STILLWATER, Minn. (WCCO) — Some Twin Cities neighbors are at odds over a holding pond that’s been turned into a skating rink.
The pond is in the Millbrook neighborhood in Stillwater.
Some dads who live around the pond flooded it and say they spend time maintaining the rink, but on Tuesday night someone poured sand all over the ice to keep people off it. Neighbors say the association by-laws were changed so people could use the pond for recreational purposes.
All Bill McGlynn has to do right now is walk out his backdoor a few feet, and he’s on an ice rink. One that he says he and others created for families.
“Whether it’s figure skating or hockey, they come out and play,” he said. “It’s just a blast.”
McGlynn flooded the ice himself, and in the evenings he puts up lights when the sun goes down.
Neighborhood association by-laws say anyone can use the pond, and McGlynn said everyone from beginners to hockey players are off the ice by 9:00 p.m. But on Wednesday morning, he woke to find someone tried to put an end to ice time.
“You can see piles of sand here where we had to shovel off this morning,” he said. “We brushed it off and shoveled and flooded. So we are back in business now, but it’s just a shame that someone has to do that.”
Neighbor Jeff Cameron says it’s not only rude — it’s dangerous.
“It’s basically a disaster waiting to happen,” he said.
Cameron lives right next door to McGlynn and said he’s made no secret he’d like people to leave the pond alone. He believes that city water used to flood it is hurting wildlife. He also said his wife and daughter suffer from auto immune diseases, so snow blowers in the morning and people hanging out at night are affecting their rest.
Cameron says he worries about the safety of children on the ice.
“It’s just wrong. It’s a couple people doing whatever they want,” he said. “There’s not respect for wildlife or people’s privacy. It’s crazy when there is a hockey rink supported by the city nearby.”
Cameron would not comment on whether or not he knew who put sand on the ice. He said he’s contacted the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources about the pond.
Neighbors who support the rink said last year’s vote to allow skating passed overwhelmingly.