Mighty Ducks ice rink grants approved

A bill was heard in the State Government Finance Committee this week to provide $2 million for grants to refurbish and renovate ice hockey rinks across the state, administered by the Amateur Sports Commission.

R-22 is a colorless gas commonly used as a refrigerant at many ice rinks that contributes to ozone depletion. The international community has agreed to eliminate the sale of HCFC compounds by 2020 but there are still some rinks in Minnesota that have not been converted to ammonia refrigeration.

This bill increases the threshold for converting R-22 facilities from $50,000 to $250,000 for indirect cooling systems and from $400,000 to $500,000 for direct cooling systems. Direct cooling systems are more expensive to renovate because the floor needs to be demolished and the piping needs to be replaced. There are a total of 134 rinks in Minnesota, with 45 rinks that have been converted, most from funds provided through the Mighty Ducks Program. (SF 894)