02/16/14 3:56pm
02/16/2014 3:56 PM
BARBARAELLEN KOCH FILE PHOTO  |  The ice skating rink at Stotzky Park in Riverhead.

BARBARAELLEN KOCH FILE PHOTO | The ice skating rink at Stotzky Park in Riverhead.

Riverhead Town officials announced Sunday the ice rink at Stotzky Park in Riverhead will be open until 9 p.m. tonight.

The town’s parks and recreation department finished clearing snow earlier in the day and said the rink is now ready for skaters, according to its Facebook page.

For more information, contact the park office at 631-727-5744 Ext. 31.

01/11/13 3:00pm
01/11/2013 3:00 PM

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | The roller skating rink at Stotzky Park is ready to become an ice skating rink, if only the temperatures dip to allow the water to freeze.

Ice skating rink! Take Two!

Riverhead Town’s recreation department filled the roller skating rink at Stotzky Park this week with water in hopes of turning it into an ice skating rink when the weather gets cold enough.

That is, if the weather gets cold enough.

In mid-January last year, the rink was filled with water and ready to go, but the weather never got cold enough to produce ice, and no one ever actually ice skated on the makeshift ice rink.

The town paid about $5,000 for the portable ice rink, which basically is a liner, much like a swimming pool liner, along with some PVC piping, according to recreation superintendent Ray Coyne. It’s filled with a few inches of water, and officials are now waiting for that water to freeze.

“We’ve got water in it now,” Mr. Coyne said. “We kind of hope if gets cold at some point. Last year it did not get cold at all. This year, we hear it might get cold next week, and that’s what we’re hoping for.”

Temperatures are forecast near 50 degrees through the weekend. The ice needs to be below freezing temperature for several days in a row in order to get thick enough to skate on, he said.

“The plan is to leave it up until March, unless the weather is still freezing in March and we have ice,” Mr. Coyne said. “Then we’ll leave it up.”

Roller hockey groups usually rent the rink at least once a week, but they will be unable to do while the ice rink is in place, Mr. Coyne said.

Ice hockey also won’t be allowed on the rink, should it get cold enough to be an ice rink, he added.

“It will be just for free skating,” he said. “It will be open to the public, just as if you were skating on a pond. We’re not going to rent or sell skates. Just bring your own skates and skate on it like it was an open pond.”

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10/11/12 10:00am
10/11/2012 10:00 AM

The Riverhead Town Board discussed the Business Improvement District’s proposed downtown skating rink at the board’s work session on Thursday.

News-Review reporter Tim Gannon reported live from the meeting.

The board also talked about a wetland project at McGann-Mercy High School, revenue generation at the East Creek Marina and the First Baptist Church’s long-planned Community Life Center.

Click below to find out what was said:

Riverhead Town Board work session October 11, 2012 – Agenda

08/23/12 2:10pm
08/23/2012 2:10 PM

The proposed ice skating rink, which could be built with unspent funds from Riverhead Town’s sale of the Suffolk Theatre in 2005.

About $250,000 in unspent funds from Riverhead Town’s $707,000 sale of the Suffolk Theatre in 2005 could be used to build a synthetic ice skating rink in downtown Riverhead, Supervisor Sean Walter said Thursday.

The town also could get a $100,000 county grant for use on the rink project, he said.

The Riverhead Business Improvement District has proposed the rink on a location that’s in the riverfront parking lot near the unnamed road between Riverhead Diner and the former West Marine site.

Councilman George Gabrielsen had told the Town Board on Aug. 2 that the rink would initially be built without a roof. Ray Pickersgill, the president of the BID management association, estimated that the cost of the rink without the roof would be about $200,000, half of which would come from the grant.

But at a BID meeting last week, the management association said it felt the roof should be included, as the structure could also be used as a concert pavilion when it’s not used for skating.

The exact cost of the project with the roof has yet to be determined but will likely be in the $400,000 range, according to Martin Sendlewski, the BIDMA’s vice president as well as an architect who is working on the project. He said he is donating his services in designing the rink and pavilion.

Mr. Walter said the bulk of the money from the sale of the Suffolk Theatre was “swept” out of a capital account and used to offset taxes, but $250,000 was left. Town finance administrator Bill Rothaar had asked him Thursday morning, “just two minutes” before the town went into its work session, if he wanted to have that money put in a reserve fund, to which the supervisor agreed.

Mr. Walter said that during the work session discussion on the rink, “I changed my mind “ and got the idea to possibly apply that money toward the rink project.

The town still hasn’t officially received the $100,000 grant, which would come from the Suffolk County Downtown Revitalization program, and would be allocated toward the rink.

A resolution to authorize Mr. Walter to sign a contract for that grant was tabled at Tuesday’s Town Board meeting, so the board could discuss the project at Thursday’s work session before making a decision to move forward with the grant.

Mr. Pickersgill said he hopes to also obtain corporate sponsorships to pay for part of the rink construction, and he added that there is the possibility of obtaining another $100,000 grant for the project.

The BID will seeks bids on the cost of the project, and Mr. Sendlewski suggested the BID seek separate bids for the pavilion, the synthetic ice, and for the foundation and construction costs.

