Marine Library offers new programming amidst COVID-19 

A replacement proposal for Scandia’s Zamboni machine led discussion at the Scandia City Council meeting on April 21.  

“The current Zamboni is getting on in its years and we’ve talked about that over the last couple of years when the 1964 model needs to be replaced,” parks and recreation committee chair Terry Gorham said.

According to Gorham, the repair parts for the machine would be more difficult to find as each year passes and the dependability decreases. The proposal was to purchase a 1980 reconditioned machine for $18,200, which would be less than half the  funds budgeted for the replacement. There is $45,000 in the budget with a note stating, “1/2 price from a grant,” which makes $22,500 the price point expected to achieve, according to the replacement proposal.

In addition, a newer machine will come equipped with a side broom that will aid in keeping the machine further away from the boards. This will help minimize repairs needed for the boards each year.

Council member Patti Ray asked if the current Zamboni is running well.

“The condition of the old one is pretty poor and the motor is old and has already been replaced once,” Public Works Director Adam Hawkinson, who handled the search for the new Zambonis, responded.

Mayor Christine Maefsky asked if the 1980 Zamboni would last a long time, to which Hawkinson replied he feels it could last approximately 20 years.

The City Council unanimously approved the purchase of the 1980 model Zamboni.

Marine library

Marine Community Library Board Chair Jim Maher updated the council on what is happening at the library.

“The Marine Community Library has been closed since March 14,” Maher said. “I don’t think libraries will be opening under normal circumstances anytime soon. We’re trying to figure out ways we can work around our current situation to maybe provide more traditional library services, such as access to books.”

Maher said on April 18, they held an online version of the “Poetry Crawl” via Zoom and said it was a “great success.” Eight local poets read their poems from home and approximately 80 to 85 people were online for the readings. 

The next presentation scheduled via Zoom is from Rudi Hargesheimer who wrote a book titled “The Superior Hiking Trail Story.” The presentation will be Thursday, April 30, at 7 p.m.

The library started a web radio program called River Radio, which is also on Zoom every Saturday at 11 a.m. and lasts approximately one hour.

“It’s pretty much a news and interview program. We interview three or four people each program. We also provide local news,” Maher said. “We’re trying to keep the community engaged and involved when there’s so much that isn’t happening right now.”

Guests planned for River Radio Saturday, April 25, include:

• Jim Souhan, sports columnist for the Minneapolis Star Tribune, discussing life as a sportswriter in an era with no sports and what the future holds.

• Amy Stenftenagel, director, Washington County Library, on the adjustments being made by libraries.

• Kyle Potter, editor-in-chief, Thrifty Traveler, on the current problems confronting the travel industry and what to expect going forward.

• Kristina Smitten, Marine on St. Croix, on a cooperative restoration and management venture between the city of Marine and the Jackson Meadow development.

Maefsky thanked Maher for everything the library is doing during these uncertain times.

“The River Radio has given an opportunity for Scandia businesses as well as our Scandia government activities to be broadcast out to the community,” Maefsky said. “Also, being able to keep our citizens updated in another way about what is happening with our fire and rescue and other aspects of the city government. We thank you very much for doing that.”

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