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To put in an ice rink in Sturtevant, village officials are looking at having the South Shore Fire Department flood an area of North Park as part of a training exercise.

The notion of an ice rink was raised at the last Parks, Event Planning and Village Beautification Committee meeting. Village trustee Carrie Harbach said Tuesday that discussion of an ice rink has happened in years past but “moving forward the task got a little bit lost in the shuffle.”

The proposed site would be located south of Michigan Avenue between 94th and 95th Streets.

Practicality of ice rink discussed

At the meeting, Jeff Seitz, village engineer and Department of Public Works director, told the board that Racine Water Utility would permit the use of a hydrant, but added that necessary upgrades of the hydrant would make the project financially inefficient. The water utility informed Seitz the hydrant would need a valve and backflow preventer installed. It would also need a shelter and a heater running at all times.

“So that’s not gonna be practical,” Seitz said.

As a work around, the equipment could be taken on and off as it’s used. However, if this is done, the village would need to have the backflow preventer recertified before each installation at a cost of $400 each time.

Winter Fire Training Possible

In lieu of this idea, Seitz and other board members are attempting to convince the fire department to undertake winter training exercises.

“And when they’re spraying the water, they can flood our rinks,” he said.

Seitz told the board that the winter training idea came from Keith Haas, of Racine Water Utility, though he’s not officially working with the village, Seitz said.

Trustee Mark Villalpando said a training exercise this winter is not outside the realm of possibility, as the department has some new hires that could conceivably benefit from a winter training.

But the plan hinges on whether the fire department can commit to the training exercises.

As soon as the plan can move forward, Seitz said he’ll begin clearing an area of snow in North Park and prep it for flooding.

Denise Lockwood has an extensive background in traditional and non-traditional media. She has written for, the Milwaukee Business Journal, Milwaukee Magazine and the Kenosha News.