Arena resurfacer on thin ice

Bryan Passifiume
ECA Review Reporter

A quarter century of use out of any piece of machinery is something any facilities manager could only dream of. After nearly 25 years of use, the ice resurfacer at the Coronation arena may be making its last turns of Coronation’s ice if council approves purchase of a new unit.
It was 1987, before many users of the arena were even born, when the Zamboni-brand resurfacer was purchased by the town. Now, according to recreation director Barry Brigley, it may be time to consider replacing it with a new model.

The resurfacer is, once again, experiencing issues with the auger used to transport the shaved ice into its collection hopper. The problem will, according to Brigley, cost nearly $5000 to fix. The economics of spending so much money on an old machine is the question that is before council.
“This Zamboni could last another three years,” Brigley told council during their regular meeting on Monday, December 10. “I wonder how much longer we want to go with that.” Brigley also told council that, regardless of the decision, the resurfacer cannot be repaired until the summer, as its services are required in the arena. As it is, the current resurfacer underwent a complete overhaul five years ago. The fact that it is experiencing problems so soon after a deep service was attributed to the machine’s age.
New, propane-powered ice resurfacers currently cost $100,000, a hefty price tag that Brigley hopes can be defrayed with means of a government 50-50 grant.
Council suggested that the Recreation department look at sourcing alternate forms of funding, including corporate sponsorship or community fundraising.
No decision was made on the resurfacer at the meeting.
In addition, Brigley reported that the arena was successfully opened on October 15, with several hockey and skating clubs making good use of its ice. The curling rink is also open, greeting patrons with a newly painted lounge and two new furnaces installed over the summer.

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