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Mechanical problem ends season for Hudson Bay arena

It is expected to take months to get a new chiller for the Wally Dawyduk Arena's ice plant.
The chiller in the ice plant at Hudson Bay's Wally Dawyduk Arena needs to be replaced. It is expected to take months to find the new part.

HUDSON BAY — Due to a major mechanical problem, the ice is being taken out of Hudson Bay's Wally Dawyduk Arena earlier than planned.

The chiller, one of the main components of an ice plant, broke down Feb. 5.

"We have two refrigeration companies sourcing out a new chiller for us but it sounds like there is only one manufacturer that makes them, and we are weeks, likely months out before we can get a new one," said a statement from the Town of Hudson Bay. "We are unsure if we will be back up and running in time to host our annual summer hockey school."

Vince Simpson, recreation foreman for the town, said the chiller runs the brine through piping in the floor to remove heat from the concrete surface in an arena and is a major component to an ice plant refrigeration system. With the warm weather on the weekend, it made it impossible to keep the ice in the arena.

The Hudson Bay arena was built in 1989. In 2005, an entire new ice plant was installed. Since then, they have needed to replace the computer system and one of the compressors, said Simpson.

Simpson said they thought they may have found one in Canada, but due to size and specific requirements a new chiller is on order. They have tried to move up on a priority list, but because they are used at hospitals and other essential service facilities, the timely arrival of the new chiller is likely months away.

Mayor Betty Lou Palko said that a new chiller will be at least $100,000 and that they do have some money saved in their town reserves.

“The Town of Hudson Bay has had a trifecta of equipment and water breakdowns,” Palko said.

The town’s water treatment plant is still waiting on a part that made the entire town experience a reduced rate of water production on Jan. 29 and shut off water to the entire town. Public works crews had to go door to door to reduce the flow of water in bleeders.

The Town of Hudson Bay asked all residents to conserve water after the water main break. Water was eventually restored to the entire town but with low water pressure the entire town was – and as of Feb. 6 is still – on a boil water advisory. Palko said they need to submit the required amount of water samples for thtee days before the boil water advisory will be removed or considered being removed.

Hudson Bay Minor Hockey has 79 members ranging from three to 18 years old. Hudson Bay Minor Hockey will see their remaining games for the season held in Porcupine Plain approximately 50 minutes away to the west or in Preeceville which is an hour and 15 minutes south. The Hudson Bay senior Hunters season is over and won’t be affected.

Palko said, “We appreciate the patience of our citizens as our town staff are doing the best job they can to get the water back on without a boil water advisory and our skating rink back up and running.”