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Rink plan gets a grilling in Hamburg

  Ice is a hot topic in Hamburg.

   Nearly 100 residents turned out for a meeting about a proposed new rink on Wednesday, the first official look at an idea that has been discussed for more than a year.

   A partnership consisting of ex-Sabre star Dave Andreychuk and Hamburg resident Jeff Walker is the sole bidder. They propose to build a companion rink beside the town's current one at the old Nike Base recreation center on Lakeview Road.

   Taxpayers at the meeting didn't take it easy on the hockey star. Questions peppered the financing for the project, estimated to cost $8 million to $9 million, at least some of which would be backstopped by the town.

   Proponents call it a creative public-private partnership that fills a rapidly growing demand for ice time.

   Others say it's a bad idea for taxpayers to turn over public land --  plus financial backing
--  to a private venture.
 
   -- Fred O. Williams

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