Cleaning the ice in Happy Valley-Goose Bay is about to become a lot more efficient.
At March’s town council meeting, $215,000 was approved for purchase of an electric ice-clearing machine for the EJ Broomfield Arena, expected to arrive in September.
“We’ve been having some issues with the one we’ve got there now. It’s quite dated, so it’s time for a new Zamboni,” said Coun. Jackie Compton Hobbs, who chairs the community services and recreation committee.
The current Zamboni runs on propane, at a cost of $800 per month, and recently had a mechanical issue that forced shutdown of the arena for several days, according to Compton Hobbs.
Compton Hobbs claims the new Zamboni costs approximately $60,000 more than other models available. But, she says, it's also much more efficient because it’s electric.
User fees at the arena are not expected to increase, despite the cost associated with the new ice-clearing machine, she said.
“We don’t know the exact cost of the electric-charging, but it is going to be a lot cheaper than the propane per month,” said Compton Hobbs.
The electric machine is also expected to be safer since there will be no more gas emissions. It’s expected to provide a better ice surface by using a “laser level kit,” which will assist with the blade adjustments.
The new Zamboni will be shipped from Brantford, Ont., to Fredericton, N.B., where it will be outfitted before finally arriving in Happy Valley-Goose Bay in time for the fall hockey season.