County To Seek Bids For Ice Rink

County To Seek Bids For Ice Rink
The county's ice rink is pictured in a file photo. Photo courtesy of Worcester County Recreation and Parks

SNOW HILL– Officials agreed this week to seek bids for Worcester County’s synthetic ice rink.

The Worcester County Commissioners voted 4-3 on Tuesday to solicit bids for the ice rink. The decision came after a motion to donate the rink failed.

“The county taxpayers paid for this and if we are going to dispose of it I think they have an expectation, or should have an expectation, that they’re going to be reimbursed somewhat, if not for the whole amount, but that some of the money should come back to the county treasury since it was taxpayer money,” Commissioner Chip Bertino said.

Last month, the commissioners agreed to cease operations and dispose of the ice rink the county purchased for about $70,000 in 2019. They cited the expense of setting it up, as it takes eight employees four hours to put it up, and the fact that it was underutilized.  Procurement Officer Nicholas Rice told the commissioners Tuesday they could get rid of the rink through the auction site, solicit bids for it or could donate it. Interest has been expressed in the rink has been expressed by Ocean City Tourism, the Town of Berlin, City of Salisbury, the Town of Ridgely, the Ocean City Development Corp., Jolly Rogers and the Town of Snow Hill.

Commissioner Joe Mitrecic said the ice rink had been paid for by the citizens of Worcester County and that he felt it should be given to a Worcester County entity. He made a motion to have interested parties submit narratives regarding their plans for the ice rink.

“We should accept a narrative of what the people that are interested in Worcester County would do with it, how they would utilize it, and decide what the best use would be moving forward and donate it,” Mitrecic said.

Bertino said that because it had been purchased with taxpayer dollars it should be sold so that funding could be at least partially reimbursed.

Mitrecic said the ice rink was bought for the benefit of the taxpayers.

“The county commissioners are the ones taking it away,” he said. “If we were concerned about the county taxpayers we should just keep the ice rink and let the county people use it. At least if we donate it to a county entity it will be used by county people moving forward.”

Mitrecic’s motion, however, failed, with just three votes in support. A subsequent motion by Commissioner Caryn Abbott to get bids for the ice rink passed 4-3. Mitrecic, Commissioner Ted Elder and Commissioner Diana Purnell voted in opposition

About The Author: Charlene Sharpe

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Charlene Sharpe has been with The Dispatch since 2014. A graduate of Stephen Decatur High School and the University of Richmond, she spent seven years with the Delmarva Media Group before joining the team at The Dispatch.