The BID initially planned a much larger rink proposal that would measure 65 feet by 100 feet, and would have required the comfort station behind the former Swezey’s store to be relocated. They have since reduced the size to about 50 feet by 80 feet, Mr. Sendlewski said.

That size facility would be able to accommodate about 60 skaters at one time as well as about 300 people if a concert were held there, Mr. Sendlewski said.

Mr. Gabrielsen said he doesn’t think the proposed rink is big enough but other Town Board members liked its proposed size.

Councilwoman Jodi Giglio suggested the town bond the cost of the facility rather than trying to pay for it with “cash” the town has on hand.

Mr. Walter and Councilman Jim Wooten opposed that idea. Mr. Walter said the town’s bond rating would be negatively impacted by bonding the project because the town already will have to pay off a lot of debt from its landfill in the next few years.

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08/04/12 10:35am
08/04/2012 10:35 AM

The Riverhead Town Board stopped short of authorizing Supervisor Sean Walter to sign a contract to accept a $100,000 grant to pay for part of the cost of installing a synthetic ice skating rink in downtown Thursday, as board members wanted to discuss it further after raising concerns about the cost, although the numbers they discussed were apparently wrong.

The rink, which is proposed to be located next to the comfort station behind the former West Marine building on East Main Street, is expected to cost $225,000, according to Councilman George Gabrielsen.

The town is eligible for a county downtown revitalization fund grant that would cover $100,000 of the cost.
Mr. Gabrielsen said the other $125,000 would be paid by the downtown Business Improvement District, which is pushing the project.

But BID president Ray Pickersgill, who wasn’t present for the discussion, said in an interview Friday that those numbers are wrong.

“We’ve reduced the size of the rink and we’ve got the additional cost down to about $80,000,” he said. The BID will be able to cover that cost throughout its budget next year, and by reducing its spending on other items, he said.

The BID budget this year is about $118,000.

The Town Board had planned to vote on a resolution at Tuesday’s regular board meeting to authorize the supervisor to sign the contract with Suffolk County to accept the grant money.

The resolution, which also says the town will contribute services from its engineering, community development and buildings and grounds departments, was discussed at the board’s work session Thursday. Board members ultimately decided to discuss it further at next Thursday’s work session, when Mr. Pickersgill can be present.

Mr. Walter was not present at Thursday’s discussion.

Read the complete story in the Aug. 9 issue of The Riverhead News-Review.

06/02/11 6:47am
06/02/2011 6:47 AM

Plans for an ice skating rink in downtown Riverhead took a few steps forward last Thursday, as the Riverhead Town Board passed a resolution formally supporting an application for county grants to fund that project.

The proposed rink, which would be located near the comfort station in the Peconic Riverfront parking lot, was the idea of the Business Improvement District management association members and could be used year round, since the ice would be synthetic.

The Town Board is applying for grants through the Suffolk County Downtown Revitalization Program, through which officials say up to $100,000 could be obtained. The BID plans to allocate another $100,000 from its own fund reserves, according to its president, Ray Pickersgill.

Mr. Pickersgill said the BID has about $194,000 in reserve funds that were budgeted in previous years but never spent. The project’s first phase, the rink itself, would cost an estimated $200,000. The BID is planning to build a pavilion over the rink in a later, second phase.

“We can operate it ourselves with volunteers,” Mr. Pickersgill said, adding that the BID is also hoping to get advertising to fund the rink’s operating costs.

Ambulance barn getting AC for meds

After debating whether to install air conditioning in the bay area at Riverhead Volunteer Ambulance Corps headquarters or in individual ambulances, the Town Board last Thursday finally decided to air condition the bay area.

The ambulance corps originally wanted to install AC in the bays in order to comply with state regulations that require medications to be kept at a certain temperature. But the Town Board balked at the cost and asked the corps to explore the cost of putting AC in individual ambulances. The corps originally made the request last September and came back again in March.

Corps president Ron Rowe told the Town Board May 19 that it would cost more to cool the four ambulances individually, since another refrigerator would be needed in the ambulance barn to cool medications that are not in the vehicles. The total came to about $35,000, compared to $24,000 to air condition the ambulance bay, according to the corps’ estimates.

Last Thursday, the board voted to formally seek bids to install air conditioning in the ambulance bay area. Mr. Rowe said new ambulances come equipped with air conditioning and that ambulances last about 12 years.

Town to buy in bulk

The Town Board also voted last Thursday to join the Long Island Intergovernmental Relations Purchasing Council, in the hope of being able to buy things at lower prices.

The council is a collective that combines the buying power of municipalities across Long Island and allows local governments to purchase necessities at reduced cost, according to Supervisor Sean Walter.

“Just as homeowners take advantage of the savings at price clubs and warehouse stores, we in Riverhead will avail ourselves of the savings the council offers,” Mr. Walter said in a press release.

“This will save us a lot of money,” Councilwoman Jodi Giglio said last Thursday.

Any county, town, village, school district, fire district or BOCES within Nassau and Suffolk counties is eligible to join the cooperative.

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