Businesses, individuals come to the aid of the ski clubWith the recent snow, kids are ski jumping at Pine Valley again. However, because copper thieves destroyed the tow rope motor earlier this year, each jumper has to remove his or her skis after completing a jump and carry them up the steps to the top of the hill to jump again.
By: Jana Peterson, Pine Journal
With the recent snow, kids are ski jumping at Pine Valley again. However, because copper thieves destroyed the tow rope motor earlier this year, each jumper has to remove his or her skis after completing a jump and carry them up the steps to the top of the hill to jump again.
Soon – thanks to the volunteer efforts of the Sappi metal shop and Midwest Electrical Group – the kids may be able to keep their skis on for more than a few minutes.
On Thursday, father and son electricians, Denny and Kris Johnson, began the process of rewiring the tow rope system after city officials donated the old tubing hill motor to the Cloquet Ski Club, which leases the jumping facility and chalet from the city every winter.
“We do a lot of work for the city – street lighting, facility maintenance – and we appreciate that,” Denny said. “So when the city contacted us about making repairs at Pine Valley, it seemed like the right thing to do – to offer some help in an unfortunate situation.”
The Johnsons are donating their labor to the city and ski club, something City Parks and Streets Supervisor Les Peterson said likely would have cost between $1,200 and $1,500 otherwise.
Peterson said the Johnsons wired the city’s tubing hill tow rope five years ago, so they’re familiar with the set up. The pair completed their work on Monday.
“It’s like a puzzle,” Peterson said, noting that parts of the tow rope apparatus were probably more than 50 years old. “They have to figure out how to wire the new motor to all these safety devices and make it work again.”
The one remaining piece to the puzzle – other than identifying the thieves who destroyed the old motor – is a metal shaft to connect the gear reducer to the motor. Sappi workers are both making the shaft and installing it in the near future, Peterson said.
Cloquet Ski Club Coach Ken Ripp was ecstatic at the news of the donated labor and materials.
“It’s been so nice to see the outpouring of support,” Ripp said, adding that the club has received several monetary donations from people as well. “We really appreciate how much people want to help.”