New measure to help Washington Park Ice Arena with flooding

5 months 2 weeks 3 days ago November 07, 2016 Nov 7, 2016 Monday, November 07 2016 Monday, November 07, 2016 7:13:00 PM CST in News
By: Joe Gjata, KOMU 8 Reporter
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JEFFERSON CITY – The City of Jefferson City Council will hear a new measure regarding flood mitigation services for Washington Park Ice Arena. 

The budget amendment equates to a little over $320,000, and the Parks Commission voted to allocate the funds. The city council needs to approve the request, which it could do Monday evening.

In early August and September the Washington Park Ice Arena suffered multiple floods closing the rink for an extended period of time.

J.J. Gates, the Parks Resources and Forestry Division Director, said both floods caused considerable damage.

“The first flood happened on Aug. 1, and it was pretty devastating both to the ice arena and the surrounding grounds,” he said. “That one was much worse in comparison to the second one that occurred Sept. 10.”

Gates said they were open and had made ice when the second flood occurred, but they had not finished all of the repairs.

Brendan Wilson, the captain for the MU Club Hockey team, said the two floods made things difficult for the team. The one in August forced it to push tryouts back.

He said the team fortunately played its first set of games on the road, but a lack of practice also served as an inconvenience.

“We only had one practice during that time in Wentzville, Missouri, which is over an hour away,” he said.

Gates said he will propose the funding to the city council Monday night.

“I will introduce a bill for budget adjustment, recognizing flood insurance and the claim that came into our check that we agreed upon so we can pay the bills,” he said.

He said the funds listed are for damage incurred from the August flood and mentioned other funds and preventative measures from the September incident are in the works.

Wilson said he’s pleased the city is looking to improve the arena.

“I think it’s great news they’re bringing awareness to that,” he said. “I certainly wasn’t expecting anything to happen within such a short period of time. I’m very pleased this is on their radar, because for us and the entire mid-Mo region, that’s the only ice rink there is.”

Gates said it’s more about just mitigating costs.

“We just want to be made whole again,” he emphasized. “In the first flood we lost the ice bed, we lost the flooring, and we had one locker room where the carpet had flooded.

“We’re close (to finishing), we’re about 80 percent back to the way it was before the first flood,” he said.

Gates added the entire arena should be completed in another three to four weeks.

He also hopes to have the arena open year-round for the first time. The rink usually is closed during the summer months.

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