Parks and Rec head explains axing of Logan’s New Years bash

At about the same time recently it was learned Logan’s New Year’s Eve Celebration has been eliminated, conditions came together for the opening of the ice rink at Merlin Olsen Central Park. Both are events of interest to Logan Parks and Recreation Director Russ Akina. “You hear so much about how cities and other agencies are dealing with budget constraints and we are part of that. As we were looking at putting this year’s budget together last spring, we had to make some pretty tough choices and discontinuing the New Year’s Eve event was one of them.” Reports from Mayor Watts’ office indicated another factor was lack of attendance at the event. “That’s true, we have seen a decline in participation over the years. Our biggest turnout for New Year’s Eve was probably in 2000. A year or two later we had a pretty good-sized turnout. But by last year it had dwindled. We shared that report with the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board for their advice. “Based on those results, plus the downturn in the economy, it was determined we had better let it go this year.” While that party is over the weather has cooperated to make conditions just right for skating at Merlin Olsen Park. “In order for it to happen,” said Akina, “we’ve got to have snow first because under that ice is frost which comes by way of the snowfall. Nature’s been good to us to get to that point and then it takes several days of the right kind of weather conditions to get ice on top of that snow pack, then cold temperatures for it to remain.” Akina said the rink would remain open as long as weather conditions permit. “We will have to do some daily maintenance on it to have it ready for skaters to use in the evening hours.”

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