Town acquires new ice resurfacer for local arena

The Town of Strathmore has purchased a new ice resurfacer for the Strathmore Family Centre, with a financial contribution from the Municipal Climate Change Action Centre (MCCAC).

The new all-electric machine replaces the Town’s previous 2005 model ice resurfacer that ran with a gasoline engine.

Strathmore Mayor Pat Fule said the Town is excited to have the new machine, as is intended to make a significant difference in the arena both for players as well as spectators.

“This electric ice resurfacer is going to do an incredible job in the arena and it is going to be great as far as (releasing) no emissions for the crowd who are watching the game,” said Fule. “Our recreation facilities are really important to our residents and the new electric ice resurfacer means better air quality for all our users and we are happy about that.”

The purchase is part of Town Council’s overall goal of improving local environmental stewardship, as described in the Town’s most recent strategic plan.

The old ice resurfacer had reached the end of its service life, according to Craig Dilts, manager of the Strathmore Family Centre arena, as the machines are realistically only meant to operate over an eight-to-10-year lifespan.

“The one we retired … served a life and a half and those machines, typically, as long as you do really good service on them … you can keep them running like a car,” said Dilts. “There comes a point where you can’t just keep it in your fleet and expect it to work and operate trouble-free. At a certain point, these machines get old.”

The MCCAC provided $50,000 in support of the $189,635 cost through the Electric Vehicles for Municipalities Program.

Dilts added the Town had originally meant to acquire the new machine at a much later date, though unique circumstances moved up their timeline.

“The funny story behind this one is, it was first supposed to go to a Russian arena, but during the conflict nobody is doing sales and service with Russian rinks,” said Dilts. “Olympia came to me and said, ‘do you want your machine six months earlier?’ and I was not about to turn that down.”

The new ice resurfacer, as a joke and a homage to the circumstance, was aptly named “Rasputin.”

The machine is designed to have an approximate 5,000-hour lifespan, or an eight-to-10-year operating life and will be much quieter to operate than its retired counterpart.

As well, maintenance on the machine will be consistent with Strathmore’s first electric ice resurfacer, making the process easier on staff instead of having to operate on two very different machines.

The Town also received a trade-in credit for retiring the previous machine, though Dilts did not specify for how much value that covered.

John Watson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Strathmore Times