By Robert Marchant
CORTLANDT — The Town Board has authorized a request for developers to submit proposals to build an indoor ice rink at the town recreation facility near the train station off Route 9A.
Town Supervisor Linda Puglisi said the creation of an ice rink has been a longtime goal of the administration, and the current concept would allow a private company to make it a reality on town property.
“A public-private partnership, we’re exploring the idea, to see if there’s anyone out there to do it,” Puglisi said. “We would provide the land, and they would build it and run it and pay rent.”
Val Santucci, a developer and businessman in the recreation industry,, proposed building an ice rink off Watch Hill Road in 2006, but concerns about the location and traffic blocked it from advancing.
Puglisi said the demand for a skating rink became clear during talks over the Santucci project.
“There was a lot of support, the community would love it,” she said.
The site for a year-round ice rink would be a roller rink next to the town recreation center. It has been little used in recent years, Puglisi said.
If successful, the rink could even be a source of revenue.
An adviser to the town on sports and recreation matters, James Creighton, said the demand was there.
“I think the reception to the idea will be entirely positive. The devil will be in the details, but it’s probably the No. 1 thing people talk about,” he said, when the subject of recreation comes up.
Cortlandt families have to travel about 20 to 30 minutes to rinks in central Westchester or eastern Putnam counties. A seasonal outdoor rink at Bear Mountain Park also serves recreational skaters.
“There’s a lot of skaters out there,” Creighton said. “There’s a commercial market for it, I think, and people really seem to want it.”
Smooth ice can be a scarce commodity in the northern suburbs, especially for local hockey teams.
Facilities like the Brewster Ice Arena and the Westchester Skating Academy in Elmsford got deluged with demand after the Ice Casino at Playland was taken out of commission by Superstorm Sandy.
A proposal to build an ice rink in Rye Brook is under consideration, with traffic concerns arising on the part of community leaders.