No Ice Rink On The Statehouse Lawn This Winter

Jan 12, 2016

A group that has been working to put an outdoor ice rink on the front lawn of the Vermont Statehouse says the project won't be built this winter, as originally hoped. 

However, members of Montpelier Alive's Put A Rink On It Committee say they believe the rink will be a reality next winter. What's slowing the process down? Two things: fundraising and paperwork.

The project needs permission from the Vermont Department of Buildings and General Services, which has created a list of minimum conditions for its approval. One requirement is a $10,000 line of credit, to be used if there is any damage to state property as a result of the rink.

Fundraising for the project has been going well. But committee members Kim McKee and Nate Hausman say they need to raise more money to meet that condition.

Other conditions outlined by Buildings and General Services include obtaining a written agreement from the Montpelier Police Department stating the department will assist BSG security with any rink-related incidents. There also needs to be a written Memorandum of Understanding between the city and the state regarding the rink.

Another condition is that a trained adult attendant be at the rink during all operating hours. Organizers say, even if they utilize volunteer attendants, it will take time to adequately screen and train the attendants.

"We think we can meet these conditions," McKee and Hausman wrote in an email, "we'll just need some more time to pull all the pieces together and firm up commitments from the city."

Once all the money is secured, personnel trained and paperwork in order, the Put A Rink On It Committee hopes to get the green light from Buildings and General Services for the 2016-2017 winter season.