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Ice rink conditions spotty

Mixed weather in recent days has left Evanston with spotty conditions at ice rinks around the city.

Parks Director Doug Gaynor says Baker Park at Forest Avenue and Keeney Street and Larimer Park on Oak Avenue north of Crain Street have good skatable ice.

Mixed weather in recent days has left Evanston with spotty conditions at ice rinks around the city.

Parks Director Doug Gaynor says Baker Park at Forest Avenue and Keeney Street and Larimer Park on Oak Avenue north of Crain Street have good skatable ice.

Ackerman Park McDaniel Avenue and Central Street has okay ice conditions. The Dawes Park Lagoon at Sheridan Road and Church Street has very bumpy ice with some snow cover.

There’s no skatable ice, only a base layer, at Bent Park on Cowper Avenue at Central Street and at the former Kendall College site on Sherman Avenue at Lincoln Street.

Gaynor says it takes about three consecutive days of temperatures 15 degrees or lower to have sufficient frost penetration of the ground. It then takes at least six days of applying water to have ice thick enough to skate upon. A warm spell disrupts the ice-making process, and we’ve been having periodic warm spells.

In addition, Gaynor says, when it snows, crews assigned to making ice are shifted to snow removal duties at city buildings, sidewalks and parking lots.

Not having staff available to make ice adds additional days to the ice making process. The heavy snowfall last week slowed the process of creating ice at all the rink locations.

Additionally, hydrants were frozen at two locations last week. They needed to be thawed by the Water Department’s employees, which again slowed the process. Finally, work is also done within existing employee work hours; there is no overtime, adjustment in employee work hours or any type of additional expense for employees allowed.

Gaynor says there are no attendants on duty to supervise rinks, shelter houses will not be open and lights will not be turned on. Maintenance including snow removal is a low priority.

The outdoor season traditionally lasts until mid-February. With the uncertainty of the weather, Gaynor says the city averages 14 days for skating.

Residents can hear a recorded message with outdoor ice rink conditions by calling 847/859-7822, ext. 8.

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