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Town hut will offer warmth at ice rink

It may not be so cold this year when getting ready to skate at East Aurora's outdoor ice rink.

The Aurora Ice Association's temporary outdoor ice rink may have a warming hut of sorts for this skating season, courtesy of an agreement struck with the town.

Aurora town officials Monday approved lending the town's Hamlin Park warming hut and relocating it to the Riley Street rink.

Town leaders debated a request by town Parks & Recreation Director Peggy Cooke to allow the ice group to use a warming hut that the town had used until recent years for ice skating at Hamlin Park.

Weather in the last few winters made it difficult to sustain outdoor skating in the park, and gradually the town gave up making its ice rink at Hamlin. The popularity of the new Time Warner Cable Classic Rink that first operated last winter on Riley Street was also a factor.

The Town Board approved lending the 12-by-14-foot warming hut but stipulated that volunteers must move the building on a trailer with their own equipment.

"Can town employees actually do this?" Supervisor Dwight D. Krieger asked. "The town can't legally get or move town equipment [for private use]. It would have to be done by volunteers."

Town Attorney Ronald P. Bennett agreed. "That's pretty much the case," he said.

A moment later, Highway Superintendent David M. Gunner spoke up and said that he and Cooke would move the hut on their own time without any town equipment.

The rink, meanwhile, is awaiting a special permit from the Village Board before its organizers can reconstruct it this fall for the skating season. A public hearing on the permit is scheduled for 7 p.m. Monday in Village Hall.

The Aurora Ice Association and the town agreed to exchange use of the building for ice time at the rink. The town will be given two two-hour public skates during prime time and publicize those free skates to town residents. The skating times will be scheduled during Christmas break and February recess, when children are out of school.

Town officials said the warming hut would still be insured under the town policy without any additional cost.

e-mail: krobinson@buffnews.com

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