By Marianne Curtis
The RM of Ritchot recently became the first municipality in the province to go green by connecting three community buildings together on one geothermal system which is expected to save money through energy efficiency.
On March 19, residents from Grande Point and Ile Des Chenes celebrated the completion of extensive renovations at the community’s local recreation center which the RM of Ritchot officially going green.
The project, which is also a first in the entire province consisted of installing a geothermal system that connects the arena, the fire-hall and will soon be cooling and heating the new community center when construction is complete.
Roger Perron Economic Development Officer of Ritchot Community Development Corporation says this project makes Ritchot one of the greenest municipalities inManitoba.
“We are the first to have a district geothermal system capable of heating three or more buildings,” stated Perron. “The arena now operates in an environmentally friendly manner.”
Ritchot Mayor Bob Stefaniuk expects that the geothermal system will pay for itself over the years.
“This is a very efficient system,” said Stefaniuk. “It will last a long time which will save us a lot of money in the long run.”
The Ile Des Chenes arena project cost $1.3 million, with the province kicking in $430,000 through the Building Manitoba Fund. The arena board expects to reduce their utility costs by 50 percent.
The project involved replacing the existing ice surface concrete, ice plant, dasher boards, bleachers and zamboni room. The natural gas heating system was removed and a Geo-thermal system was installed.
A new zamboni room was also built, with geo heat in the ice pit and the zamboni room and an electric zamboni was purchased to replace the existing propane powered ice maker.
Ron Lemieux MLA for La Vérendrye and Ritchot Mayor Bob Stefaniuk get ready to cut the ribbon at the grand re-opening of the Ile Des Chenes Arena.