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Hockey is back

Park district to pay for new rink surface

DIXON – Strap on those inline skates: Roller hockey will be back.

The Dixon Park District has agreed to take control of the roller hockey league and pay for repairs to the rink surface at The Meadows, Sauk Valley Hockey Club member Andy Oros said.

The board had discussed discontinuing the league because of a lack of participation, safety issues and the deteriorating surface. Members also talked about removing the rink to add parking for the nearby football and soccer leagues, Executive Director Deb Carey said.

After parents and organizers attended a meeting last month to save the league, the park board suggested the hockey club enter into a lease agreement with the district, similar to Al Morrison Baseball.

Talks went smoothly between the board and the club, but a lease will not happen, Oros said. Instead, the park district will run the league, and the rink will be repaired using about $3,000 from the sale of a sport court surface at The Meadows. The club, which had slightly fewer than 100 participants last season, will sign up sponsors.

“There’s been very little negative feedback,” said Oros, of Dixon. “We’re looking forward to growing the league and building a strong relationship with the park district. I can’t thank them enough for keeping the league going.”

Play is expected to start Sept. 8. Registration begins today.

Cost to maintain the rink – mowing, trimming, fuel, labor, and garbage disposal – is about $1,100 a year, which does not include administrative, insurance or utility costs, Carey said.

Communication was poor in previous seasons.

This past season, the league did not tell Carey when one of its players suffered a broken jaw, and that incident is being investigated by the park district and its insurance company.

Now, the park district can be out in front of those kinds of situations.

The facility is one of the best in the area, attracting players from all across the Sauk Valley, Sean Knapp told the park board last month, and the league is expecting a boost in participation since the Chicago Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup.

To register

Forms for the Sauk Valley Hockey Club's fall league are available at or at the Dixon Park District office, 804 Palmyra St. Registration begins today.

Call the park district, 815-284-3306, for more information.

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