IOW weighs future of skating rink

Published 8:49 am Wednesday, September 8, 2010

ISLE OF WIGHT—Isle of Wight operates the Isle of Wight/Franklin Skating Rink, however, current economic conditions have county leaders talking about the future of the facility.

“It’s costing the county a lot of money to operate that,” said Phillip Bradshaw, chairman of the Isle of Wight Board of Supervisors.

Supervisors voted unanimously to defer a decision on Parks and Recreation Director Mark Furlo’s request to hire three additional skating rink attendants for the facility on Walters Highway near its intersection with Carrsville Highway.

The request wouldn’t have a budgetary impact on the county. County Administrator Douglas Caskey said the request was “just to add three more bodies.”

The three additional attendants would provide additional employees from which to set work schedules. As of last Saturday, the rink has 10 staff members on its payroll. Attendants receive “minimal hours” every week and generally work there as a second job often leading to scheduling conflicts, according to county documents.

In fiscal year 2010, the county spent more than $114,000 to operate the skating rink. However, those costs are partially offset by revenue from admission, concessions and special event fees.

Bradshaw said he wanted time to speak with staff “to further discuss the viability of the continuing of that operation.”

“I know we closed it at one time before due to an economic situation,” he said.