A new, electric Zamboni will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions produced at the Sunflower Gardens arena in Altona. 

Budgeted for in the Town of Altona’s 2023 Financial Plan, the ice resurfacer was purchased in 2023, but due to a supply chain issue, delivery was delayed. It finally arrived in March, replacing the 20-year-old propane-fueled Zamboni. 

The decision to transition to an electric-powered ice resurfacer stemmed from several key factors aligning with the Town's commitment to environmental responsibility outlined in the Strategic Plan. 

"This past year we had a local earth team, together with the Manitoba Green Action Centre, do a study on the Millennium Exhibition Centre itself," explained Recreation Manager, Eric Hildebrand. "One of the things they determined was our previous Zamboni was producing just under 7-metric tonnes of carbon dioxide a year into the facility, into the air. By going to an electric Zamboni, we can reduce our greenhouse gas emissions by 3.5 to 4 per cent."

Additionally, the lithium battery-powered design of this new Zamboni represents significant cost savings. 

"We will no longer be purchasing propane to the tune of 3 to 4 thousand dollars per calendar year," noted Hildebrand. 

The unit also has fewer inner moving parts, which means reduced maintenance requirements and lower ongoing operational costs.

"Whether that's oil changes, timing belts or recalibrating the carbon dioxide detector inside the facility, these things are all now eliminated," said Hildebrand.

According to the Town, maintenance costs for the older Zamboni had also been increasing in recent years, and the required repairs were beyond regular servicing. 

It is expected that this ice resurfacer will provide the Sunflower Gardens Arena with around 20 years of service, similar to the previous model. During this time, it is anticipated that the lithium batteries will need to be replaced once, typically around the 10-to-12-year mark.

The old resurfacer was traded in for this new one, and $10,000 was received for the trade-in. After the trade-in amount, the total cost paid by the Town of Altona was $145,379.45, which falls within the $170,000 that was initially budgeted.

With files from the Town of Altona