The City of Whitehorse Operations Manager Richard Graham presented a report at city council on Oct. 22 proposing a $500,000 overhaul to the refrigeration system at the Canada Games Centre. (Mike Thomas/Yukon News file)

Refrigeration work at the CGC could cost the city a cool $500,000

The work would be done over four weeks in 2020

The City of Whitehorse is proposing a major overhaul to the refrigeration system at the Canada Games Centre.

At Whitehorse city council’s Oct. 22 meeting, operations manager Richard Graham presented a report recommending it move ahead with a sole-source contract worth $500,045 for Cimco Refrigeration to upgrade the system.

Cimco designed, manufactured and installed the current system and has serviced it since.

The cash is available through the city’s portion of the gas tax and the work is part of the city’s 2020 provisional budget, Graham explained. In order to have the work done during a four week period in May 2020, however, the city will have to award the contract and allocate the funding now.

“The work being planned for 2020 at the CGC can only be completed during a four-week window in May when the ice-plant can be shut down without significant impact to facility ice schedules,” Graham said.

“Due to updated manufacturing timelines and the narrow window to complete this work in May 2020, the 2019 capital budget would need to be amended to fully fund the work in the 2019 Capital expenditure plan prior to award at this time.”

The effort would see the water cooling tower, which is nearing the end of its useful life, replaced with glycol adiabatic fluid cooler, which Graham described as the most efficient system available in terms of energy savings and designed for more extreme winter weather. There would also be safety upgrades to the system aimed at reducing the risk of ammonia leaks and upgrades of the chiller and condenser.

“Upgrade work to the chiller and condensers includes a complete tear down, inspection, and upgrading of gaskets,” Graham wrote in his report to council. “The type of chiller and condensers that the city owns and operates must be upgraded at the 15-year mark to ensure continued operation.”

Officials have looked into it and there likely aren’t any Yukon contractors that could do the work on the system, Graham said. Cimco has indicated it would be looking for locally for sub-trades, like electrical workers, to work on the system if awarded the contract.

Cimco, Graham said, has been working on the city’s refrigeration systems since the 1980s.

“Cimco has extensive expertise, training, equipment and resources to complete this work successfully. As this work must be completed in a four-week shutdown period, a significant mobilization of resources will be required to complete this work on time and not significantly affect facility schedules.”

Coun. Dan Boyd expressed some concerns over sole sourcing the contract, though Graham reiterated that ice plants are best serviced by the manufacturer and Cimco is the leader in systems across the country, accounting for 75 per cent of the ice plants used. In the Yukon Cimco is the lead on servicing all the artificial ice refrigeration systems, Graham said.

Council will vote on the contract Oct. 28.

Contact Stephanie Waddell at stephanie.waddell@yukon-news.com

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