Casper City Council approves ice plant replacement

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CASPER, Wyo. (Wyoming News Now) - The Casper Ice Arena is officially replacing its ice plant.

The currently dormant ice plant at the Casper Events Center in Casper, Wyo. on Thursday, Jan. 16, 2020.

Casper City Council members approved a $2,452,500 contract with Haass Construction Co., Inc. to replace the nearly 35-year-old plant with the much newer one currently dormant at the Casper Events Center, which the city also owns.

“The plant’s five years past its life cycle. We’ve done all that we can to kind of limp through the years and try to look for better opportunities to replace it, you know, something maybe to lower costs. It’s just not materializing,” Casper Parks and Recreation Director Tim Cortez said.

He said the Ice Arena’s plant could fail at any time, causing the ice to melt within a few days.

“It’s not if it breaks down, it’s going to be when it breaks down,” Capser Mayor Steve Freel, Ward III, said.

Cortez said experts told city officials not to turn the plant off because it might not turn back on again.

“You look at all the user groups that use the ice and if that plant goes down, there is no ice. And if the ice goes down, that ends season. So it's very imperative that we make these repairs," Freel said.

Cortez said work will begin on moving replacing the ice plant this spring.

He said the replacement plant should last at least another 20 years.

Events Center officials said its ice plant hasn’t been used since 2017.