In a meeting of the Crookston Sports Arena budget task force this week, discussion led to the possibility of the Crookston Blue Line Club taking over the youth hockey program.
"I have had indications that they (members of the the Blue Line Club) are interested in sitting down and talking about it," said Larry Brekken, Parks and Recreation board chair and task force member. "But, they don't want to be just shot down again."
In the past, representatives of the Blue Line Club had expressed taking over the more competitive "A" program, but not the “B” level program At that time, Parks and Recreation was not interested in dividing the programs, and, according to Parks & Recreation Supervisor Scott Butt, the last time this was brought up, "they (the BLC) didn't have the revenue stream they do now."
Park Board member Michelle Christopherson suggested that “outcome goals” be established before anyone seriously considers transferring the youth hockey program to the BLC. "Do we want them to take over the hockey program? Do we want them to take over and let go of the enrollment?” she perused. “We need to have a vision before we approach them and have a few things we want to invite them to think about. What do we want them to do if we are willing to hand it off?”
"We need to talk to them about what they can do to make the program better," Crookston City Council member and task force member Bob Quanrud added.
Scott Riopelle, Crookston Parks and Recreation director and CSC manager, was hesitant to jump too quickly. "We have to be careful not to just give it away. We have to make sure we will still bring in some revenue,” he said. “We have to be careful with the other contracts out there." Riopelle was referring to CSC usage contracts with Crookston Public Schools and the University of Minnesota Crookston.
Quanrud suggested forgetting about the money part for now and finding out where the Blue Line Club’s interest level is. The discussion concluded with a plan for Brekken, Park Board member Mike Tiedemann and council member Tom Jorgens to meet with BLC President Steve Erickson and other Blue Line Club representatives and then call a meeting of the CSC task force to discuss options.