City Council to discuss sale of skating rink

Published 1:32 pm Saturday, March 24, 2018

Franklin’s City Council plans to discuss the sale of the former Isle of Wight-Franklin Skating Rink building during its scheduled meeting on Monday.

The fate of the facility, which closed in 2015, is now officially back in the hands of the city following the voluntary termination of Franklin’s lease agreement with Isle of Wight County. The discussion will include a public hearing on the sale of the facility and other vacant lots in the city’s Airport Industrial Park.

According to a memorandum from City Attorney H. Taylor Williams IV to the members of council, the city intends to market the skating rink property in particular and the industrial park in general for sale as land zoned for limited industrial purposes. The park contains approximately 59 acres, to include the skating rink, but no other lots aside from the rink have been developed.

Last fall, in preparation for the planned sale, the city cleared two parcels of land in the park of all trees and sold the resulting timber.

The rink’s lease agreement between the city and Isle of Wight County had been in place since the early 1980s. In 2015, The Tidewater News reported that the closure was the culmination of both localities looking for ways to trim their respective budgets. At the time, needed renovations to the facility were estimated to cost $170,000 and its use by county residents was estimated to be only 3 percent.