The Bay Arena in Bay Roberts is beginning to show its age, and those who operate the facility have issued a plea to the Town of Bay Roberts for help.
The busy 30-year-old facility is in operation from as early as 6 a.m. to well into the evening, seven-days-a-week, and ice time is always at a premium.
All of this wear and tear has prompted the Bay Arena Association board of directors, the governing body of the stadium, to evaluate what some of its most pressing needs are. The list is a long one, and includes nearly every component of the facility, from the floor to the roof and mechanical systems.
In a letter to the town council, signed by board chairman Ed Neil, the association detailed the arena's needs.
Immediate concerns include the replacement of both compressors, and the condenser, an undertaking which would cost in the range of $100,000, according to the association.
That's far beyond the $10,000 Bay Roberts has budgeted for the stadium in 2013.
The upside to this proposed investment is that it would allow the rink to maintain an ice surface during the summer months for events such as hockey schools, thereby increasing revenues, and injecting more money into the local economy.
What's more, a new condenser would dramatically reduce the amount of water consumption at the arena, which became an issue last fall during a serious water shortage in the town.
"While it does not impact the ice-making process, it would be beneficial to the town in water conservation," stated the letter.
The price tag for a new compressor is estimated at some $56,000, plus some $15,000 in renovations.
The letter also detailed some serious concerns and shortcomings with the concrete floor, the arena boards, the bleachers and the roof.
The floor developed a crack at the time of its construction, and repeated attempts to repair the crack have failed, forcing staff to inject sealant into the crack prior to the start of the ice-making process.
"At some point, the floor will have to be replaced," Neil wrote.
The original arena roof is also leaking. The constant stress of the weather on the nuts and bolts holding the aluminum sheeting in place has caused openings around the bolts, and stress fractures have also been detected.
Neil wrote that sealant has been placed around the affected areas, but it's not a long-term solution.
"The complete roof needs to be inspected ... to determine the extent of the problem and the solution," wrote Neil.
The Bay Arena is owned by the Town of Bay Roberts, but is operated by an arms-length board of directors. When the arena was constructed, it was understood that every town that uses the facility would pay a $1 per citizen grant annually.
But only Bay Roberts has consistently paid the grant.
Neil also indicated that provincial funding has also "dried up."
"To keep our building safe, viable and up to today's standards, (council's) support is essential," wrote Neil.
Members of council appeared understanding of the situation, but did not make any firm commitments.
Mayor Philip Wood said he would like to see contact made with other town's in the arena's catchment area to get a sense of their commitment to the facility.
"Would it be of some merit if the Bay Arena wrote some of the other towns and ask them what their intentions were, so we would have some idea as to what our financial obligations are?" added Coun. Gerald Greenland. "If no one is paying, we'll have to assume it's our Bay Arena and we'll do what we have to do."