York City to buy new $102K ice-making equipment

Jason Addy
  • The York City Council approved spending $102,740 for new ice-making equipment at the York City Ice Arena.

The recent spate of unseasonably warm weather has moved forward plans to purchase two new air-cooled condenser units to ensure the York City Ice Arena does not melt.

On Tuesday, the York City Council authorized spending $102,740 on the ice-making equipment over the next five years.

In 2001, the city took on $7.3 million in debt to build the ice rink. York City is still paying off that debt, with a $620,140 payment budgeted for this year.

Central York's Maxwell Wertman, right, and Manheim's Carson Kennedy work to control the puck during ice hockey action at York City Ice Arena in York City earlier this season. Central will play for the Central Penn Interscholastic Hockey League Tier 2 title at 5 p.m. Saturday at the Hersheypark Arena vs. Hempfield.

Annual payments from the York City Ice Arena’s budget for the new equipment will not exceed $22,350, said Jim Gross, director of the city’s public works department.

Mike Cleveland, general manager of the York City Ice Arena at 941 Vander Ave., said the rink has been “limping along” with a 16-year-old condenser installed during the initial construction. The condenser almost hit its breaking point during a hockey tournament over the weekend, adding to the urgency of the purchase, Cleveland said.

The Susquehanna Air Conditioning Refrigeration Service, the company contracted to maintain the rink, has “put a lot of patches and Band-Aids” on the current condenser, but the “elaborate” refrigeration equipment is unlikely to last through the warmer months to come, Cleveland said.

More teams: While answering questions about the future money-making ability of the York City Ice Arena, Cleveland told the council he finally had some good news to report.

During end-of-season discussions, officials from the Maryland-based Skipjacks hockey club, which currently rents the ice rink, said they are planning to add three more teams for the next season, Cleveland said.

The additional revenue generated by the new teams will allow the rink to reach its financial goals significantly more quickly, Cleveland said.

“That is good news when we’re shelling out another $20,000 a year for the next five years,” said Michael Helfrich, council president. “Thank you for bringing a little sunshine … I’m sorry, no sunshine. Thank you for bringing some positive information.”

In July, the Skipjacks were awarded a seven-year lease from the city that stated the organization will pay $20,000 for the first year and then that fee plus an additional 3 percent each year thereafter for the use of the facilities.

York City Council approves ice rink deal

In addition to that, the Skipjacks pay for ice time, which can bring in up to $100,000 a year for the city, Jim Gross, the city's public works director, told The York Dispatch at the time.

The three potential new teams also would pay for ice time, creating the potential for increased revenues, though the club’s players will skate free for the next few years.

York City ice rink deal could bring in $100K a year

Last year, the Skipjacks agreed to pay $225,000 to renovate the ice rink, so the city will credit the club with having paid that much money in ice time. The club will continue to pay the $20,000 annual fee for the length of the agreement and will pay the city the going rate for ice time after its credited time runs out.