Town awaits final results of ice plant feasibility study

By Allan Bradbury
Staff Writer

In March, the Town of Fort Frances embarked on a feasibility study to find out if it was possible to replace the two ice plants at the Memorial Sports Complex with one plant.

Travis Rob, Manager of Operations and Facilities for Fort Frances says a preliminary report has been received and sent back to consultants with questions. Rob says he hopes to see the final report before the end of the year.

From the preliminary report, Rob says his department hasn’t come to any recommendations for council.

“At this point we have not settled on a recommendation coming out of the report. The purpose of the report was to look at opportunities to realize efficiencies and reduce operating costs by reconfiguring the ice plants at that site,” Rob said. “Based on their final recommendations and cost estimates in the report, we will present the findings and Administration’s recommendation to Council. At that point it would be up to Council to prioritize the work and allocate funds toward it.”

If and when work on the ice plants is to be done Rob says the money will not come from the funds being used for the current renewal at the Memorial Sports Complex.

“I would suggest, based on my experience, that we would look to grant funds to help offset a project in the future. Work on the ice plants is not part of the scope of the current grant funded revitalization project,” Rob said.

As of right now, Rob says, the plants are in good working order. The ‘52 Canadians ice plant is the older of the two but gets regular maintenance and updates.

“The condenser was the most recent replacement in 52 and that was completed in 2013. The Chiller was replaced in 2008 and we do regular service to the compressors,” Rob said. “Because of the numerous components that make up an ice plant, there is no one end of life date on these systems. We replace and repair components on a regular basis to make sure the systems are operating at their best at all times.”

The consultants’ report should be published for public review in the new year when it is brought to Town Council.