As promised, Municipality of Rhineland officials have done their homework and come back to Council with local estimates on what can be done to upgrade the Gretna Arena. 
Earlier this month, Council opted to back out of a $708,000 federal grant after the Municipality's share of the costs escalated to four-times higher than the original estimate, and instead, use $500,000 it had set aside.

At its last meeting, Council approved the installation of a new dehumidification system.

"It takes the humidity out of the air, particularly in winter, then it gets a bit of a better feel," explained Reeve Don Wiebe, adding this is a central part of the facility. "It makes the place a bit more pleasant for whatever activity you have in winter. All rinks have dehumidification systems."

The building's overhead and exterior emergency doors will be replaced with insulated ones and the drafts in the cracks, sealed. 

"They're in very poor shape. I've been told that there's sometimes snow drifts," chucked Wiebe. "So, they're very drafting and desperately need to be replaced.

An overhead door will also be installed on the Zamboni shed.

Looking ahead, the Municipality is researching options for updating the building's entrance and improving accessibility.

We asked Wiebe how this work differs from what would have been done had the Municipality moved ahead with the project including the federal dollars.

"Those engineered specs meant disassembling everything and starting over so, our approach now is to look at what is there and what we can modify to get the best bang for our dollar. So, it's not nearly as extensive. The other part of the federal grant was the insulated roof. I don't know what we're going to do there yet, but we'll see. But they were going to replace the whole roof."

The Municipality has plans to apply for a provincial grant to help pay for the renovations.