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Nelson Fire Rescue responds to second ammonia leak at Nelson Curling Club

Nelson Curling Club president Gord Wiess said all ammonia has now been removed and the club is ready to start repairs.

If the Nelson Curling Club didn’t have any bad luck, the organization would have no luck at all.

The club experienced its second ammonia leak less than five months Tuesday at the facility next to the Nelson and District Community Complex on Cedar Street.

Club president Gord Wiess said in a media release the executive was aware of the potential of a small leak in the dormant system but was hoping the remaining ammonia could be removed before any additional leaks occurred.

“All of the ammonia has now been removed and we are ready to start the repairs,” Wiess said. “Thanks for all of your concern, there is no problem with our plans to repair the ammonia plant and to be curling in October.”

The leak occurred Tuesday night with Nelson Fire Rescue sending six members to the curling club call which came in at approximately 7:24 p.m.

Nelson Fire Rescue contained the scene until a company, which happened to be in the area, arrived to off-load the remaining ammonia by Wednesday morning.

In February of this year, the Nelson Curling Club was forced to curtail operations for the season after a leak was found in the ice plant during mandatory inspection.

Crews are unable to restart the ammonia plant without extensive work to replace or repair parts of the system.

The curling club has been busy trying to raise between $60,000-$70,000 to refurbish the chiller and address the immediate needs of the facility.

Nelson City council has approved $30,000 toward the overall costs.

Two years ago, the NCC formally notified the city that the lease agreement was expired and that the NCC could no longer manage the building under the terms of the old lease agreement. 

For the last five years the curling club has operated at a deficit, and in 2017 and 2018 that deficit was in the amount of $30,000 each year, which are bills for city utilities.

The situation faced by the curling club is not new to the area. Other communities such as Grand Forks and Riondel have had to upgrade their curling ice plants and the municipal governments in those respective communities have provided the funding.