RHINELANDER - Freezing-cold days like the Northwoods is seeing this week usually make people avoid anything wet. But a pair of Rhinelander Parks Department workers did the opposite Tuesday, breaking out a hose hooked up to a fire hydrant.
Parks Director Jeremy Biolo and a coworker sprayed down the green space in front of Trig's for several hours. They were forming the first of many layers for a new skating rink outside the grocery store. Biolo says it's a slow process that will take a few days.
"We just have one hose, so, and we take turns when we get cold," Biolo said. "He can go sit in the truck and warm up and then I'll take a turn and vice versa."
Biolo worked with the city and Trig's the last couple years to make the rink along Courtney Street a reality. The Parks Committee approved the plans this fall. Biolo expects the Trig's rink to be about half the size of Pioneer Park's, which cost a lot less to flood than he expected.
"That's what made this possible because [the cost to flood Pioneer Park's rink] was so low, I thought, 'Well, we definitely have it in the budget to support two rinks in this town,'" Biolo said.
Biolo expects it to take four more days of spraying to ice the rinks over. Expected snow in Rhinelander could slow that work, as parks workers will need to help clear lots and city sidewalks. Biolo would like to eventually put a lighted tree in the middle of the Trig's rink.
"More people will drive by and see people skating, so hopefully it becomes a good hot spot for people that want to get out."
Biolo says the rinks are pretty much maintenance-free once they're formed, but parks workers will likely need to periodically clear snow and re-spray the rinks to keep them smooth.
The city hopes to open both the Trig's and Pioneer Park rinks next week.