The Minnesota Amateur Sports Commission (MASC) has awarded the 2015 Mighty Ducks Ice Arena Grant to 15 programs, two in our area, according to a press release. Steele County for $12,988 and City of Kasson for $100,000.

According to County Administrator Laura Elvebak, the grant will provide 50 percent of the Four Seasons Centre R-22 Refrigerant Replacement in the West Arena Project. Steele County will match that and the total project will cost $25,977.

Grants also went to City of Farmington, Grand Rapids, La Cresent, Litchfield, New Prague, St. Louis Park, Shakopee, Silver Bay and Stillwater. Hennepin County, Lake of the Woods County, Pine City School District and St. Michael-Albertville Ice Arena Board were also recipients of grants.

The meeting by the Minnesota Amateur Sports Commission took place on Wednesday, November 18, in Blaine. The grants total more than $2 million and are awarded in developing new arenas, improving indoor air quality in ice arenas and elimination the use of R-22 systems in ice arena refrigeration, which will make an environmentally-friendly ice rink in Minnesota communities.

A minimum dollar-for-dollar match from non-state funding sources is required. The grant program is authorized per Minnesota Statue 2015 240A.09.

The categories grants were applied for include:

  • New Ice Arena Development, up to $250,000 for new ice sheets.
  • Indoor Air Quality Improvements, up to $200,000 for new ice electric ice resurfacing equipment or replacement or renovation of HVAC systems.
  • Direct R-22 Refrigerant Elimination, up to $400,000.
  • Indirect R-22 Refrigerant Elimination, up to $50,000.

The Minnesota Amateur Sports Commission administered the Mighty Ducks Grant Program between 1995-2000. It was first started to help construct additional ice facilities due to a shortage of ice time for both boys and girls hockey players. At the end of the program more than $18 million were distributed. That included 79 grants for new facilities that produced 61 new sheets of ice and 74 arenas received grants to be renovated.

The Mighty Ducks Grant Program was revived last year to help fund new arenas and renovations, and now focusing on eliminating R-22 refrigeration systems to improve indoor air quality.

Last year, 10 grants were awarded to the City of Austin, Winona, along with Champlin, East Grand Forks, International Falls, New Hope, Sartell, West St. Paul, also to the school districts Dassel-Cokato and Kittson Central.

Nevin Giesbrecht. ThinkStock