Guidelines Being Set For Arena Use

(Stephanie O’Neil holds her dad Mike’s nameplate he used as a Kirkland Town councilman as she and her mom, Melanie, share a hug at the end of the last week’s meeting. Melanie O’Neil will fill the council seat Mike had until his death a few weeks ago.)

The historic Clinton Arena could re-open Nov. 2 if New York continues to progress in containing the coronavirus.

At last week’s Town of Kirkland meeting, Parks and Recreation Director Patti Maxam said guidelines are being set up for the facility to open since it was shut in mid-March. Maxam said groups that use the Arena’s ice, such as Clinton Youth Hockey and Clinton Figure Skating Club, will need to follow protocols that include no more than 20 people on the ice at a time.

Other requirements will be for temperature checks upon entering and social distancing when not on the ice. No decision has been made by New York state on whether high school sports will take place this year; the Clinton boys and girls ice hockey teams also play at the Arena.

Town Supervisor Bob Meelan said the town has reached out to the Adirondack Bank Center to see if ice would be available for teams to use before the Arena opens.

In the meantime, Maxam said the Parks and Rec crew is working on mowing at the town parks and upkeep at the Arena.

Last week’s 20-minute meeting began with a moment of silence and tribute to Mike O’Neil, who was in his 13th year as a councilman when he passed away July 27. Meelan presented O’Neil’s daughter, Stephanie, with her father’s nameplate.

“He was a great kid, worked hard for the town,’’ Meelan said. “He was proud of his seat on the board.’’

A number of O’Neil’s relatives attended the meeting, which was at the Town Municipal Building using social distancing, temperature checks…

The full story is in this week's edition of the newspaper.