Nicola Valley Memorial Arena


In February 2022, the City of Merritt sought measures to replace the arena’s aging condenser tower, which has had several expensive repairs over recent years. A condenser tower is essentially a refrigeration system for the ice rink.

The City had been relying on a 20-year old BAC Condensing tower, but leaks were identified and substantial repairs were required.  To avoid a catastrophic failure during a time where the community was still reeling from the 2021 flood, staff recommended a full replacement, estimated at $175,000.  The project was immediately approved by council. A Request for Proposal was then issued in March 2022, with the full replacement process completed by September 2022.

Funding for this essential project was initially granted by council through the City’s general fund reserve and surplus balances, with hopes to reduce costs further by sandblasting and repainting the existing steel frame structure that holds the condenser. Council at the time also advised staff to seek funding from other sources to help pay for this inevitable infrastructure replacement.

Staff pursued other funding options and in February 2023, are happy to report that the City of Merritt has been awarded with 75% of the actual project cost of $163,876 and will now receive $122,907 from Pacific Economic Development Canada. This is part of a $2.5 million grant given to Thompson Okanagan communities to revitalize public spaces and enhance tourism experiences.

PacifiCan is the Government of Canada’s new economic development agency dedicated to British Columbia. PacifiCan promotes growth and diversification in B.C.’s economy by enhancing innovation, improving business competitiveness, and promoting inclusive growth.
BACKGROUND: A few years ago, the City hired a consultant to complete structural assessments of the NVMA and NVAC. This assessment identified that although both buildings are aging, they are still functioning as designed. It also identified that several mechanical operational components like the condenser, would have to get replaced to ensure the facility can continue to perform while facility replacement reserves are built up to eventually replace the aged-out facilities.



FEBRUARY 23, 2023