As others see it: Ice rink bill not neededAt a time when Minnesota cities are struggling with tight budgets and the heavy loss of state Local Government Aid, the Legislature is busy enacting new unfunded mandates that will cost cities with indoor hockey rinks.
By: Bemidji Pioneer, Worthington Daily Globe
At a time when Minnesota cities are struggling with tight budgets and the heavy loss of state Local Government Aid, the Legislature is busy enacting new unfunded mandates that will cost cities with indoor hockey rinks.
The case of several figure skaters who apparently developed carbon monoxide poisoning over a period of time while skating on indoor ice in at least three locations prompted Rep. Rick Hansen, DFL-West St. Paul, to author legislation requiring ice rink operators to obtain training and pay for licenses to run ice resurfacing machines, and would require rinks by Jan. 1 to ensure all ice resurfacers have proper three-way catalytic converters or the equivalent that reduce emissions of carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides and hydrocarbons. It also mandates that by 2015, all ice resurfacers be electric, unless granted a permit by the state commissioner of health.
Further, by 2015 all indoor ice arenas must have calibrated electronic air monitoring devices that continually monitor the concentration of carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide in the air inside an ice arena, connected to an alarm set to activate when levels reach standards set by the bill. The arena must send the Department of Health a photo showing the location of the device in relation to the ice sheet.
Cities place the safety of their citizens first, but the bill is too onerous and costly for cities to uphold. And it’s redundant. ...
This is a case where the Legislature is going too far to correct a problem that should be handled by current state rules, and hopefully will not reach the governor’s desk. If so, he should veto it.