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REPORTING · 13th January 2015
Walter McFarlane
Two of the supplementary line items which came up for pre-budget approval at the Committee of the Whole Meeting on Monday, January 12th were the Condenser and the Electrical Main Disconnect Switch at the Kitimat Ice Rink. The Condenser replacement would cost $85,000 and the Switch would cost $10,000.

“Our Condenser is in need of replacement. The current condenser is leaking in two different spots. Our refrigeration Mechanic has said: ‘I can’t repair it anymore; I’ve done everything I can. I’ve replaced pipes where they leak, I’ve replaced piping. If the condenser fails, it means we won’t be able to run the ice plant,” said Head of Leisure Services, Martin Gould.

He said it would take two months to get the new condenser on site and they would like to time the replacement of the condenser to the annual visit of their refrigeration mechanic in June.

As for the switch: “Every two years, we have a company come in and scan all our breaker panels and all our major motor connections and a couple of our electrical. Last year when they came in and scanned, they recommended the Electrical Main Disconnect switch in our Ice Rink be replaced,” said Gould.

He said while it will not fail immediately, they want to get a replacement and replace the switch during the shutdown of the ice plant. This will involve getting BC Hydro to shut off power to the rink for several days while the work is done.

He explained if the switch failed, they would not lose the ice plant but they would lose the heat and lights in the facility.

Councillor Mario Feldhoff made a motion to pre-approve these items. He stated it was safe to give the okay because these were two high priority items.

Councillor Rob Goffinet wanted to know where the Ice Rink fell into the Recreation Master Plan. Gould explained Council decided to keep the ice rink open. However, if the number of users dropped, it would be up to Council to decide whether or not to keep the facility open.

Gould did explain if they ever decide to close the Kitimat Ice Rink, the condenser would be compatible with the Tamitik Arena, meaning that if it broke down, they would have a spare, although they would have to change a few of the pipes.

He clarified they have no intention of closing the Kitimat Ice Rink, the discussion at this time was hypothetical.

Councillor Edwin Empinado asked when the last time they changed the condenser was. The response was it was installed in 1996, and had surpassed its life span.

The motion was called and carried.