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Kevin Nelson: City picnic tables returning from loan to area establishments

A dozen or so local establishments took advantage this past season of the city’s cooperative spirit in assisting them with survival during COVID times by loaning out picnic tables for use at their make-shift outdoor additions to their places of business. Given that picnic table use was light in pavilions due to COVID restrictions, it was a great alternative use.

Now that warm weather is subsiding, the tables are returning to their winter home within the fenced-in area at the parks shop. Staff were glad to have played a helpful role for the community during these unorthodox times.

New outdoor rink boards

A replacement set of hockey rink dasher boards has been ordered and upon arrival will be constructed at Kaufmann Park for seasonal use. The recreational hockey rink will measure 52 feet by 92 feet, which is ideal for this particular park setting.

Water will tentatively be poured/sprayed to make ice beginning in late December, depending upon the weather.

As a reminder, social distancing and mask-use requirements may make it necessary to restrict the number of people who are able to simultaneously access the intended on-site staffed warming house. Watch for more rink details as winter conditions arrive.

Packer Arena ice

A few set-backs were encountered in prepping for making ice, mostly that of refrigeration lines not properly retaining the compressed coolant, coolant which is needed for chilling the concrete rink surface.

A few days have gone into making the necessary repairs, but we’re still on track for ice availability beginning Nov. 7. Seasonal set-backs are anticipated, and they are the reasons for which buffer time is built into the ice-making schedule.

Public skate

The first public skate event of the season will be offered at Riverside Arena today, Wednesday, Oct. 21.

Due to (COVID) limitations on the number of people who can be allowed on the rink for such an event, we’re accepting pre-registration only. Those interested in participating can register online. Thank you for understanding.