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Does King Street Need An Ice Rink? Waterfront Plan Still Catching Criticism

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City leaders say ice skating would perk up the waterfront in the dead of winter.
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City leaders say ice skating would perk up the waterfront in the dead of winter.

City leaders in Alexandria are moving forward with a plan that will drastically redesign the waterfront. But the proposed changes remain controversial.

Opponents tried to stop the plan in court, but their attempts have been unsuccessful, at least so far. Now developers are moving forward and city leaders are considering a landscape plan to create a series of parks along the waterfront.

But Old Town resident Bob Wood told Planning Commission members this week they should spike the part of the plan that calls for an ice rink at the foot of King Street.

"I attended all the public meetings, and please don't represent any sort of public clamor for the ice rink, permanent or temporary. This is a solution looking for a problem," Wood said.

The idea does have support, though.

"That's exactly what that area needs is something like that. What we lack right now is anything meaningful to do in the winter outdoors at our parks in Old Town.

That's Nate Macek, a member of the Alexandria Planning Commission. He says the ice rink would bring more people to the waterfront during the dead of winter.

"That would really give us a reason to spend some time down here because if you come down to the foot of King Street in January or February, it's a ghost town compared to what you'd find out there on a nice night like tonight," Macek says.

For now, city leaders are still trying to figure out how to pay for all the changes. A plan to finance the landscape architecture is expected this fall.

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