Time to rethink investment in ice rinks

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January 27, 2013 // UPDATED 10:38 am - January 28, 2013
By: Jim Horn
Jim Horn

Thanks to the Southwest Journal for the story regarding Minneapolis Park Board ice rinks.  My wife, our two children and I are fortunate to live three blocks away from one of those $58,000/year ice rinks.  

Over the last couple years I've grown increasingly concerned about the amount of resources, including staff time and water, used for our neighborhood rink.  In my opinion our milder winters have created an unacceptable return on investment for at least some of the neighborhood ice rinks.  

Our park is in need of many upgrades, including better storage facilities for athletic equipment, safety fencing around baseball/softball fields, and general field upgrades.  We've asked for these upgrades for years, but funding is never available from the Minneapolis Park Board.

 How about eliminating our ice rink, and giving us half the money for one year to fund these upgrades?  At $36 per year for every household in our neighborhood, coupled with very challenging fiscal times for our City, we can't afford the luxury of our ice rink.  

Our park is much more heavily used for soccer and other ball sports; yet, there is virtually no capital investment into these sports at our park.  The time is now to re-examine this expensive annual allocation.