Napanee Town Council approves purchase of new ice resurfacer

Olympia Millennium H Ice Resurfacer. Image via Resurfice.com.

The Town of Napanee will soon have a new feature attraction between hockey games. At its regular meeting on Tuesday, Sep. 26, 2026, Council approved a sole source purchase of a brand new Olympia Millennium H Ice Resurfacer.

Deputy Treasurer Nathan Murphy explained, “We have two machines at the SPC [Strathcona Paper Centre] currently, and the second one is coming to the end of its useful life. So we’re just trying to get on that because of the lead time on purchases.”

Two Olympia resurfacers are currently in use at the Strathcona Paper Centre, one for each ice surface in the Home Hardware Rink and the Good Year Rink. (The machines are laser-set to each ice pad.)

In answer to a question from Mayor Terry Richardson about the age of the machines, Murphy stated, “Currently, we have a 2021, which we purchased on the last [Request for Tender], and then I believe we have a 2012 that we’re looking to replace, which would be this one.”

The report before Town Council cited a cost of $92,400 (including HST) for the new machine, with a $15,000 trade-in allowance given for one of the Town’s current Olympias (the older of the two). The cost would be $107,400 without the trade-in.

The report notes that its most recent Request For Tender for the replacement of the ice machine, in 2021, was answered only by a single bid from Resurfice, the manufacturer of Olympia. The report lists several factors that support going ahead with the single source purchase, including the fact that the ice resurfacing market is still rather small: Olympia and Zamboni are the only viable players in the game. 

Staff did consider the purchase of an electric ice resurfacer made by Resurfice, the report notes, “However, these are a relatively new product on the market, and most have not had a full life cycle to evaluate the cost-benefit analysis.”

The quote for an electric machine was $155,600 (inclusive of HST), and staff were told that batteries tend to last five to 10 years, with a replacement cost currently in the range of $30,000. The uncertainty surrounding the battery life cycle and the increased up front cost led staff to lean toward the recommended natural gas option, according to the report.

Deputy Mayor Brian Calver asked how much money had been accumulated in reserves to go toward the machine replacement. Mayor Richardson clarified that “within the report, the opening balance was $54,181. Estimated revenue for 2023 is $9,000, which brings a closing balance of $63,181. 2024 contributions of $4,500 bring it up to $67,681.”

Richardson further noted that all ice rentals at the SPC are currently charged an hourly ice resurfacer replacement fee, which is placed directly into a reserve specifically for this purpose. ”I think it is about $2 per hour, to be bounced up to $5,” he said.

The mayor, an avid hockey player himself, continued, “When I learned of this [fee] a number of years ago, I thought it was a pretty good idea… You’re charging your users, putting [money] into a reserve fund to pay for the ice resurfacer… I have not, in all the days I spend at the arena, heard anybody complain about… a resurfacer replacement fee. So [the increase to $5] is probably a good plan.”

The report projects this fund will generate $250,000 over a 10-year period at the adjusted rate, which will provide sufficient funds to replace the two machines and provide additional money to repay the portion owed to the Municipal Capital Reserve Fund. 

With that, Council voted to receive for information the Financial Services – Ice Resurfacer Replacement report; to approve the sole source purchase of an Olympia Millennium H Ice Resurfacer at a cost of $92,400; and to approve the funding strategy of using the funds in the Ice Resurfacer Replacement Reserve and, once those are exhausted, the Municipal Capital Reserve. The Municipal Capital Reserve is to be repaid as fees are collected.

The September 26 meeting of the Council of the Town of Greater Napanee has been recorded and can be viewed electronically on the Council YouTube channel. Further information about Council meetings is available on the Town’s CivicWeb site.

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