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Editor's view: Why has the rink been put on ice?

By: Don Chaddock, The Telegraph
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Rumors abound regarding the recent news why plans for the ice rink on Sutter Street have been put hold, at least for this year. One caller claims it was due to law suits resulting from falls on the ice. I hopped on the horn and made some calls to dig deeper. Folsom Mayor Steve Miklos said he had heard of no such incident and even if a lawsuit had been filed, it would have been against the operator, not the city. He said the city simply couldn’t afford to foot the bill. “The city cannot and should not put up the money,” he said. “There was no increase in sales activity with the ice rink being there.” Despite the flood of people enjoying the rink, according to Miklos, that money didn’t trickle down to the merchants. “When we did the followup, there was no measurable increase in sales activity,” he said. “After we’ve laid off employees and cut services, we couldn’t justify putting out $80,000 to $100,000 to fund the rink.” He also said the ice rink was meant to be handled by the Folsom Chamber of Commerce but when they backed out of funding it, the city was left looking all wet. “When the other partners pulled out, we said, ‘Wait a minute! This is a chamber event,’” Miklos said. “Now we’re being (criticized) because we aren’t putting up money.” His final word on the reason there is no ice rink? “It’s purely economics,” Miklos said. Jim Pelley, with Folsom Lake Bank and a previous president of the chamber, said the same thing. “A law suit? No, it’s due to lack of funding,” he said. Joe Gagliardi, CEO of the Chamber of Commerce, said many don’t understand just how expensive it is to set up. “It’s pretty expensive to put one in. In the midst of all their budget items, I didn’t think the city was in the position to (contribute funds). It has nothing to do with someone getting hurt,” Gagliardi said. Telegraph news The Folsom Telegraph officially moved into its new digs at 921 Sutter St., Suite 100. That’s right, after stuffing ourselves with Thanksgiving feasts, we returned to work and moved offices. We were previously located across the street from City Hall. Now you can find us on Sutter Street near Folsom Lake Bank and right down the way from the parking garage. Thanks to Jerry Bernau for making the move possible. He vacated his own offices to help us return to the Historic District. It’s like a homecoming of sorts. The Telegraph started on Sutter Street and was originally known as the Granite Journal. When the town changed its name from Granite City to Folsom, the newspaper did the same, becoming the Folsom Telegraph. We’ve been publishing since 1856. We’re so happy to be back to our roots. When you get a moment, stop in and say howdy. Of course, watch out for the boxes as we’ll probably still be unpacking. Reader feedback Arleen Bailey has called Folsom home for more than three decades. She was recently surprised by a visit from her grandson, who she believed was still serving with the Marines in Iraq. We published the photograph a few weeks ago. She stopped in to thank us for publishing the information and to get a few extra copies of the paper. “I’ve taken The Telegraph (for 32 years),” she said. “It really is still a very home town paper and I love it.” Thank you for being a subscriber Arleen. To get a subscription, call (916) 774-7900. Don Chaddock is the managing editor of the Telegraph newspaper group. He can be reached at donc@goldcountrymedia.com. Follow him on Twitter as “anewsguy.”