RUMFORD — At the annual town business meeting on June 6, voters approved an article providing authorization for the Select Board to apply for a grant and enter into an agreement with the federal government for a Land and Water Conservation Fund grant on behalf of the town for the renovation and improvement of the town’s hockey rink in the Hosmer Complex.
Parks Supt. Marcus Palmer said the ice skating boards are more than 40 years old and falling apart. “We want to rehabilitate the rink with a new aluminum pre-fab dasher board system, which is maintenance free and will last longer then the original wood boards.”
He added they also want to put a pavilion over the 200×80-foot rink, which will provide a longer season by keeping the sun, rain and other elements off the ice. Further, the pavilion will allow the ice rink to be used as an all-weather outdoor recreation facility in the summer instead of it just being an area that used during the winter. “It can be used year round for other activities and functions.”
Palmer said that in their grant application, they are asking for $250,000 for the grant with a local match of $267,000, which will come from the Rumford Parks and Recreation Department’s capital account.
He said assisting with the grant application process will be Tina West, the same person who successfully won a grant for the new lights and track for the Hosmer Complex.
“She has taken this on, on her own time and not charging the town anything to do so. She has family from Rumford and has a camp at Worthley Pond,” Palmer noted.
Palmer said the grant application has to be submitted by July 1st. “If we are successful and get awarded this grant, then we will like the project to start as soon as possible. But right now with it taking so long to get materials for things we are probably looking at starting next spring/summer.”
Palmer said the pavilion is a huge part of this project. “The sun, rain and other elements make it very challenging to keep the skating rink safe and open. It doesn’t take long for the ice to start melting when the sun is out. We close the rink a lot just because of soft ice from the sun. So eliminating that will be a huge help.”
He said the pavilion will also cut down the time it takes them to clean off the rink after a snow storm. “We spend a lot of time doing snow removal after a storm and we have to keep the skating rink closed while we are working. Having a pavilion will help a lot with cutting down on the maintenance and will make for better and safer ice for people to enjoy.”
Palmer said they expect participation to grow based off having a longer season and not being closed because the ice is too soft from the sun or rain. Plus having a pavilion also makes it more of a multi-use area. Skating rink in the winter, but also for school activities, functions, concerts, etc.
He said, “We feel this project will substantially enhance community wellness through major improvements to access in existing facilities. The smiles will say it all. The smiles on children’s faces as they learn a new skill and socialize with their friends on the rink and the smiles on adult’s faces as they play hockey or casually skate with family and friends. We are also looking forward to summer events for the community in the pavilion.”
Palmer noted, “The skating rink is a highly valued community asset. Without the high levels of use this project could not be justified.”

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