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No decision to reopen Norwich ice rink

By Claire Bessette

Publication: theday.com

Published May 21. 2013 10:30PM   Updated May 21. 2013 10:31PM

Norwich — The Ice Rink Authority needs more information from the manufacturer of the existing cooling system before determining whether the rink can reopen in the near future, authority Chairman Francois “Pete” Desaulniers told members Tuesday.

The rink’s insurance company, Travelers Insurance, insisted on a test of the more than 300 tubes in the cooling system after leaking tubes twice led to the shutdown of the rink.

The test results showed only one tube in “perfect” condition, Desaulniers said, while 180 tubes have 1 to 19 percent wear of wall thickness. Nine tubes have more than 60 percent wear and would have to be plugged or repaired.

Four tubes that failed on Feb. 13, causing an ammonia leak and a monthlong shutdown, were plugged in the initial repair. One tube leaked on May 6, causing the current shutdown.

Desaulniers said representatives from Travelers Insurance and Toronto-based Simco-Lewis, which installed the cooling system nearly 20 years ago, inspected the system Tuesday.

Desaulniers said Simco-Lewis will give the authority a report on the damage and what would be needed to get the rink reopened.

The authority last week received four bids from firms to design a new cooling system for the rink. Authority members hope to reopen the rink during the several months it would take to review the proposals, reach a contract and hire a firm to design a new system.

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