Timing is critical in replacing the two ice-making units in the Trail arena.
And there’s no hedging the fact that two new chillers are required by WorkSafeBC after an inspection from earlier this year revealed signs of corrosion in the 20-year old models.
That’s why council awarded a $450,000 contract to Canada West Refrigeration this week, which is well ahead of 2019 budget talks.
“The replacement of the chillers has been identified as a top priority,” Chief Administrative Officer David Perehudoff told the Trail Times.
“And in the absence of replacing these units, the city would run the real risk of not being able to operate next ice season.”
Four bids were submitted for the tender, which closed Nov. 29. Canada West, a company from Airdrie AB, came in the with the lowest proposal at $448,000, and was thus awarded the work.
“The chillers have been ordered and fabricated so that when the ice is removed in April, the contractor will be ready to commence work immediately,” Perehudoff said. “Timing is very important given that it will take several months to deal with the significant work associated with removing the old units and then installing the new units,” he added.
“We want all work fully completed so when the ice plant is flashed up at the end of July, there will be no concerns and service will continue uninterrupted.”
The city’s complete capital budget for 2019 to 2023 won’t be considered and approved by council until sometime in February.
“Given the three-month lead time required to deal with the order of the chillers and ensuring they are on site and ready to be installed in April,” Perehudoff said. “It was imperative that council approved the capital funding and contract award at this time. There is a project schedule whereby providing the lead time and a bit of a buffer was seen to be critical so we meet the target date of the middle to end of July for the work to be fully completed.”
The Trail Memorial Centre was one of 180+ site inspections carried out by WorkSafeBC this year in wake of an ammonia leak that killed three men in Fernie in October 2017.
Like the Fernie ice rink, ammonia is used as a refrigerant in both the Trail and Rossland arenas.
After its WorkSafeBC inspection was completed earlier this year, the Alpine City was handed a $191,000 estimate for required fixes. Notably, the work was not for the chillers, but to the ventilation and exhaust system for the ammonia plant. Those upgrades were completed over the summer, and the rink opened on time in the fall.
As for the Beaver Valley Arena, it uses a refrigerant called Freon. No major red flags were raised from inspection completed by Technical Safety BC earlier this year.