Improvements have been made to the outdoor rink in Rosenfeld, just in time for a new season.

Thanks to a $15,000 grant from Farm Credit Canada, the 12 halogen lights that surrounded the ice surface were switched out with 14 LED lamps, and the windows in the viewing area were replaced.

"We were pleasantly surprised when we got the grant," said Warren Schroeder, who chairs the five-person committee that oversees the operation of the facility.

Not only will the new lamps brighten the place up, but the LED bulbs are expected to slash hydro expenses, hopefully by half.

"We are on a limited budget, and our hydro was the biggest expense," said Schroeder.

These improvements are the latest in a series of updates that have taken place at the rink in the 7 to 10 years.

Already installed are new boards and a new foundation for the boards, the rink was resurfaced with cement and, thanks to a different grant, a zamboni was purchased, and the building was expanded in order to house the new machinery.

Meantime, the outdoor rink plays a large role in winter-living for residents of the village north of Altona.

According to a committee member, Jake Heppner, up to 50 people use the facility on any given evening, noting it takes mere minutes for people to show up after the lights get switched on.

As for Schroeder, he says he'd like to see their small committee, which meets 3 to 4 times a year, grow to include about a dozen members.

"With younger people coming in, we're all getting up there a little bit more in age, and we don't have kids skating here as much anymore, so if there's anyone out there that has young kids and lives in the Rosenfeld area and wants to join, by all means," he said, noting it's an excellent service to the community.