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Mayor declares MLK Park wading pool project complete, but will it open for ice skating?

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Buffalo: Mayor declares MLK Park wading pool project complete, but will it open for ice skating?
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After missing several deadlines, Mayor Byron Brown announced this week construction on the wading pool at Martin Luther King Jr. Park is finished. But YNN's Kevin Jolly talked with one community activist who wants to know if the ice skating rink will be ready for residents to use this winter.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — "The $4.5 million dollar transformation of the Martin Luther King Park wading pool is actually done," said Mayor Brown, (D).

Earlier this week, Brown declared work on the Martin Luther King, Jr. Park wading pool complete. But the sign on the fence surrounding the park still reads, "KEEP OUT – CONSTRUCTION SITE." And if you look around it doesn't look like it's nearly ready for an unveiling.

"What we have here now is the cleanup job restoration," said Samuel A. Herbert.

Herbert heads the coalition to save Martin Luther King, Jr, Park. Since construction began back in September 2011, he's been a vocal critic of the city for missing several deadlines to have the project completed. He agrees while most of the heavy work may be done, the project is far from complete.

“Why can't we have ice skating this winter?" said Herbert.

"Well, it is just about there," said Brown.

Brown says while most of the work is done, about 95 percent complete, there's still some finishing tests that need to be conducted before the pond is opened to the public.

"Pressure testing, leak testing, sealing that has to be done, so it is essentially. (You) won't see heavy machinery or major work going on, so essentially the $4.5 million dollar project for MLK Park for the wading pool very close to completion," said Mayor Brown.

As for whether the pond might be open for ice skating this winter, Brown wouldn't say. He says it's important to make sure all the pieces are in place before any skaters take to the ice.

Herbert says the coalition plans to hold a public meeting on January 7th to find out more about the future of the park.

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