The Mitchell arena’s new ice clearing machine has arrived and Hanover’s Manager of Recreation and Community Services says, we can call it what it is, a Zamboni.
Jason Peters says the machine arrived last week after it was ordered seven months ago.
“So, that's pretty exciting for us. We put in an application with the provincial government just over a year ago to have funding for that project. And we were fortunate enough to be awarded it. So, we have taken delivery of our brand-new Zamboni.”
“So, it is an actual Zamboni ice clearing machine. It's all deckled up and is on the ice. And we're really excited. It should give us 15 or 20 years typically, on those machines before we have to replace it again. The last one had been there a long time, and it was time for a change. So really happy that we were able to get this one.”
Peters says the biggest difference with this machine is that it’s new. The RM had the choice to go with an electric ice-clearer but decided against it.
“Instead, we went with the same propane system. We had looked at electric and a few other options, but we decided to stick with the old tried and trusted propane.”
He says the new machine doesn't have a lot of extra bells and whistles, “but things are just new, and they function better. And so yeah, it's just about the increased lifespan now that we'll have in that building with a new machine.”
Peters says another reason they went with propane is because it was affordable.
“The electric ones a little more expensive. It also requires some increased electrical capacity in the building (Mitchell arena) for the charging. Those were not insurmountable obstacles, but I think at this point the decision makers were more comfortable with the sure thing. Electric machines certainly are the way of the future, but right now, just from a performance standpoint, the tried-and-true propane machine is still, I would say, a little more of a certainty. So that was the decision here.”
Peters notes electric is the way of the future. “And I'm sure at some point when our machines are replaced, we'll be looking harder at the electric.”
The new Zamboni has also been fully wrapped and a Mitchell Mustangs look and feel.
“It's a very Mitchell oriented machine, which I think is kind of unique. I haven't seen a lot of communities that have their hometown team logo so prominent on the machine. So, we're quite proud of it, to be honest with you.”
Peters says the old Zamboni will be going into storage for now.
“Right now, we're deciding where it's going to go. We'll take a look around the municipality and see if we can repurpose it in another community, and then make that decision at some point after the season.”
The new Zamboni was paid for with help from the Building Sustainable Communities provincial grant that was awarded to the RM of Hanover in 2023 worth $75,000. The unit they purchased cost about $140,000, so the remainder of the funds came from the Mitchell Recreation Reserve and a CDI fund through Manitoba Hydro.