YOUR TURN: Readers Debate Ice Arena Expansion

Karen L Kuhnau: Do we really need to spend $4M for an ice rink when we read in the paper about homeless guys and others who are less fortunate? Please put needs before wants.

Jennifer Monaco McLain: I do understand what you are saying Karen but kids need a place to go. My boys love hockey and don't ever want to give it up. I don't necessarily say that we need to go to that extent in cost but upgrades are definitely necessary. When you kids have practice from 9-10 p.m. or 6-7 a.m. because everyone is fighting for ice time, there is a need.

Erica Drum: I take it you did not read about the revenue it brings to the community:a family that travels to Alexandria for a hockey tournament spends an estimated $750 over the course of a weekend. With more tournaments and other events, Schultz said the expansion's total impact could reach $7 million a year. That money is taxed in turn it would pay for itself in the long term.

Aaron Gullickson: Did you ever think that hockey will teach our children discipline, a work ethic that will last a lifetime? That'll battle homelessness right there. We have teams from an hour away in every direction renting ice creating revenue. Give money to a homeless guy and the community gets what out of that? No one seemed to have outrage when we spent how many hundreds of thousands on tennis courts at the new high school.

Missie Norby: I say let the Cardinals hockey team, the figure skaters and the Blizzard pay for an expansion!

Scott Olson: A lot of money comes to town when there are tournaments. Hotels are full, restaurants are busy, shopping is done. There are pros to it too.

Deb Van Alphen: Family entertainment and keeps kids out of trouble, builds self confidence and gives them goals, social skills and self worth and being a part of a team. Plus it brings in out of town money to the local businesses. Small investment for large return and a great asset for our community.

Brian Hedstrom: Why expand the RCC when the new academy is building a sports complex?? If I remember, there is an ice rink in that as well. One of the things that gets me going the most is that these facilities are built with taxpayer money then are rented back to us for us to use. Nothing like paying twice.

Julie Marie: Way to go Alexandria! Only way to bring more people to community to help pay the taxes! Look at the whole picture people! New schools and sporting activities bring doctors to the community!

Warren Smith: So what's the plan to pay for the ongoing operating and maintenance costs? The current operation runs at a deficit. Chances are taxes will go up not only to build it, but to operate it. Look at what other communities pay for similar projects. None of them come close to breaking even.

Garret Rasmusen: This is of great need in our community. We are super limited on ice time. My boys practice till 9 on Tuesday and have to make 6 a.m. practice in Wednesday just to get ice. Only five of our teams were able to host tournaments this year, which is ridiculous.

Jerry Larson: I'm for another indoor rink. The RCC is overbooked, they only have open skate from 9-11 a.m. during weekdays. Nothing in evenings or on weekend. Tough to teach kids to skate if they're not in hockey or figure skating program with that schedule.

Kayla Marie Dahlheimer: We need to keep young people in this community. We have a huge elderly population that is only growing, and at a rapid rate. An ice rink brings in money, encourages young families to stay within the community. We have to be offering things to keep people entertained and happy. Keeping young people in this town keeps this town alive; who else will work to support and take care of our elderly?

Michael Graves: We should say its $4M for a senior rink and it will pass right away no questions asked. Like you have said, this town needs things for young people to do. One of the first things I hear after talking to school teens and college: "As soon as I am done, I am out of this town." That's not good for the future of our city.

Jake Hoppe: Not fair for the taxpayers that are already paying for the $73.2 million dollar school they put up, amongst other things. ... Since last year my parents property tax tripled and my brothers had doubled. They should let the tax payers of Douglas County make the vote instead of begging the state senators to cover half of it first.

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YOUR TURN: Readers debate ice arena expansion
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