sept. 15.

Mr. Romaine said the money could be dispersed in a few months and the ice rink could be open by spring 2012.

With Tim Gannon