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With the city of Winkler possibly weeks away from breaking ground on a new facility, city residents will have to spend the next number of weeks without any usable ice surface.

This morning the City of Winkler announced a mechanical failure in the Winkler Centennial Arena's ice plant, needing an immediate repair, and mayor Martin Harder says that this will shut down the facility for upwards of four weeks.

"This happened the day before yesterday when they discovered it (Tuesday). As of last night, they shut it down." Harder added that council made the swift decision to order the necessary equipment needed, but unfortunately there is no way to keep the facility open until repaired.

"As a council, we apologize to the user groups. It will inconvenience them. They will have to find another place to play, but our equipment has to be replaced and we didn't have any choice."

Harder says that new equipment has been ordered from Toronto and will likely be here by the end of next week. One component of the ice plant needs to be removed before the new one can be installed. The estimated timeline for replacement is three to four weeks.

In the meantime user groups such as the Winkler Flyers, Winkler Minor Hockey, High School Hockey, shinny programs and the Winkler Skating Club will need to find alternative plans until the repairs are completed.

Harder estimated that the cost for replacing the arena's ice plant will be around $125,000 to $135,000.

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