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COLUMN: Future of Radisson ice arena uncertain

— I recently had the opportunity to sit down with Lysander Supervisor John Salisbury for coffee and breakfast. We met at the Cottage Restaurant in Baldwinsville, and talked about the many things happening within the town.

The supervisor told me how the Lysander Valentine’s Day Dance was sold out again this year and organizers are looking for a new venue next year because the event has become so popular. He also wanted residents to know the old park offices in Lysander Park are now available for residents to rent for birthday parties and family reunions (call 635-5999).

I asked him about one of my favorite projects, which are the proposed trails throughout greater Baldwinsville, and he said, unfortunately, that there currently wasn’t any money to build trails that had been discussed in the past, but perhaps it would be possible down the road.

Our major topic of discussion was the Lysander Ice Rink, a facility whose history I previously knew little about.

According to Salisbury, a committee was formed last year to review the historical facts regarding the ice rink. The following is what the committee found:

First proposed in 1989, the town board adopted a resolution to build an ice rink at the present location in April 1990 for $2,640,000 (paid for with bonds with the Town of Lysander as guarantor). In 1991, the rink started to experience a downturn in its operation and the original borrower defaulted on making the bond payments. As the guarantor of the loan, the town made payments totaling $553,873 from 1992 to 1994. In December of 1994, the town stopped making payments on the original bond issue, which adversely affected the town’s credit rating and resulting in an increase in interest rates for future borrowings.

The town ceased operation of the rink in 1995. E. A. Moors & Co. bought the Certificates of Participation and eventually sold them to the American Hockey, who subsequently built a second rink, but then defaulted on their payments. The rink was closed in July 2002.

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