Frank’s Rink

Series of upgrades emerging in Edgewater

Edgewater’s community infrastructure is on the road to improvement.

Edgewater’s community infrastructure is on the road to improvement, with upgrades either planned or underway for the water system, the fire hall, Frank’s Rink and Wittman Field.

“Improvements to the water system have been planned for quite a number of years, and were all contingent upon funding, which was just pulled together as of last year,” said Gerry Wilkie, Area G director for the Regional District of East Kootenay.

The project cost $1.8 million, which saw a new pressure reducing valve station completed on Columbia Road in the spring. Work will begin soon on a UV filtration system, adding one extra barrier of protection against water-born pathogens. The UV filtration will be installed in a new building along with upgrades to the chlorination system, technical analyses, and storage space. The project is scheduled for completion in late fall.

“The existing building does not meet safety codes because a lot of the mechanics were in a confined underground space,” said Director Wilkie.

Upgrades will also be made to the water distribution system in the older part of the community.

Unlike the community’s sewer system, which Mr. Wilkie said “was engineered to serve a community larger than I think Edgewater will ever be,” the water system deals with a finite resource and the Macauley Creek-Baptiste Lake watershed is shared with other licencees.

“We have room for moderate growth but only if we are careful about conserving,”  he said.

Interior renovations have taken place at the Edgewater Fire Hall, with exterior work expected to come down the road, said Jim Miller, the fire chief for Columbia Valley Rural Fire and Rescue Service (which includes the Edgewater, Panorama, Windermere and Fairmont areas).

“There were a lot of changes to equipment, and we moved some walls around to enlarge the training area and workout rooms and offices,” he said, explaining that the interior work is just about complete. “We needed it more for operations than anything.”

As for the exterior work, the team hopes to eventually pave the parking lot and is considering building a new training building or prop structure. They’re also looking to make the building more functional with electric doors for the vehicles.

“There are many more things that we want to do, but cost-wise we have to spread the projects out over a number of years,” Mr. Miller said.

Functionality will also be improving at Frank’s Rink and Wittman Field, where the Edgewater Recreation Society is working to restore both sports venues.

“We just spent $1,000 (on new boards) this spring to prevent the rink from being torn down,” said Dawn Fraser, who’s a board member of the Edgewater Recreational Society. “We’re trying to raise enough money to get the two facilities into working order so that they can be used year-round.”

The society is looking to install a large concrete pad on the rink, which would allow for multi-purpose summertime use.

Because of issues with sinkholes, Ms. Fraser said that they plan to hire a geotechnologist to assess Wittman Field, “just to get it to a stage where it can be used.”

The rec society is always looking for people to donate their time, expertise, or materials. Those able to help can get in touch through email at edgewaterrecsociety@hotmail.com.