Skating rink 'experiment' on thin ice in Willard

Zoe Greszler • Mar 12, 2019 at 4:00 AM

WILLARD — The ice skating rink didn’t get quite as much use as Willard city council had hoped and now it might be time to remove it for the season.

City manager Jim Ludban said the lack of use may have been due in part to the extreme weather and the public’s lack of knowledge it was available. 

“It was an experiment that didn’t get as much use as we had hoped for,” he said. “But I think it was worth the effort. People (who) did skate enjoyed it; there just weren’t enough probably to compensate for the installment and (keeping up with it). You don’t know if you don’t try.”

Ludban said Willard will review the long-range weather forecast later in the week to determine how much longer the rink will remain open. He added that next year, the skating rink most likely will open earlier in the year and be located someplace different to allow for a longer skating season and more visibility. 

In other council news, the city also saw a slight increase in the necessity of overdose revivals.

During the month of February, Willard saw the need for Narcan spike three times what was needed during the same time period last year. Medics used 28mg of Narcan on four patients in February, up from 9mg on three patients during the February 2018, breaking a positive trend the city was seeing in a decrease of Narcan usage. 

Despite this relatively minor setback, the community seems to be heading in the right direction as community members continue to look out for one another, Ludban said.

Narcan is a brand name for a medication used to block the effects of opioids, especially in an overdose.

“We often talk about ‘see something, say something,’” Ludban said. “We unfortunately experienced a residential break-in and others reported where clothing and jewelry were taken. Thanks to the alertness of one of our citizens who tipped us off to some unusual activity near one of the victims’ properties, we were able to interview, obtain warrants, recover property and solve these crimes.

“It is heartening that so many of our citizens willingly partner with us to make Willard a safer community,” he added.

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