MN House Capital Investment Committee visits Hastings

Posted 11/16/21

By Bruce Karnick [email protected] On November 10, the MN House Capital Investment Committee was welcomed to the Hastings Civic Arena by Mayor Mary Fasbender and a large contingency of folks …

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MN House Capital Investment Committee visits Hastings


By Bruce Karnick

[email protected]

On November 10, the MN House Capital Investment Committee was welcomed to the Hastings Civic Arena by Mayor Mary Fasbender and a large contingency of folks from the city and other guests for a presentation and a tour. The committee made its way to Hastings for information on three major projects that Hastings needs financial assistance for. The group visited cities throughout the day in effort to narrow down where they can spend the available funs to help cities.

State Representatives Tony Jurgens and Keith Franke and State Senator Karla Bigham joined the committee during the tour, a tour that was emceed by Nick Tuckner. At the start of the presentation, Tuckner spoke of the traditions, history and legacy of Hastings hockey and what the Civic Arena means to not just he youth of Hastings, but youth all over the region. There were multiple speakers that spent a few moments discussing what the arena has meant to them. HHS Athletic Director Trent Hanson, Curtis Gerrits from the Hastings Hockey Association, Dusting Vogelgesang – Eastridge Head Coach, Ryan Stoffel – Assistant boys coach, Jordan Vogelgesang – Assistant girls coach, Amanda Truax – Owner River Blades Skating School and current Raider Captain Jake Harris all spoke passionately about the arena.

The group was then led to the west rink where the roof is failing. There are water leaks dripping on the scorers table and on the ice. The ice is the worst part because it creates tripping hazards for skaters. The city is looking to replace the current flat roof with a better design that is meant to be a 30–40-year roof. The new roof would also allow the city to install solar panels on it, helping offset electricity costs.

The second upgrade needed at the arena is for both safety, efficiency and because the system is so out dated that repairs are not only bad for the environment, but very costly.

“If all of the refrigerant were to escape due to a catastrophic failure of the system, the ice arena would be shut down for the season,” explained Parks director Chris Jenkins. “It’s the R22 type refrigerant and that is very difficult and expensive to get.”

R22 freon is no longer allowed to be produced or imported into the US, so as supplies dwindle, costs skyrocket. Most current cooling systems for this situation use ammonia based coolants, but that would require a complete replacement of the coolant system. At that time, the compressor area would also be redesigned for better worker safety.

For the project at the Civic Arena, the ask is for $2.9 million with Hastings paying half and the other half coming from the state.

The second project presented was to repair and repave the trail system in Hastings. IN 2019, a study was done on 96 sections of the 30 plus miles of trails in Hastings and those sections were found to be in need of significant repair or improvement to meet ADA guidelines. The ask for this project is $4.9 million again, with the costs being split 50/50 between Hastings and the state.

The final investment is for adding consistent fuel and e-charging availability for city fleet vehicles. Studies have shown that the current fuel stations are not adequate to fuel larger vehicles such as plows and fire trucks. There are also not enough e-charging stations in Hastings for both the city and MNDoT vehicles that are in town. The ask for this is $1.5 million, again, split 50/50.

The presentation was well done by city staff and guests, now it is a matter of waiting to see what the committee decides. If you would like to learn more details of the proposals and to see more images related to them, visit www.hastingsmn. gov and click on the Capital Investment link under news.