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Genoa volunteers ready ice rink to open

Published: Saturday, Dec. 21, 2013 12:49 p.m. CDT • Updated: Sunday, Dec. 22, 2013 9:51 p.m. CDT
(Debbie Behrends - dbehrends@shawmedia.com)
Debbie Behrends - dbehrends@shawmedia.com Genoa Main Street volunteers, from left, Craig Weeks, Gene Bradford and Mike Wallin work on Saturday, Dec. 21, 2013, to construct the frame for the community ice skating rink on North Genoa Street, just one block from Main Street. After finishing the frame, they needed to lay down the heavy plastic liner before the frame could be filled by the Genoa-Kingston Fire Department.

GENOA – It’s beginning to look a lot like ice skating season in Genoa.

Genoa Main Street volunteers braved the damp cold for several hours Saturday to assemble the community ice skating rink in the 100 block of North Genoa Street.

“This is the fourth year we’ve had the rink,” volunteer Gene Bradford said.

Working with Bradford were volunteers Craig Weeks, Mike Wallin and Gordon Jones.

“We could use a few more volunteers,” Bradford said.

After construction of the frame, they stretched out two layers of heavy plastic liner over the 50-by-100 foot rink.

“That one-piece liner is 5,000 square feet and weighs about 400 pounds,” said Bradford, pointing to the plastic roll sitting on a wooden pallet. He said it was delivered on a truck and Rick Mamoser of Prairie State Winery unloaded it with his forklift.

After putting the liner in place, they called the Genoa-Kingston Fire Department to fill it.

“We have a cooperative arrangement with the fire department,” Bradford said. “They will fill it up and pump more water into it as needed.”

He said they try to maintain an ice depth of five to six inches. Throughout the season, he said he keeps the snow off the rink, and volunteers fill holes created by use and leaves falling on the ice.

“A leaf can fall and the sun just seems to burn it into the ice, creating a hole,” Bradford said.

All four of the volunteers have worked on the rink before, and Bradford said Weeks has simplified the construction process.

Jones said they will put up a sign with a list of project contributors and information about borrowing skates at Heartland Bank.

“Pennants will be flying when it’s safe to skate,” Jones said.

Skates are available for the whole family at the bank, 327 W. Main St., during bank hours. Bradford said skates that have been outgrown can be exchanged for the correct size.

Each year, more people enjoy the rink, Bradford said.

“I see fathers and sons out here with hockey sticks,” he said.

“It gets a lot of use at night. I see people out here when I walk my dogs,” Wallin said.

If you go

Located in the 100 block of North Genoa Street, the rink is open when the pennants are flying. Borrow skates free at Heartland Bank, 327 W. Main St., Genoa.

For information, visit genoamainstreet.com or call 815-784-6961.

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