When thieves stole copper piping from the popular skating rink outside the Phalen Rec Center on St. Paul’s East Side, officials figured it would cost up to $20,000 to repair it.
But local heating company NAC Mechanical & Electrical Services, of Vadnais Heights, donated the labor to make the repairs, and a supplier, Mulcahy Co., of Eagan, donated the materials. Work on the refrigerated rink took about a week, but now it’s ready for action.
This time, they used a plastic composite, which kept the overall cost to about $10,000, and may discourage future thievery. (Police still haven’t caught the original thieves.)
Mayor Chris Coleman says the rink is one of the most-used in St. Paul and thanked the two companies for their donations.
A previous St. Paul mayor named Coleman — Norm Coleman, who went on to become U.S. senator — was well-known in his mayoral days for using the phrase “public-private partnership.”
Chris Coleman, too, over the seven years he’s been in office, has invoked the phrase, too, with such programs as rec centers taking on partners, a home-mortgage program with Wells Fargo and the coming Saints ballpark in Lowertown.
Now are there any companies out there willing to help out with snow plowing?