'It's sad:' Ice rink in Cedar Creek Park closes after mild temperatures lead to damage

CEDARBURG -- With the sun shining and temperatures in the 40s in Cedarburg on Tuesday, Jan. 8, Cedar Creek Park's wintertime centerpiece was melting away.

Mikko Hilvo

"People really enjoy ice skating out here in the winter months. It's sad," said Mikko Hilvo, director of Parks, Recreation and Forestry in the City of Cedarburg.

Warmer temperatures made it difficult for the city to maintain the popular rink.

"With their skates, as they're skating, you're going right through the ice and into the liner. It rips up the liner and destroys the entire rink," said Hilvo.

In shreds, Hilvo said the rink wouldn't be rebuilt until next season.

"The cost of getting a new liner and getting the water back in there is just too much to get it back up again this season," said Hilvo.

While conditions weren't ideal for ice sports -- the mild weather benefited some, like Andrew Gollnick and his crew.

"When we're not on snow removal, we're doing a lot of forestry work," said Hilvo.

Andrew Gollnick

"We're removing a honey locust tree off of a customer's driveway," said Gollnick with Gollnick & Sons Tree Service. "This weather's great -- not having to trek through snow."

With a year-round business, however, Gollnick said sometimes mild temperatures pose challenges of their own.

"Not able to get our equipment into yards. Don't want to tear the lawns up and things like that," said Gollnick.

Warm or cold they still get the job done -- one branch at a time.