The Peru City Council agreed Monday to move forward with a plan converting the 212-foot-long slab of concrete in Washington Park into a skating rink during the winter months.
The council unanimously approved the $26,774.80 project that includes adding a 42-inch, freestanding poly-steel perimeter to the already existing area. The semi-permanent boards will anchor to the concrete to create the rink and can be removed if needed.
The council will revisit the available hotel/motel tax funds to help cover the costs of the planned rink.
Alderman Aaron Buffo said he liked the idea of moving forward with the skating rink and said the public could use something to look forward to after a number of cancellations and postponements in 2020.
“It will give everyone something to do in the winter months, since it’s already been a really long year,” Buffo said. “I think if we have the funds, we should move forward.”
The concrete has recently been painted to include two basketball courts and three full-size pickleball courts. Parks, Recreation and Special Events Director Adam Thorson said that the new skating rink would not interfere with those who enjoy using the courts during the warmer months.
The plan leaves an 8- to 10-foot area of concrete pad for spectators outside the rink.
Thorson said that this addition was the next step in the process and it would enable the public to use the space better than ever.
“I think that it would be a great addition to Washington Park and utilize the park a lot more for what the concrete pad was originally poured for,” Thorson said.
The project currently includes the poly-steel boards, brackets, thick blue poly cap rail, thick yellow kickplates and a white sleek ice rink liner.
While the plan was approved, the council encouraged Thorson to explore the option of a non-clear liner to ensure the newly painted courts would not be visible through the ice.
Once ordered, the delivery of the boards should take about two weeks. After the rink is constructed, officials said they may be able to recoup some funds from the NHL or other U.S. hockey organizations.