January 20, 2021

The Three Forks City Council voted last week to adopt an Ice Rink usage policy.

The rink located at Stevenson Park was installed and filled in late December after a fundraising effort by local residents including Mayor Sean Gifford.

Listed below is the new policy.

Ice Rink Use Policy:

The City of Three Forks is committed to providing long term financial support at an amount to be recommended annually by the Parks and Recreation Committee and adopted by the Budget Committee and City Council. Further support will come from volunteers who have committed to the City of Three Forks to provide in-kind labor and materials for this Fiscal Year.

Ice rinks pose an inherent risk to all who use them including, but not limited to, broken bones, cracked skulls, ice particles breaking the skin or injuring eyes. In an effort to reduce risk and educate the users of the ice rink, a regular maintenance plan and expectations is defined below.

A) Maintenance

• It is recommended that inspections of outdoor ice rinks be made once a day to ensure the ice remains safe for use.

• Inspections will be documented, including any repairs or maintenance done or maintenance that should be completed.

• Hazards such as cracked ice, frost boils, exposed ground, or chopped up surface should be repaired immediately, and the rink should be posted as closed until the repairs are completed.

• Ice shavings pose a risk to children as they can be tempting to be eaten or played with. Shavings can contain bodily fluids and so it will be posted at the rink that such shavings may be unsafe. Rink volunteers and City maintenance staff should remove shavings as soon as possible and should also be informed of this danger.

• Vehicles of any kind should not be used in the maintenance of the rink or for plowing snow. Vehicles bring debris onto the ice surface such as sand or salt, which can cause melting of sections of ice. Vehicles can also drip oil, gas, anti-freeze, etc. on the surface, creating hazards. Having a large vehicle on the ice surface near children is very dangerous, as the vehicle cannot stop quickly or safely.

B) Conflicting Uses:

• The ice rink is open for public use at any time. Considerations must be made by all users of the rink for noise or lights during the evening/night/dawn.

• Hockey playing and public skating is not allowed to take place at the same time at one rink.

• For a private use or event, an application shall be submitted to City Hall following #8-6 of the Three Forks Ordinances.

C) Volunteers:

• Volunteers must be approved by the Mayor and complete workman’s compensation paperwork with City Hall.

• Volunteers help to ensure that rink conditions remain safe by supervising skating or conducting inspections and maintenance operations.

• Volunteers will be trained by municipal staff in the correct ways to perform their duties.

• The same municipal documents should be used for inspections performed, or incident reports.

• All documentation will be filed with the municipality at City Hall. (Maintenance document may be kept in the warming hut until the log sheet is filled, then returned to City Hall.)

D) Signage: Signs will be posted around the rink including information such as:

• Hours of operation: 24 hours a day except closed for maintenance or weather.

• No vehicles allowed on ice.

• Be respectful of other users, especially those younger or learning to skate.

• Open skating except as otherwise reserved or closed for maintenance/safety

• The City recommends the following:

* Helmets be worn

* Children be supervised

• City Hall contact number 285-3431

• Emergencies with the Rink outside of business hours contact number 539-6905.

E) Documentation:

• Volunteers are responsible for returning completed maintenance log sheets to City Hall.

• Volunteers are responsible for reporting any repairs needed to take place.

• City Employees are responsible for ensuring the repairs take place in a timely fashion and that signage to close the Rink is posted as needed.

• City Employees will acknowledge all calls to encourage the public to call in and report problems. Any issues will be directed to the appropriate department for repairs.


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