Town out $12K fol­low­ing am­mo­nia scare

Gander ab­sorb­ing cost of five-day arena clo­sure and equip­ment re­pair

The Beacon (Gander) - - Front page - BY ADAM RAN­DELL Adam.ran­dell@gan­der­bea­con.ca

The Town of Gander is out more than $12,000 fol­low­ing an am­mo­nia leak that forced clo­sure of the Steele Com­mu­nity Cen­tre last month.

The arena was closed start­ing March 28 for five days fol­low­ing what deputy mayor Tara Pol­lett called “the faint smell of am­mo­nia” be­ing de­tected.

Fur­ther in­ves­ti­ga­tion re­vealed a small leak in the ice mak­ing equip­ment. While there was no dan­ger to the vis­it­ing pub­lic, Pol­lett said the de­ci­sion to shut down the equip­ment for the re­main­der of the sea­son was made.

Hav­ing to can­cel ice rentals – hockey, fig­ure skating and spe­cial events – re­sulted in the rev­enue loss of $12,000.

Fur­ther­more, the town will have to ab­sorb the cost of the re­pair. The parts have been or­dered, but Pol­lett said the to­tal re­pair cost hasn’t been de­ter­mined yet.

“But these are main­te­nance is­sues, there are things that are go­ing to creep up from time-to­time and we are hop­ing to ab­sorb the rev­enue loss and the cost for the fix in some way,” she said. “Once we get all the num­bers back we’ll sit down and see what we can do off­set that.”

In the mean­time, the town has been try­ing to re­coup some of the loss through floor rentals.

“Given the time frame, it’s kind of short no­tice to get things in place to re­coup the lost funds,” Pol­lett said. “It might not be big money, but at least it’s some­thing.”

For Gus Shave, the clo­sure wasn’t that much of an in­con­ve­nience.

The Gander res­i­dent walks ev­ery day, and when weather con­di­tions aren’t suit­able he can be found at the arena’s walk­ing track, get­ting his 25 laps (five kilo­me­tres) in.

When word came down the arena would be closed he made al­ter­nate plans.

“The weather was pretty good while it was closed so that’s what I done,” said Shave. “We prob­a­bly could have used the arena once while it was closed, so it wasn’t too bad.”

ADAM RAN­DELL/THE BEA­CON

Gander res­i­dent Gus Shave wasn’t both­ered by the Steele Com­mu­nity Cen­tre’s re­cent clo­sure due to an am­mo­nia leak. In­stead of us­ing the arena’s walk­ing track, he moved his daily ac­tiv­ity out­side.

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