Event Arena temperature to be lowered 10 degrees.

In a Crookston Sports Center Budget Task Force meeting this week, committee members combed through the CSC's budget looking for ways to save, rather than just cut, cut, cut.

The cost of energy needed to keep the facility running as smooth as possible is consistently a concern. Scott Riopelle, Crookston Parks and Recreation director and CSC manager, recently spoke with a representative from Red Lake Electric Cooperative, who conducted an energy audit on the CSC.

"He didn't tell us anything we don't already know. He actually met with Martin Mechanical, who worked with the design of the facility," Riopelle said. "Saving energy would involve changing out lights to LED and putting a curtain in the rafters that does not allow the UV rays to add heat to the ice."

Suggestions for improving energy efficiency were again focused around installing a Low-E curtain, which, according to Riopelle, would cost about $200,000 and be a 10-year payback.

Then there's adjusting the temperature in the three rinks, and the temperature of the three sheets of ice.

"They (Red Lake Electric) talked about raising our ice temperature five degrees at night. We'd have to pull out those five degrees of heat," Riopelle explained. "When we had issues, some of that took all day. I'm not sure I am willing to go through that for a $3,000 savings. We could maybe turn up our temperatures up a degree."

Park Board member Mike Tiedemann offered up a cost-saving measure, saying, "I want to drop the air temperature in the arena down by 20 degrees," he said. "I have consistently measured it as 66 degrees on the walking track. That is too warm."

Riopelle said the rising heat makes conditions on the upper-level track much warmer than those closer to the ice during the winter season.

Concerns about dropping the inside temperature a full 20 degrees were voiced by a number of task force members. Would it be too cold for the senior population of walkers? What would happen to the ice? Would it be the whole CSC or just a portion?

It was determined that, once the ice is back, the Event Arena temperature will be dropped 10 degrees to test the impact on energy costs. The Blue and Gold arenas will remain at the current temperature.

Meanwhile, discussion remains open on the purchase and installation of a Low-E curtain and the option of raising the temperature of the ice.