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Casper Events Center's Ice Rink

Contractors smooth concrete Aug. 9 during installation of a sheet of ice at the Casper Events Center. According to city officials, the project is about $100,000 over budget but about one week ahead of schedule.

The Casper Events Center ice floor project is $100,000 over budget but remains about a week ahead of schedule, according to city officials.

The $2.6 million project includes new infrastructure, a Zamboni and dasher boards the city is installing in hopes of recruiting a minor league hockey team to Casper.

Part of the project includes a mezzanine to store the cooling tower and Zamboni.

That bid was rejected by council members two weeks ago after it came back about four times higher than budgeted. Instead, the council approved Ice Builders, which is installing the floor, as the new contractor for that part of the project.

The cost stands at about $2.7 million, according to City Manager John Patterson.

Patterson said much of that $100,000 is a result of sales tax and bid bond costs not anticipated in the contract.

Philanthropist and former state and federal legislator John Wold donated $1 million toward the project.

Some council members have expressed doubts about the project. So far, things are going more smoothly than Councilman Keith Goodenough expected, but he still has concerns about ongoing operating costs once the ice is in place.

“I supported the ice for the community usage,” Goodenough said. “I never believed the operating budget of the Events Center could absorb that and not go up.”

The city has budgeted $1.9 million for personnel this fiscal year, down 3 percent from a year ago.

With the concrete poured Aug. 9, Patterson expects the floor will be ready in time for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Wyoming event on Sept. 16.

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Reach Tom Dixon at 307-266-0616 or tom.dixon@trib.com. Follow him on Twitter: @DixonTrib.

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