Shakopee neighborhood fighting to keep outdoor rink open
Ten-year-old Ella doesn't mind clearing a Shakopee outdoor skating rink of the fresh snow that fell overnight.
She learned to skate at the Riverside Park outdoor rink and is one of many pushing the city of Shakopee to keep this rink open.
"I have a lot of memories here at this rink, and now I'm old enough that my parents will just let me come down here, and I can skate by myself," she shared.
Now, the lights aren't on, and the warming house is locked up. Still, this community held a save the rink get-together, where more than 65 people braved the cold to show their support.
"The support from all of these homeowners has just been amazing," said resident Erik Radtke.
He says with more than 70 new homes being built in the area; the rink needs to stay.
"We would just love to be able to sit down with the city and show them there's a really big demand for this beautiful rink right here in this community," he said.
The city approved a new master park plan in August. The mayor said it was a year-long planning process with community meetings and public input.
"I think we need to be effective and efficient within city government, we need to find balance," Mayor Bill Mars said.
Mars said to allow for better use of park assets and ice quality, six-city rinks will be consolidated to four.
Council member Jody Brennan is suggesting parents use a nearby rink.
"It's not difficult to hop in the car to go a mile to get to that park over at Southbridge," she said at a recent city meeting.
But residents feel their pleas are falling on deaf ears, and are still hopeful the city will change its mind.