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Monday, April 8, 2019

Goderich Councillor Says Lack Of Ice Surface Hurting Business

Goderich | by Peter Jackson  

Trevor Bazinet says halving of ice surfaces affected recent hockey tournament, and businesses noticed.

With the loss of the ice surface at Memorial Arena in Goderich, hockey and other organizations have sometimes had to find alternate arrangements for ice time.

Since the ammonia-based refrigeration plant at Memorial was closed last year, Goderich has been down to a single ice surface at the Maitland Recreation Centre.

Councillor Trevor Bazinet -- who is heavily involved in local minor hockey -- says a solution will need to be found.

He tells Country 104.9 News that a second ice pad at MRC would be the answer to the ice time issue, but the big question is: how to pay for it.

Bazinet cautions that expanding the Maitland will take time and would be subject to discussions with users, as well as finding ways to fund such a project.

He shares an example of the ice time squeeze, recalling a minor hockey tournament that attracted 36 teams when Goderich had two ice pads.

Only 16 teams could take part last season, and Bazinet says local merchants and restaurants were affected by the loss of revenue at their businesses.

Memorial Arena is operating at an annual loss of $115 thousand, and Bazinet suggests the venue next door to Bannister Park could be sold to the private sector.

27-hundred pounds of ammonia was removed from Memorial last year, after an engineer's report cited the poor condition of the pipes that carried the chemical under the floor.

The report followed the ammonia-related deaths of workers at an arena in British Columbia.

There are now only two arenas left in Canada that use ammonia as a refrigerant.

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