It will not be happening this year, but La Nation Municipality is preparing to replace the concrete surface of the rink area at the St-Isidore Arena, which is the only indoor arena in the municipality. 

On July 25, La Nation council awarded a contract worth $66,500 to Barry Bryan Associates, a firm based in Whitby, to develop the architectural plans for the replacement of the rink surface. 

According to a report prepared by La Nation Recreation Coordinator Carol Ann Scott, the floor and enclosed piping system is more than 40 years old. It is working well, but there is concern a leak could develop due to its age, which would mean a new floor and piping system would have to be installed as soon as possible.  

“If that happens during the ice season an emergency repair would be done but we would then probably replace the floor in the off season,” Scott told The Review. 

According to Scott, the municipality would like to hold off on replacing the floor for now.  

“We do not anticipate doing the actual replacement/work for a couple of years, if possible,” Scott said. 

A 2020 facilities condition study conducted by the municipality also identified the eventual need to replace the arena floor. 

The entire St-Isidore Arena rink floor replacement project was originally part of the 2022 municipal budget but was dependent on a $500,000 grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation, and the application for the grant was rejected in January. However, the Recreation Department requested reserve funds be used to have the architectural planning done and obtain a better idea of how much the actual construction work will cost. 

Scott said the municipality is planning to continue to set funds aside in reserves for the floor replacement. Having those funds set aside and the architectural work complete will also better position the municipality to receive grant funding for the work. 

“Provincial and federal funding tend to look for shovel ready projects. We will be ready and can apply for funding when it comes available,” said Scott. 

Rink floor replacement projects are a common challenge across the region presently. The Vankleek Hill Community Centre arena will be out of service in the season ahead while its floor is replaced. Arena rink floor replacement work is presently being done at the Glengarry Sports Palace in Alexandria and the Char-Lan Recreation Centre in Williamstown. 

Rink rental rate increase 

Meanwhile, on July 25, La Nation council also approved increases to ice rental rates at the St-Isidore Arena for the 2022-2023 season. 

The prime-time rate after 5 p.m. on weekdays and during all hours on weekends is now $210 per hour and was previously $200 per hour. The weekday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. rate remains at $130 per hour. For St-Isidore minor hockey, the hourly rate is increasing from $145 per hour to $150 per hour. The cost for other minor hockey teams is increasing from $155 per hour to $165 per hour. For hockey tournaments, the hourly ice rental rate is increasing from $130 per hour to $140 per hour. 

The rates for elementary and secondary school hourly rink rentals at the St-Isidore Arena are remaining the same.