Thomas Levi has himself a new “toy” to play with this coming hockey season and it’s one which he thinks he’ll be able to get plenty of use out of.
Arctic Bay’s recreation co-ordinator took delivery of an Ice NV, a smaller model of an ice resurfacing machine, earlier this month. It was built by Porta Ice, a company based in Calgary, and Levi has had his eye on it for a while.
“I saw it on Northbeat one night where one of the NWT communities had one,” he said. “I found the company that made it and got in touch with them to try and get one here.”
The only problem? Money. It cost around $42,000 for the unit and shipping together and Levi didn’t have that sort of money laying around and that meant drawing up some proposals to see if he could raise the money.
He first got in touch with the territory’s Sport and Recreation Division, which was able to provide Levi $20,000 in funding. He then drew up a proposal to send to Baffinland Mines, which also came through with a $20,000 donation. But he was still $2,000 short.
That last little bit came from Hockey Nunavut.
“Hockey Nunavut donated $5,000 to us,” said Levi. “We usually register all of our players through them so it was nice for them to help us.”
If you’ve done the math, that leaves $3,000 in extra money but Levi said he already knows what he’ll be spending the surplus on.
“We need to update our control panel for the scoreboard at the rink,” he said.
The new machine doesn’t operate on fuel but rather a 36-volt motor which has six six-volt deep-cycle batteries. It can hold 491 litres of water in one fill and, like other resurfacing machines, it has a full-size scraping blade to take off the top layer of ice for the flood. The brakes also automatically take hold once the foot is taken off of the accelerator.
Levi said one of the big reasons he went out and got the new machine was so his staff felt more comfortable operating such a unit.
“We still have the old Zamboni but not everyone was comfortable driving it,” he said. “We only had one or two people who could drive it so this new one is going to make it easier for people.”
As for storage, Levi said it’s small enough that it could fit into the skate locker at the arena but there other places it could stay if that area isn’t large enough.
“The arena isn’t being flooded until the end of October,” he said. “We could use it outdoors but we could put it in other areas of the arena if we need to.”