Dickinson Parks and Recreation board voted Monday to table discussions until next summer on a forwarded proposal by the Dickinson Hockey Club to approve a laser ice system for the Cornerstone Arena inside the West River Ice Center.
According to Craig Pearson, director of buildings and grounds at the Parks and Recreation Department, the hockey club has the money to install the laser ice system in the Charbonneau Arena, but were requesting that the Parks and Rec help them facilitate installation for the Cornerstone Arena.
“It is a request for a laser system for the Cornerstone rink,” Pearson said. “They already have the money donated for the Charbonneau rink and that will go on the Zamboni that takes care of that rink.”
Widespread concerns over several issues with the quality of ice last year were attributed to the concrete underneath the ice. Many have raised issues with the consistency of the ice with some areas having very thin ice and others very thick.
The new laser system would, according to Pearson, alleviate some of the problems from the past with the sensors in the boards that can make sure that the ice is at more of a consistent level.
Ralph Engelstad Arena in Grand Forks, and rinks in Minot and Bismarck, do not have this type of system though they do have more staff availability who are more experienced taking care of the ice than those currently in service in Dickinson.
The proposal requested that the hockey club pay for the Cornerstone Arena system upgrade on the condition that parks and rec would deduct 5,000 off their rent until the full amount is recouped by the club.
“They received a donation at the end of last year to put a laser ice surfacing system in our main arena,” James Kramer, executive director of the Dickinson Parks and Recreation, said. “It is not in yet, but it is funded and the intent is to do that prior to (the new ice being laid) in September.”
After consideration the board moved to postpone any decisions on the system being installed in the Cornerstone Arena until they could see how the system functions in the Charbonneau Arena throughout the upcoming year.
In other matters, the board considered a proposal from Dickinson Youth Activities Inc. requesting that gaming machines be put at Heart River Golf Course.
Discussions centered on the best location for the proposed gaming machines, which first considered the Green 19, a restaurant attached to the clubhouse.
Board members rejected that idea as they currently do not manage or operate the restaurant — which is independently owned and operated.
“Green 19 at this point in time does not have a lot of interest in having the machines out there,” Matt Mack, director of recreation and facilitates, said. “They do not want to maintain and oversee them.”
The park board unanimously agreed that Green 19 was, at least for the time being, not a valid option and therefore rejected the motion.
“The board concurred with staff opinion at this time to not approve the requests. The laser system we will revisit,” Kramer promised.