by Scott Lunte
The Webster Groves City Council approved the purchase of a new ice resurfacing machine for the Webster Groves Ice Arena at its Feb. 5 meeting at Webster Groves City Hall. The purchase of the new machine replaces one of the ice resurfacers that is 17 years old.
“It’s a machine you would not want to use for a week at a time unless you had to in a pinch,” Dave Garth, ice arena facility manager, said.
Webster Groves City Manager Steven Wylie said the city elected to purchase the Zamboni brand over the Olympia brand for a new ice resurfacing machine. The original cost of the ice resurfacing machine was $103,934, but the city received $16,750 by trading in the 17-year-old machine. Through a five-year capital improvement program — which is generated by sales taxes in the Webster Groves area — the total cost of the machine was $87,184.
The city of Webster Groves currently owns two ice resurfacing machines at the ice arena. The primary ice resurfacing machine is currently 8 years old and will become the back-up ice resurfacer once the new machine arrives.
The ice rink is part of the Webster Groves Recreation Complex/Community Center. The ice arena makes roughly $85,000 to $100,000 annually. Garth insists the new ice resurfacing machine will continue to bring customer satisfaction to the city of Webster Groves and ice arena visitors.
“The new Zamboni will not generate new dollars for us, but it will allow us to continue to be a dependable provider of ice for our existing customers,” Garth said.
Garth said the rink is generally booked every day from 3 p.m. to midnight during the week. Activities at the Ice Arena include public skating sessions, classes and private lessons.
“We want to generate usage,” Garth said. “What we are selling and providing our customers is hopefully a quality sheet of ice.”