In the past, the village of Ilion has set up a skating rink on Elm Street, but due to past uncooperative weather and a lack of interest the village has decided not open a rink this year.
Instead, the village has decided to offer residents bus trips to indoor skating facilities in the greater Utica area. The Ilion Recreation Commission has set up the skating trips free of charge. Cost of admission at the facilities will $3 and skate rentals will be $4, if needed.
According to Mayor John Stephens, last year, due to warmer temperatures, the ice did not freeze and prior to last year, there was a rink but few people utilized it. “With unpredictable weather and the lack of use, it doesn’t make sense to spend money on the rink,” he said.
The first trip took place on Dec. 31 and took a few skaters to the New Hartford Skating Arena.
“We’re advertising the skating trips on the website, throughout the village, community and schools. People should really take advantage of the opportunity,” said Stephens.
Currently, the Ilion Recreation Commission is working with the Mohawk Recreation Commission to combine for future skating trips as well as other winter activities such as ski trips.
The next skating trip will be announced on the village website at www.ilionny.com.
It was also announced lower Russell Park Road is closed to vehicle access until April.
Ilion Village Clerk Linda Coffin said restricted vehicle access to the lower part of the park occurs every year. “It just makes since to close the road and keep the Department of Public Works focused on plowing more of the main roads and side streets throughout the winter,” she said.
Although the lower road is closed the park is still open for outdoor winter activities.