Days after Fox 9 News covered the story of a Savage family that was told to dismantle the pond hockey rink they have maintained for years by the weekend, city leaders are backing off the plan.
The Conrads had faced a Friday deadline to remove the rink after a neighbor complained the racket of the pucks hitting the boards until 10 p.m. was scaring away the wildlife in the wetland marsh. Since the pond is on city property, liability for injury was also cited as a concern.
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Now, according to the Conrad family, the city will allow them to keep the rink until the spring thaw.
Savage City Administrator Barry Stock confirmed that city officials have received numerous comments from the public regarding the rink removal request, but said the decision to allow the rink to remain was primarily grounded on environmental concerns since tearing up the boards and liner, which are already frozen in place, could cause more damage to the wetland.
As for the future, Stock said the city is still advising the family to refrain from putting up the boards and liner next year -- as they have since 2011; however, he insists the city has no problem with members of the community skating there.
"The city is not opposed to, or has ever been opposed to, pond hockey," Stock said with a laugh. "Please, go on Wikipedia and look up pond hockey -- it's not boards and a liner."
The Conrad family also told Fox 9 News that 7 p.m. will be the new cut-off time for playing with pucks.