Watertown Lawmakers Say No To Second Sheet Of Ice
Like any 30-something year old, the Watertown Fairgrounds Arena is starting to show its age.
To help reverse the aging curse, Watertown City Council is exploring a renovation project that would, among other things, replace the roof - the original roof - along with adding new locker rooms.
It's possibly $3 million worth of work.
"This arena is being used more now than it ever has been and it's just something that needs to be done here to make the arena better for the users," said Parks and Recreation Superintendent Erin Gardner.
While new bleachers and locker rooms sound good to the groups which use the ice, members of the Figure Skating Club of Watertown say city council is missing out when it comes to adding a second sheet of ice.
A second sheet of ice could turn the arena into a year-round skating oasis, keeping north country skaters and hockey players in Watertown over driving to Syracuse.
"We can do clinics, we can do big competition, what's great about that is it helps restaurants, local hotel rooms," said Tonilynn Davis of the Figure Skating Club of Watertown.
Watertown City Council ruled against exploring a second sheet of ice.
"It's not just putting up a second sheet of ice, it's hiring people to maintain it and cooling an arena in the summertime, (when) it's 80 degrees outside," said Councilwoman Teresa Macaluso.
That means that even with upgrades, when the snow melts, anyone with blades will have to head south to see ice.