Enright says group has secured a Zamboni

    We might be closer to spring weather, but some Crookston families still have hockey on their minds as they approached the Park Board Monday to ask for support for an outdoor rink next winter on the northeast part of town. Mike Enright and three others were present to talk about the proposed rink for Evergreen Park, located on Evergreen Drive near Cedar Court and Eickhof Boulevard, that could be maintained by the dozen or more hockey families interested in placing it there.

    Park Board members and its guests discussed hockey boards, the possibility for a warming house, LED flood lights, cost, maintenance and security, whether or not the city could get involved and if the group would be okay if the rink was moved to a bigger location.

    Parks & Rec Director Scott Riopelle suggested the group look at Alexander Park, located at Alexander Street and 4th Ave NE, and three blocks down from Evergreen, as an alternative to Evergreen Park as there is more space and is a flat area that has had a rink set up in the past. Other advantages of that location is that the police chief lives nearby and there would be a greater opportunity to set up a warming house in the future, he added.

    Riopelle also told the group the park department’s 2019 budget currently does not have any money set aside for this project and there would be ongoing expenses for electricity and maintenance, but was open to hear what Park Board members had for suggestions.

    Enright provided a rendering of the proposed rink to the board and noted the group has secured a Zamboni, which they got for free and are currently refurbishing, to maintain the rink and have other personal equipment and plans for LED flood lights on posts to illuminate the rink.

    “We have donors unless the city is willing to chip in,” Enright said. “If we start this, then maybe over time we add things?”

    The overall cost to get the rink operational, Enright explained, is about $3,000 total with $2,600 for boards, $300 for lights, and $100 for miscellaneous. The rink support group has approximately 22 people who have committed to help out financially, he added, and seven businesses that have offered their support including the fire department that allegedly offered their brush trailer for flooding the rink.

    “The big thing would be to maintain it and keep snow off it,” Enright continued.

    Riopelle suggested the board support Enright’s group, but asked that Enright and the others consult with their group to consider Alexander Park over Evergreen Park.