Grippen Tests Clean
August 30, 2006
The latest series of tests at Grippen Ice Rink have tested negative for ethylene glycol.
More than 30 water and soil samples collected after the late June flood from beneath the one-time popular recreational facility on the west side of Endicott show the ground is no longer contaminated with ethylene glycol, a type of antifreeze used in the cooling system that once preserved the rink’s ice, county officials said Tuesday.
More testing will be done to make sure the pollution — discovered after a flood in April 2005 damaged the floor of the rink — has dissipated, said Henry Weissmann, the county’s commissioner of public works.
Now that the cleanup effort is done, the county can start looking at the future of Grippen. Last winter local hockey clubs found ice time at a premium and high school hockey teams were often holding early morning practices BEFORE school. As hockey increases in popularity this will likely continue. Fortunately, the county is looking at building a new ice rink at a new location, possibily in Vestal or Union. Grippen’s floor will be repaired, but it will no longer be used as an ice rink.
The county will repair the floor of the building and continue to use it, but not for ice skating, Weissmann said. Officials are considering the possibility of building a rink in the town of Vestal or Union. One consideration is Highland Park, in Union, he added, but the search process is in its early stages.
“We have some feelers out, but nothing formal,” he said. Public land will be the first choice, he said, because “we don’t want to take property off the tax rolls.”