Graham Jones of the Green Pub Moose puts the brakes on Ryan Kurbis of the RE Postill & Sons Orphans in Game 2 of the Boston Pizza Hockey League best-of-three championship series Sunday night at Priest Valley Arena. (Lisa Mazurek/Morning Star)

Graham Jones of the Green Pub Moose puts the brakes on Ryan Kurbis of the RE Postill & Sons Orphans in Game 2 of the Boston Pizza Hockey League best-of-three championship series Sunday night at Priest Valley Arena. (Lisa Mazurek/Morning Star)

Vernon arena subject of COVID-19 relief grant application

Priest Valley Arena needs upgrades to the ammonia plant; city supports application to provincial program

The Priest Valley Arena Refrigeration Plant is in dire need of some upgrades, but the City of Vernon Recreation Services director said to replace it all would cost more than $1 million.

“Some of the equipment dates back to 1979 when the facility was built,” director Doug Ross said Monday, Oct. 26.

Recreation Services is hoping to tap into the province’s recently announced grant program to help cover the costs of the required upgrades.

The upgrading of the ammonia refrigeration plant will improve safety and maintain uninterrupted operations, a report to council reads. The necessary upgrades can be completed in phases, Ross said.

The province announced its Community Economic Infrastructure Program (CERIP) Oct. 1 as a means to help communities impacted by COVID-19 and support the post-pandemic economic recovery.

The province committed up to $90 million toward the program that supports community economic resiliency, destination development, unique heritage infrastructure and rural economic recovery and each community can submit two applications.

“This program does have a ceiling to it,” said Ross of the application that falls under the destination development stream.

“We do have another application the city is turning in. We’re going to tailor our application so we don’t go over that ceiling or compromise the other application.”

The city’s second application seeks funding to develop an interactive tourism kiosk network in the community.

The grant program closed for applications Thursday, Oct. 29.

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@caitleerach
Caitlin.clow@vernonmorningstar.com

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