No Ice Rink in Lewisburg this Year

EAST BUFFALO TOWNSHIP -- With all of this cold weather we've been having, ice skating comes to mind for some people.

But if you live in the Lewisburg area, you may have noticed the outdoor rink did not open this year.

On a normal January day, ice covers the field at the corner of St. Mary and St. Lawrence Streets near Lewisburg. But not this year. The ice skating rink will not open.

The rink is run by the Buffalo Valley Recreation Authority (BVRA). Executive Director Stacey Sommerfield says the rink does not generate enough revenue to cover its maintenance costs.

"It's not a money maker. It's one of our lower-used programs," Sommerfield said.

Sommerfield tells Newswatch 16 financial uncertainty the recreation authority faces next year factored into the decision not to open the rink.

The ice rink is part of a bigger issue the recreation authority is facing involving funding it gets from local municipalities.

Late last year, East Buffalo Township sent a letter saying it was pulling out of an agreement with Lewisburg to fund the recreation authority. The two municipalities provide 20 percent of BVRA's overall budget.

"That 20 percent we get offsets the programs that don't generate revenue like the St. Mary's Street Park, the Lewisburg Community Pool, the ice rink, and the rail trail," Sommerfield explained.

Those are programs that parents like Crystal Langdon depend on.

"They bike on the rails for trails. They take gymnastics at the toddler gymnastics class. They've taken swim lessons," Langdon said.

Newswatch 16 reached out to East Buffalo Township supervisors. Supervisor Matt Schumacher says the township supports the recreation authority and, "we feel this issue has more to do with mismanagement and poor planning by those at BVRA."

Lewisburg area residents say they hope the ice skating rink opens next year.

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1 Comment

  • Taco Salad

    If you’re using a 20% reduction to justify not operating the ice rink, the rail trail, the parks, and the pool… what purpose is the BVRA at all? To run a gymnastics class that could easily be run as a private enterprise?
    Sounds like they need a 100% budget reduction, and we can drop taxes a little bit.