by Peter Bodley
The Coon Rapids City Council has approved a contract with the Anoka-Hennepin School District for its use of the new Coon Rapids Ice Center.
In addition, the council has put in place a policy proposed by Ice Arena Manager Craig Scott for ice center use.
The school district contract covers the use of the ice center as the home ice for the Coon Rapids High School boys’ and girls’ hockey teams.
According to Scott, the agreement is a standard school district contract for ice time used by its five high schools.
But it has been modified a little to specifically address exclusive use and maintenance of certain locker rooms with language covering ice center access and security, Scott said.
The new agreement also provides for school district rental of the outdoor rink, he said.
“In the future, an addendum to this agreement will be required to outline school district financing for locker room construction,” Scott said.
Under the contract, which runs Oct. 31, 2011 through Feb. 29, 2012, the school district will pay the city $185 an hour for prime indoor ice and $65 an hour for the outdoor ice.
There will also be a $550 indoor ice or outdoor ice rental fee for games and a locker room cleaning fee of $10 per ice hour used.
The city will receive a 35 percent provider’s share of the proceeds of net gate receipts.
As part of the contract, the city agrees to provide a usable ice surface, secure and clean locker facilities, parking facilities and on the day of the games, ice center seating for spectators.
In addition, on game days, the ice center will provide appropriate management, ticket seller(s), time/scorekeeper(s), penalty box attendant(s), Zamboni driver(s) and security personnel as needed as any clean-up/maintenance staff.
Both the boys’ and girls’ high school teams have dedicated locker rooms at the ice center complete with individual player equipment storage and dressing areas.
Mayor Tim Howe attended the opening home game of the Coon Rapids boys’ team at the ice center Dec. 3 and indeed dropped the ceremonial first puck.
According to Howe, the good news was that the ice center, which has seating for 775 people, was packed for the opening game.
The bad news was that parking was an issue in the ice center parking lot with people parked in spots that made it difficult to get in and out and in some cases, they were parked on neighboring residential streets, Howe said.
What concerned Howe was whether there was enough parking in the ice center lot to deal with such situations and when the high school boys’ and girls’ varsity and junior varsity teams have back-to-back games, he said.
Howe asked staff to investigate the parking situation.
According to Councilmember Bruce Sanders, there is more city-owned land at the ice center that could be utilized for parking.
The ice center use policy developed by Scott is modeled after the current use policy at the Coon Rapids Civic Center.
The policy includes rental rates for the various rooms in the new ice center – party rooms, Graber Skybox, Cook conference rooms and multi-use training rooms.
The policy spells out the classification and priority of users, describes the rental areas, hours of use, general rules for facility use, supervision, liability, smoking policy, application and permit for use, alcohol and fee structure.
Howe asked staff to monitor the policy closely to see what is used and what is not in terms of rentals with an eye to making changes if needed at the end of the first year.
Peter Bodley is at email@example.com