Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Ice plant broken, curling woes continue

Chris Davis - Representatives of the Pincher Creek Curling Club appeared before Town Council on Monday, September 26.  Council was told the ice plant is unusable this year.  Apparently, when the rink was shut down last year the plant was allowed to freeze, causing major and possibly irreparable damage.

"We don't think we can afford to lose another year of curling," said Rick Visser, a curling club executive member.  "We really want to have curling this year in Pincher Creek."

Options presented to council included:
  • Remove the condenser and having it refurbished off-site. 
  • Contract someone to build a new condenser.
  • Find some used equipment that would be compatible with the aged system.
  • See if the plant at the old Blairmore rink (no longer in use as an ice-arena) is compatible, and if so, see if a deal can be struck with the Crowsnest Pass for its use.
  • Acquire a skid unit with a complete ice plant that can be hooked up to the existing piping.

Mayor Ernie Olsen indicated the Town would look into insurance issues surrounding the damaged equipment, and inquired as to the suitability of the Crowsnest Pass equipment.  He also said that if necessary he would discuss the situation with Crowsnest Pass Mayor Bruce Decoux.
"If we could get the equipment from the Pass it would be the quickest and easiest solution," said Visser.

The present location of the curling club is also seemingly doomed, being badly in need of extensive and expensive repairs. The curling club has been fundraising and negotiating with the Town for a new location.  One solution proposed to council earlier this year would see a new rink built adjacent to the golf course clubhouse, sharing the parking and facilities there.  Some local taxpayers have expressed a fair bit of indignation at that idea, citing a potential tax burden on citizens who don't curl and would therefore not use the facility.

Proponents of that plan cited the need to have various social and athletic options available to a community for it to flourish and attract new members.

Last winter, with the Pincher Creek rink closed,  many local curlers traveled to Coleman and Fort Macleod to pursue their sport.

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