Hockey antagonists strike Zamboni deal

Posted: Sunday, March 28, 2004

KENAI - Although their high school hockey teams may be fierce rivals on the ice, the cities of Kenai and Soldotna struck a nifty deal allowing Soldotna to unload its used Zamboni ice resurfacing machine to Kenai.

The Soldotna City Council voted unanimously Wednesday to sell a surplus Zamboni ice resurfacing machine to Kenai for $5,500. In making the deal, Soldotna unloaded an extra piece of equipment, while Kenai got a reliable backup Zamboni in case its current model goes down.

"We're very excited," Kenai City Manager Linda Snow said Thursday.

Expecting that there could be other bids for the machine, the Kenai council earlier this month approved a measure to spend as much as $15,000 to bid for Soldotna's Zamboni.

At that meeting, Kenai Parks and Recreation Director Bob Frates stressed the need for a backup Zamboni, especially with the Arctic Winter Games coming up in 2006. He noted that if the current Zamboni needs repairs, the city would be in a major bind without a backup.

"You're dead in the water," he said.

Snow said she's excited Soldotna was able to agree on Kenai's original $5,500 offer.

A new Zamboni sells for roughly $75,000, but the one Kenai is getting is a 1974 model. However, Snow said its engine was replaced in 1993.

"I definitely think it's a fair price," Snow said, noting that the Soldotna Zamboni is the same model as the one in use at the Kenai rink.

That means the new machine can serve not only as a backup in case the current Zamboni has problems, but can also be used as a good source for spare parts.

"The parts are compatible, and they'll be interchangeable with the machine we have," Snow said.

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