Roseville rink relies on Mother Nature
Star Tribune October 23, 2004
Lonnie Brokke, Roseville's director of parks and recreation, is hoping for an early, long and cold winter. Brokke said the John Rose Oval, which has hosted international speedskating events and attracts about 80,000 skaters per winter, will use natural ice this winter and not the more consistent and longer-lasting refrigerated ice that always has covered its surface.
Because of the aging of the Oval's refrigeration system and the potential cost of replacing it -- up to $200,000 -- Brokke said the rink will rely on Mother Nature to chill the ice this winter, and not on the 80 miles of steel piping cooled by ammonia that has allowed the rink to be used from late fall until spring. "It's a mechanical equipment failure that we hope by next season to have fixed," Brokke said. "... But we're going to be fiscally responsible." He is investigating new ice-chilling technologies for the Roseville City Council.
The Rose Oval was built for about $3 million in 1993, using state and city dollars.
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