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Roy H. Johnson Arena ice woes may be solved


The arena woes for the Town of The Pas could be coming to an end.
The Town has received good news from Cimco, the company working to resolving an ongoing leak in the coolant system the arena uses to make ice. Brine, a chemical in the icemaking process, has been leaking substantially at points over the past 18 months and an effort to patch the leak did get the Town through this past winter but didn’t hold beyond that point. Cimco came to inspect the system in the spring and were at the Roy H. Johnston Arena again last month and are cautiously optimistic they have found the major problem in the system.
“It’s not saying that there may not be another one but they’ve found the main one or what they believe to be the main one,” said Town of The Pas Chief Administrative Officer Randi Salamanowicz.
While the leak will be repaired, what is not known is if there’s additional leaks further along the system. Until that is known the Town is cautious in saying the arena will be operational on time for the usual start of the icemaking season, which comes in early September. Still, the Town is excited by the fact this leak was found so quickly and could result in savings on what was initially budgeted for repairs.
“It’s not what we anticipated what it could have been,” said Salamanowicz. “This is good news… It shouldn’t cost us what we initially budgeted.”
Amber Whitehead, Recreation Director, said Cimco representatives initially began work in mid-June and will return on July 16th. They took the break so the Town could still host several commitments they had made for the Roy H. Johnston Arena, including the MBCI graduation ball and this past weekend’s summer kid’s carnival.
When they return next week how the system reacts to the repairs done will indicate if it was a success or not.
“As long as when they fix everything up and it’s holding pressure that we expect everything should be at normal,” said Whitehead.
Last year the leak was first detected at the end of the 2016-2017 ice season, however work done last summer was believed to have solved the problem. When it came time to make ice last September however the leak was again noticed, resulting in the delay to the ice season at the arena. A patch was eventually found to stop the leak but for a few weeks, The Pas Minor Hockey Association had to move to the Gordon Lathlin Memorial Centre on OCN as the two youth hockey organizations collaborated to make things work for the over 100 youth hockey players from The Pas.

Trent Allen