Wednesday, 06 March 2013 13:41

Federal government curls sizable grant into Coaldale rink

Written by  Stephanie Labbe
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Coaldale Councillor Bill Chapman, Ron Hawkins of the Coaldale Granite Club, Councillors Don Wentz and Anja Langstraat, Mayor Kim Craig and Councillor Sherrie Duda join Lethbridge MP Jim Hillyer at the announcement of $96,000 in federal funding for the Coaldale Curling Club. Coaldale Councillor Bill Chapman, Ron Hawkins of the Coaldale Granite Club, Councillors Don Wentz and Anja Langstraat, Mayor Kim Craig and Councillor Sherrie Duda join Lethbridge MP Jim Hillyer at the announcement of $96,000 in federal funding for the Coaldale Curling Club. Photo by Scott Sakatch

Coaldale’s approximately 33-year-old curling rink will see a cooler look to help keep it running.


It was announced Feb. 1 of this year the Town of Coaldale will receive $96,547 from the federal government’s Community Infrastructure Improvement Fund (CIIF). Thanks to the government’s $150 million contribution to the CIIF over two years, both the Picture Butte pool upgrades and Coaldale curling rink upgrades will be partially funded. 
The Coaldale curling rink has been in dire need of a new refrigeration unit for more than five years. The life expectancy of such a unit is estimated at about 25 years.
However, the Coaldale refrigeration unit has been in use for about 32 years.
Coaldale applied for the CIIF in October 2012 and town officials were relieved and excited to hear they had been chosen for funding.
Kalen Hastings, the director of external relations at the Town of Coaldale, says the funding is appreciated and will be used efficiently.
The Coaldale Granite Club is in charge of running the curling rink during curling season and it will host the 2014 ATB Senior Masters Curling Championships around March of next year.
Close to 18 senior male, female and mixed teams across Canada will visit Coaldale to take part in the championships.
“It’s a very prestigious event and so our concern, and it’s been our concern for a while, is that the refrigeration plant at the curling facility has surpassed its expected life expectancy,” says Hastings.
“Our concern is that the ice plant wasn’t going to last long enough so that we can actually host these games ... if you got this many people coming and all that planing, we need to be able to guarantee that the facility is operational.”
Hastings explains as they complete parts of the upgrades, the Town will submit those purchases to Western Economic Diversification and the Town will be reimbursed those expenses up to the grant amount.
“These are exciting times for residents,” said Coaldale Mayor, Kim Craig in a news release. “Any time we are able to collaborate with the federal government on common goals it is great for the community. With significant repairs to our curling rink on the horizon, this announcement comes just in time.
It also provides a boost of energy to the Coaldale Granite Club, whose hard work and dedication is bringing the 2014 Senior Master’s Tournament to Town.”
As well as the refrigeration unit, other upgrades to the curling rink include the mechanical room, fire code modifications, installation of another door and possible upgrades to the ventilation system.
The granite club is also fundraising to cover the costs of upgrades to the main bathrooms in the facility. Upgrades would include new partitions, countertops, tile and plumbing fixtures.
The total cost for this project will be around $300,000. The grant being received by the federal government is a matching grant. It will combine contributions from both the grant, town of Coaldale and any money raised by the Coaldale Granite Club.
“The timing of this federal grant couldn’t have been better. Anytime you can shave off ... close to 30 per cent or a third of your project, you’re pretty happy,” says Hastings.
Construction for the upgrades should begin in early April, once the ice is out and are slated for completion by the end of August. That way there will be enough time to start the new system and make the ice before October, which is when the new curling season kicks off.
The Coaldale Granite Club has also applied for funding from the Alberta Community Facility Enhancement Program grant (CFEP) and is waiting a response.
“We’re hoping ... for .. .a good broad intergovernmental funding support where all levels of government are coming together to work with the community group for the purposes of maintaining a much-utilized community facility.”
Hastings adds the Coaldale Granite Club has done a remarkable job over the past couple of years, building up its membership. The club currently runs youth leagues, high-school teams, super league for the advanced and also a seniors’ program.

Read 2735 times Last modified on Wednesday, 06 March 2013 14:27

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