St. Albert will be spending over a half-million dollars to upgrade ice rinks in the city to prevent hazardous ammonia leaks.
On Monday evening, city council approved $604,600 from the city’s stabilization reserve to complete work at Servus Place, Jarome Igninla and Kinex arenas to come into compliance with legislation and safety code requirements.
“This is about safety, the last thing I want to have is ammonia leaking. This is about being proactive ... this needs to be done,” said Coun. Sheena Hughes.
Other municipalities in the province are also making necessary safety upgrades to their ice rinks, following the tragic death of three people from a Fernie, B.C., ice rink ammonia leak almost exactly two years ago.
Administration said there is no deadline to come into compliance with new safety code requirements – it is more a matter of being certain of safe operations as soon as possible for staff and members of the public.
Coun. Jacquie Hansen asked whether there are any provincial grants to help municipalities make these upgrades, saying the problem is being downloaded onto cities and towns.
“I understand from a safety point of view it has to be done, but I guess on our nickel,” she said. Administration was unsure if there are provincial grants available.