Ice rink closure vote set for Nov. 6

The ice rinks at Lyndale Farmstead and Armatage Park appear to be off the chopping block, though Armatage may still lose its speed-skating rink, and Lake Harriet’s rink is still slated for closing.

Staff at the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board had proposed closing eight rinks in an effort to save more than $400,000 in 2002 and 2003. The Park Board discussed rink-closing at its Oct. 23 meeting but took no action, said Michael Schmidt, assistant superintendent for operations. The board is expected to act Nov. 6.

Lake Harriet is still on the list of proposed closings. It has a short season because the lake is slower to freeze, Schmidt said.

Park Board staff developed its recommendations based on rink attendance and geographical distribution and maintenance problems, he said. Lyndale Farmstead, 3900 Bryant Ave. S., was dropped from the closing list for geographical reasons. Armatage, 2500 W. 57th St., was on the closing list but is being reevaluated.

The Board asked staff to consider options for Armatage Park’s speed skating rink, either leaving it, closing it or moving it to a different site where it would get more use, Schmidt said.

Under the budget outline backed by the Board of Estimate and Taxation, the Park Board would get no new money in 2003. With salaries and other costs increasing, it has to find cuts in other areas.

Other rinks still on the closing list are: Loring Park (2002-2003 season only, to accommodate construction), Peavy, Keewaydin and Holms parks and the hockey rink at Webber Park.