RINC Committee: 'Proposed Rink is a Great Opportunity'

An open letter to the citizens of Norwood from the Recreation in Norwood Committee, regarding the proposed hockey rink and their meeting on Oct. 1

We members of RINC (Recreation in Norwood Committee) want to thank all the Norwood residents who turned out on October 1st to have a conversation regarding a future skating rink in Norwood. We particularly want to thank the South Norwood Committee for hosting our meeting that night. As many in the community already know, our RINC group has worked for several years – and has conducted an exhaustive site search – to find a home for a skating rink in Norwood. With guidance from professionals in the rink building industry, rink architects, consultants from the State’s Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR), and with the conceptual approval of both boards of Selectmen and School Committee, we have now concluded that the best location for this rink would be at the Coakley Middle School in South Norwood. There are many reasons for this specific site recommendation, but ultimately, there are two: lowest cost, best and most accessible location.

Though we have broad support from the community, we recognize that the proposed site will not be embraced universally within Norwood. Some have suggested that there are only a handful of hockey players who would use this rink facility. Not true. There are 400 boys and girls skating in the Norwood Nuggets youth hockey program, with another 60-75 skating at the JV or varsity level. Add those to the thousands of adults in Norwood who have played and who love the game, and dream of seeing their children and grandchildren play hockey in a Norwood skating rink. All we ask is that each Norwood citizen go through the “due diligence” process with us, consider the findings of an impending South Norwood rink feasibility study (which will incorporate a traffic study) and draw your own independent conclusions about building a rink in Norwood. From our perspective, we hope that Norwood voters heed the messages of well-respected Town Meeting members who spoke at the October 1st meeting: Norwood has never been guided by the concept of NIMBY [Not In My Back Yard] when making important decisions that impact the whole town. And great opportunities benefitting the entire community should always trump personal interests. We agree. Make no mistake: this proposed rink is a great opportunity; a rare and precious gift ($5.6 million) from the state that if turned down by the town of Norwood will simply go to another community. Our sense is that if this window of opportunity closes, no rink in Norwood will ever be built. This would be the ultimate tragedy for a town whose citizens have such a passion for skating and hockey. 

Many folks, some of whose families have lived in Norwood for generations, continue to work tirelessly to deliver a skating rink to the Norwood community. Included in this group is RINC chairman Matt Brown, who recently visited Governor Patrick to personally thank him for agreeing to fund a rink in Norwood. Anyone who has lived in the town for more than a minute is well aware of Matt’s passion for skating and hockey in Norwood. Let’s be clear: within this group, the one man who single-handedly made the $5.6 million state gift possible for Norwood is Representative John Rogers. He has spent countless hours setting up meetings and securing funding for what has, over the last several years, become a labor of love for him. Representative Rogers partnered with us in this Norwood rink project years ago, and was instrumental in guiding the YMCA toward a lease agreement with the town of Norwood back in 2006. His support for RINC is limitless, unwavering and enduring. Quite simply, without the efforts of John Rogers, there is no rink opportunity in Norwood today. Mere words cannot begin to express our gratitude to him. Our conversation with the Town of Norwood regarding the proposed skating rink will continue in the days and weeks ahead. Please join us in that discussion!


