Well here we are, April 11th, and a major snow/sleet/rain storm is upon us that also is bringing 50 MPH winds. Everyone be safe out there. Today I will be talking about the winter storm and summer ice at the ice arena. As always, I can most easily be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 507-593-8312; now onto City business.
Winter Storm Wesley
So apparently this winter storm has a name, and it’s Wesley. Good to know I guess. Well, Winter Storm Wesley has been an interesting one here in Le Sueur. We had snow, wind, sleet, maybe some hail, and definitely some powerful winds. We didn’t as of this blog declare a snow emergency, and I don’t think we will. It looks like things will be slowly warming back up this weekend and into next week, so hopefully, we can get the roads cleared, so they are passable and then let Mother Nature do the rest of the work for us.
Our utilities are doing well here in town as well. The Streets and Parks Division has been out since 4:00 A.M. this morning, and the Electric Division has been on call for potential electric outages. One thing we are getting reports about is “flickering” of lights in town. I asked our Electric Manager Justin Anderson about this, and the report is that the transmission lines are coated in ice and with the strong winds, there is a lot of movement which is causing the light flickering. Good information to know. If you do experience an outage, please call 507-665-3338 to report the outage. One of the benefits of the Meter Replacement Project is that we will automatically be notified once a meter loses power and will be able to determine better where the outage is affecting, and how to remedy the problem faster. These are all good things. Speaking of our Electric Division, the picture below shows them out at a pole in our rural area that snapped because of the wind. No power was lost, but the crew is out in these conditions.
I hope everyone remains safe and if there is anything you have questions or concerns about, please don’t hesitate to reach out.
People may have noticed a Facebook Poll about the possibility of the City of Le Sueur having summer ice available for June and July. This is something that our new Recreation Manager Allison Watkins brought up as they do this at the facility she previously managed. The staff has been looking at the logistics of this possibility and also talking with local and regional hockey programs to see if there is some interest. Here are some bullet points on information related to this potential project:
- Summer ice is estimated to cost ~$8,000 per month
- At $147/hr ice time, that would mean we need to book 55 hours of ice time per month to break even; this doesn’t take into account revenues from open ice and recreation programs, so it’s a conservative number. This equates to around 13 hours per week, or just under two hours per day needed to break even.
- Recent improvements such as the dehumidification system will make it possible to have summer ice without the “sweating” seen previously
- A challenge will be staffing as we have obligations in our parks as well. Staff is confident we can balance both throughout summer ice through cross-training
So, I have challenged our Recreation staff to get enough confirmed ice time to make this project cash flow. I’m excited for this possibility as we just had the Bulldog Hockey program in the Minnesota State Hockey Tournament, so interest is very high. Having off-season ice will also allow for the kids that play hockey to increase their strength and skill levels. This gives them more time with the puck or just skating to improve on developing these skills. It is also an opportunity for those kids that may have never played hockey to try hockey without the major commitment of joining a team officially.
I am excited about summer ice; I believe this first year could be a learning/testing year for the facility, and subsequent years will get better and better, especially if we can give the Bulldog Hockey and Bulldog Youth Hockey groups enough times to plan accordingly.
Keep an eye on Facebook and the City website for details if we will have summer ice. At this time, I think the possibility of this happening is very high.
I hope everyone has a great rest of the week and hopefully we can look forward to warmer weather. If you would like additional information on anything City related, please feel free to reach out! I can be reached at 507-593-8312 or by email at email@example.com.