AMHERST - The idea of an outdoor rink for the town is dead in the water.
Seven people, six from the Lions Club, came out to a public meeting and feasibility study put together by Lions Club feasibility chairman Walter Jones.
Jones was disappointed with the turnout.
"If the community wants the rink, they should be willing to volunteer to make it happen," said Jones. "Communities should not be handed something, they should participate and make it theirs
"They should own it, we shouldn't give it to them. This is something they should own and they can only own it if they put some effort into it."
During a slide presentation Jones said that to make the rink a viable project they would need to get a temporary rink running this year, a committee to help run the rink, a building committee to raise the funds for a new rink, select a fundraising chairperson and a site for the new rink.
He then showed a slide with the cost of an NHL-sized outdoor rink built on a four-inch-thick pad of concrete with lighting, site preparation and legal costs.
The total cost for the rink came to $202,623.95.
Danny Small, the lone non-Lion member at the meeting, said Jones might be expecting too much.
"It's great you went out and got the numbers but I think you're way ahead of the game here," said Small. "There has to be a needs assessment first and we need a test site to see how it's going to be used before we start talking about the future. This town might not need an NHL-sized $200,000 ice surface.
"The tennis court is an ideal site. It has the fencing and it has the lighting, it's large enough for people to get out there and you can see if people are going to use it for hockey or skating."
Jones said the Lions Club could build a test site but won't do it alone.
"If we were to put it up and maintain it and have somebody there all the time, then somebody would come and use it," said Jones. "But as far as getting anybody to help build it, I can't see it. You see how many people came here tonight."
Small admitted he was discouraged by the turnout.
"I talked to about 30 people today and they didn't know about it," said Small.
Jones said the outdoor rink story, including the public meeting announcement, was on the front page of the Amherst Daily News, it was on the radio and flyers were put up throughout the town, but still nobody showed.
"If they're not here, then it shows that they're just not interested," said Jones. "The Lions Club can't be expected to do all of this by themselves."