Matt Brown – RINC Chairman

Mike and Susan Brown

Denis Drummey

Dennis Golden

Bill Naumann

Mike Thornton

david franciosi October 08, 2012 at 02:13 PM
Keep up the work to make this a reality....there will always be people who's interest is no greater than the boundaries of their front lawn or sidewalk..this is a great opportunity for norwood and those in responsible positions need to make it happen for the great good of norwood and also not for their own interests!
gold October 08, 2012 at 05:29 PM
I am in a favor of a rink. I think it would be a plus for this town. I really hope this happens.
mary glynn October 08, 2012 at 09:11 PM
If we get this rink Lets name it after someone who has died while serving our country and was killed. Not some politician.
Hsu October 09, 2012 at 01:42 PM
A rink would be nice, but only if the feasibility study supports it. Parking at the Coakley is already maxed out on the weekends with the town's other sports. Also, they need to find a new home for the lighted tennis courts - currently the only lighted courts in the town, and this needs to be done before the existing ones are torn down. The Norwood Tennis Association is already hurting for adequate playing facilities, often having to use Westwood and Xaverian courts.
seliot October 09, 2012 at 07:35 PM
Let's be clear about this proposed rink. The State builds and runs rinks specifically for public skating first. There will be conditions that makes for this allowance. And that public skating allowance will be mandated to be free. And since this is to be built with State funding, it is funding as a result of taxes collected from across the Commonwealth. Meaning, it should be built as a 'regional' asset with it not being exclusively for Norwood.
Timmy M October 09, 2012 at 07:47 PM
Seliot, I don't think that's correct. My understanding is that Norwood WILL own and operate the rink and that's the search committee had to find a town owned location. And everything I've read said that the rink will generate revenue for the town on top of the benefit for the Norwood Hockey families and programs. It's a win-win for our town. I hope they name it after Matt Brown.
Judy Langone October 10, 2012 at 12:46 PM
Town Government, namely Norwood, should not be in the rink business. It is that simple. This is not a municipal government core service. There is no money to be made and this could end up with a deficit that Norwood taxpayers would be on the hook to fund. If Norwood wants a rink lease town own land to a private source. Of course the hook from the state would not allow that arrangement.
Timmy M October 10, 2012 at 01:22 PM
I respectfully disagree. It is absolutely a core service. We do and should maintain many facilities for the health, education and well being of our children and citizens. The Civic and our two town pools are examples. A rink is no different.
seliot October 12, 2012 at 03:43 PM
As The Town Manager said, this will be a public rink on public property. State built, means public tax dollars. It will not and should not be a private norwood rink built with public tax dollars. And let me add this, there's really nothing else WE can spend $6M dollars on (it will end up around the $6.2M mark if and when it gets done)? Schools, education, police, fire? Really? For one community to walk away with that kind of money when there's so much MORE need that could be satisfied in multiple areas. That really p*&^%$ me off! Rogers (and those who approved this legislation), what are you thinking?
Judy Langone October 13, 2012 at 01:50 PM
The Rink Comm. has published that there are approx. 400 kids in the program. Since some families have more than 2 children in the program I would guess 300 or less families are involved, IMO this is an expensive venture for so few families. The town should not be in this business. The Civic and pools are already here and it is costing taxpayers a lot of money. Let's no add more to the taxpayer tab.
Grumpy Old Man October 18, 2012 at 10:19 PM
I hope the Rink turns out to be a good idea. I don't see recreation facilities straying from town services, of course the indoor pool promise from 30+ years ago should take preceadance...lol... I don't have a problem with the millions thrown at the airport, which in my opinion, is the loudest,most polluting, bad for everybody's health money grab, private club in town and is used by more people from out of town than locals. I miss the point of why people are trying to throw road blocks like traffic and parking, to the best of my knowledge I have never been in an ice rink traffic jam!! I would think it will be an asset to the neighborhood's value, you never know which services or facilities factor in a home sale. I'm more concerned with the long term feasibility, the state sold the MDC rinks because the were all losers, what has changed ? what happens when we need the new half million dollar Zamboni or refridgerant system to make the ice. Example; boilers and A/C units in the schools all deffered maintenance to save the years budget until you can't fix anymore, only replace. Just like the the town's cable company, lots of good paying jobs for such a small business, but the revenue can't seem to make it back into lowering my taxes... When will we learn, we need someone to blame and FIRE ! I'm tired of this ' i was not on the board at the time ' .excuse. Build it , I love watching 5 year olds play hockey...FUNNY, bring your cameras.
Josh Andrews October 24, 2012 at 09:47 PM
The plan includes more parking. Lots of times they advertize on the zamboni and that frays the cost of maintaining a zamboni. There are private rinks in Mass that must make a profit to exist so if the state is taking care of all of the upfront costs, how can Norwood not make money off a rink? Especially when the local families tell us they have to drive to Westborough or RI to get ice time. It seems to make sense. Theres only like 15 cars per team. and 2 teams per hour. Are 30 cars per hour a lot? As long as they park in a lot and not in my yard, I'm ok with it.


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