By Todd Wineburner
Pontiac Parks and Recreation Director Taylor Baxter says months of planning are moving forward and the City of Pontiac could have an ice rink in the downtown area soon. Baxter spoke to Todd Wineburner on WJEZ’s Community Forum and said that he and Recreation Supervisor Shannon Harback presented their plans to the city council on Tuesday (9/8) and the council is expected to make a final decision at their next meeting.
Taylor says they’re planning on a rink that’s self-sustaining and not reliant on the weather. The equipment Parks and Rec is considering can stay frozen and usable in weather as warm as 50 degrees. It won’t be large enough for regulation hockey, but Baxter says it will easily accommodate recreational skating and a variety of organized skating activities.
An engineering team is finalizing a location for the facility, and Taylor says it may be installed in the grassy area just south of the historic courthouse in downtown Pontiac. Given the current location of central Illinois ice rinks, Baxter and other city officials are hopeful that skaters from throughout the county and the region will make use of the rink.
In other news from Parks and Rec, Baxter says his staff is currently working on a drive-through version of last year’s Fall Fest. Chautauqua Park would still be the location, but visitors will stay in their cars and drive through the park where they’ll find pumpkins, music, treats, and maybe even some ghosts and goblins. Plans for that activity are still in the works.