City, firm reach deal to keep ice rink open

NORWICH, Conn. (WTNH) — An ice rink plagued with problems in Norwich is now getting the funding it needs to get back in business.

News 8 has been following the story for about a year now.

In 2013, the chiller broke and the rink closed for the summer and part of the fall. Last October, the new chiller was put into place and the rink reopened in time for the skating season. In May, the Norwich city council said it didn’t have the funds to keep the rink open.

But on Tuesday, the city announced it has chosen a new firm to run the place, including that chiller which costs $1,000 a day.

Now, skaters like Sandra Fournier can lace up their skates until the end of the month at the Norwich Ice Rink with confidence. She knows come October the rink will reopen with new equipment and under new management.

“The facility will essentially be state of the art,” said Lisa Fedick of Wonderland of Ice, the firm to take over.

Wonderland of Ice was chosen by Norwich because of its commitment to running a dependable rink and involving the community like it has in Bridgeport.

“We’ve done Halloween parties for any child in the city that comes in a costume, they come in and skate for free,” Fedick said.

“We definitely did not want to see it go and we needed someone and something to come in and make sure it’s ran properly,” said city alderman Terrell Wilson.

Details of what could be a 10-year lease deal are still being worked out but it looks like the city could be skating away with a small piece of the profits.

And perhaps some job security for Terrance Maher. “If I would have to reapply, I would reapply in a heart beat, yes,” Maher said.

Fournier said if it weren’t for the Norwich Ice Rink, she’d have to travel to Bolton, Cromwell, or Warwick, Rhode Island, to get some summer skating hours.

 

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