UPDATE: Renovations at Blenheim Arena must wait until funding is secured

Inside Blenheim Arena. (BlackburnNews.com file photo)

A Blenheim Arena report before Chatham-Kent Council on Monday night was just for information purposes.

Council was told the approval for a new ammonia refrigerant system and a new floor must wait until funding is secured.

Councilor Anthony Ceccacci put forth a notice of motion to be discussed at the March 6, 2023 Council meeting.

Ceccacci wants administration to gather information for Council on several issues, including individual arena use and large scale repairs in the future. He also wants a road map developed to address aging arenas across the municipality.

The municipality has 10 arenas and Ceccacci said their average age is 50 years.

He also wants information on available funding and incentives for arenas.


Previous story below from February 3, 2023:

The aging Blenheim Memorial Arena could be getting a facelift over the coming years.

Chatham-Kent Council will be discussing upgrades to the arena Monday night. Up for approval is a new ammonia refrigerant system to replace the Freon system, which has a high Global Warming Potential and won’t be available for re-sale starting January 1, 2030 due to Canada‚Äôs green initiatives and greenhouse reduction targets.

The estimated cost to switch to an ammonia ice plant is $800,000, but that may have to wait a few years because the floor at the arena also needs to be replaced at an estimated price tag of $1.3 million.

A report going to Council states replacing the floor will require a one-year closure of the facility and the relocation of ice activities.

Administration is also evaluating adopting CO2, another natural refrigerant, as an alternative to the preferred ammonia refrigerant.