Monaco Cres. rink boards dismantled

A helper carries one of the outdoor rink boards into the Vincent family garage on Jan. 5, 2015. The family decided to remove the boards themselves instead of having the city do it and bill them for the work. (Bill Kingston/Cornwall Newswatch)

CORNWALL – Facing a possible hefty bill from the City of Cornwall to remove boards around his family’s outdoor skating rink, Brian Vincent and a small crew of helpers dismantled the iconic outdoor structure Monday night.

A city public works crew had moved in Monday morning, clearing snow around the Monaco Cres. rink and marking off sections where the rink was encroaching on city property, in anticipation of dismantling it under a order from the bylaw department.

Several people, including Cornwall council candidate Roland Besner, worked through the bitter cold and wind, armed with a sledgehammer, reciprocating saw and plenty of elbow grease to pry up almost all of the vertical pieces of plywood.

The work was done just after 8 p.m.

“I’m kind of disappointed that it came to this situation and where we’re at right now with taking the boards down. We built this rink for our kids and for people in the community that come here and play with us. It’s been here for a second year. We got the final notice today (Monday) to take it down,” Brian Vincent told Cornwall Newswatch.

When the boards were pulled, a large about of water spilled on Monaco Crescent, turning the street into a sheet of ice. Most of the water did eventually drain away but has left the road extremely slippery.

“There was still some water underneath the rink just for leveling purposes and we did have some warm spells so I think a couple of more days in the minus would have had it all frozen for us.”

Vincent says it’s now up to the city to inspect the rink. “We’ve pretty much done our part and they said if we didn’t have boards up we could continue using the rink. We’ll see if we can maintain a little bit, but if we get a few warm spells I’m sure it will just wash away,” he said.

Vincent says he will be looking to move. “Obviously they (his children) are disappointed and they were crying. They’re actually in the process of possibly looking to move somewhere else so that maybe our best option at this point.”

The 10 foot by 30 foot rink on a corner lot created national attention last month when the city ordered it removed after receiving complaints.

While the chapter is nearly closed on the rink saga, Vincent wanted to thank the supporters. “I would just like to thank all of them basically for supporting us and doing what they’ve done to make this work for us as much as possible. From community involvement to people on the outside to people who helped out tonight.”

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