The Yankton Ice Association is celebrating a major milestone. Nine years after building Yankton’s only indoor ice rink, the Ice Assoc. is paying off the mortgage on the facility, and looking forward to new opportunities.
It’s been a long road to get to this point.
“When we started this out more than one person laughed at us,” said Ice Assoc. member, John Lillivold.
Nearly a decade later, the Assoc. is celebrating.
“This came from determination of people not taking ‘no’ for an answer,” said Randy Eichacker, Ice Assoc. member.
Members of the Ice Assoc. are making the final payment on the 4-H Kiwanis Ice Rink.
“We had a loan of $450,000 and a couple hundred thousand, and the total amount we spent on this facility is around $750,000,” said Lillivold.
A majority of which came from private donors and members of the community.
“I’m just impressed with how people go and give their time and their money to make something like this,” said Eichacker.
“Anytime we can find a member who’s an electrician or a plumber, or whatever skill they have, a carpenter, we make good use of that. There’s a good deal more of in kind,” said Lillivold.
The rink may be paid off, but members of the Assoc. say there’s still work to be done.
“We have a lot of ideas what we’d like to do in the future here,” said Eichacker.
Members of the Assoc. say paying off the debt will give them a better opportunity to make improvements to the rink.
“The fact that we’ve paid off our mortgage doesn’t mean we’re done. That just means we can start thinking about our next Zamboni, or when we replace these boards,” said Lillivold.
They hope to also give those who use the rink something to look forward to.
“This is not the fanciest facility out there, but at least we have a sheet of ice and the kids have a place to come play some ice activities,” said Eichacker.
“This has gained a life of its own, and for me personally I’m glad to see that it’s done that. I’ll let the people involved decide the direction it goes in the future,” said Lillivold.
The Ice Assoc. is celebrating paying off the mortgage with a short ceremony and free skating party on Sat., Mar. 15.