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Advancing Utah's Energy Future

Logan City replaces Merlin Olsen lights to boost energy efficiency

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Lis Stewart – HJNews

Logan’s outdoor ice rink made a little more than $25,000 during its six-week run this year, but it still went into the red because the city replaced the lights around it in Merlin Olsen Central Park to boost energy efficiency, officials say.

The rink’s preparation and maintenance cost $12,800, and the new LED lights cost $26,000, explained Rich Anderson, Logan’s finance director.

“It made money — kind of — but if you don’t count the capital improvement costs that we had to put in this year,” he said.

The outdoor ice rink, which has been around for at least 50 years, has been a positive source of revenue for the city in years when weather was cold enough for it to stay open and maintenance was low, Parks and Recreation Director Russ Akina said.

However, he added that whether it makes money or not is not always a concern for fans of the rink. Older residents who remember skating there when they were young have a sort of nostalgia about it.

“It’s something that the community has an expectation of — at least that’s the impression we get,” Akina said.

The Logan Municipal Council approved the funds to reimburse Logan Parks and Recreation $12,800 for maintenance at its March 18 meeting.

The city does not set aside funds for the ice rink because the weather is fickle and there is no telling whether there will be a rink when the budget is settled the summer before, Akina explained.

“Since we don’t know prior to that time whether Mother Nature will provide conditions for us to have a nice rink, we have to see what we get,” Akina said.

The income made from skate rentals and concessions went toward paying for the lights, which will save energy and money in the future, Akina said. The balance was paid off using his department’s capital fund.

“Replacing the lights was really a good suggestion from the light and power department, because the amount of power it takes to run the old type of lighting that we had was very expensive,” he said.

Turning on the old lights could cost $200-$300. Running the LED lights costs $2-$3 a night, Akina said.

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