Julius explained that a large portion of the costs involved were the labor in transporting trees — which can weigh up to a ton — to the rink and planting them in temporary planting beds. That cost also included stringing up decorative lights on the trees and above the skating rink.
Julius provided the cost outline for Walnut Ridge’s expenses to the News and Tribune.
According to the report, the total cost to complete the landscaping was more than $14,900, with $6,500 of the cost for labor. The difference in the amount billed and the total cost to Walnut Ridge was donated to the city.
The value of the plants used was nearly $13,400, according to the report.
“What we want it to look like in the evening is for it to look like you’re walking through [a] park,” he said of the atmosphere created.
As far as the purpose of the rink and the loss incurred by the city, Julius said he would continue to support the project as long as the community supports it.
“I think it’s a successful project,” he said. “That’s a true quality-of-life issue. It brings a lot of people to the downtown which we wanted it to do from the beginning.”
Jay Ellis, executive director of Jeffersonville Main Street Inc., said businesses downtown did get a boost from the ice skating rink.
“It may not be immediately quantifiable, but it does create an impact to downtown businesses,” he said. “It’s more than just an economic impact — it’s really a cultural asset for Jeffersonville.”
And for the businesses, even if the draw of the rink does not translate into a direct sale, Ellis said they are still being exposed to a new market and a new customer that may otherwise not have come to the area.