Someone has very carefully altered the sign at the Lakeside entrance to Verona Park from reading “No Skating Today” to “No Skating EVER”.
There has been no skating on Verona Park Lake this winter even though Essex County’s Grover Cleveland Park in Caldwell and Anderson Park in Montclair were open after the long deep freeze. (Outdoor skating is a favorite memory for Verona’s long-time denizens.) But the reason why Verona Park didn’t get the green light too may have little to do with how thick the ice was.
Essex County spent a substantial sum–$433,310–renovating the Verona Park Boathouse in 2014, making improvements to walls, lighting, windows and floors. Ice skate blades might do some damage to the latter, but sources say the County bought mats that could be a protective floor covering. It just never installed them.
Verona township officials have asked the County to clarify the skating situation in Verona Park, but have not yet received an answer.
For the record, the ice is not thick enough for skating today.
UPDATE: A County spokesman said yesterday afternoon that the County uses the ice thickness chart on the Old Farmers Almanac website, to determine if the ice is thick enough for skating. The spokesman confirmed that the County does have the rubber mats for the floor but said it does not have equipment to remove snow from a frozen lake.