PORT ALBERNI - It's getting closer, but Port Alberni residents still have no idea when they'll be getting access again to their two ice rinks.

The Alberni Valley Multiplex was ordered to shut down on Nov. 5 after the discovery of an ammonia leak caused by a recently installed chiller unit.

The closure was ordered by Technical Safety BC who has been working with the city and the manufacturer of the unit ever since.

Today, the governing body issued a "Certificate of Inspection" to the city and provided them with more homework to do in order to allow the plant to get back up and running.

  • Scroll down or click here to see the full Certificate of Inspection document

In an interview with CTV News, the agency's vice-president of operations and client experience, Phil Gothe, said:

"The path requires that we gain some assurance from the manufacturer that the vessel and the plant is ready to be used and that (the city) also work with the manufacturer and the multiplex to come up with an immediate term, [creating a] monitoring and testing regime for the immediate future". 

Gothe says he himself is a user of recreational facilities and that he has and eight-year-old daughter who goes to ice rinks regularly, so he understands the public's concerns.

"The impact of a loss of a rink is not lost on us in any way and we have been working continuously with the city and with the contractor and recently with the manufacturer to first get the repair completed and then to find this path to safety," Gothe said.

Port Alberni's mayor, Sharie Minions, says she is asked about the arena's re-opening wherever she goes but believes residents are understanding the extra precautions being taken.

"Safety is our top priority here for sure and so we very much respect the role that Technical Safety BC is playing in this," said Minions. "We want to make sure if there is a risk, nobody is exposed to that."

The city believes once they finally get the go-ahead to restart the plant, it will take a full week before the ice is ready to be skated on.

The full Certificate of Inspection document follows.  Viewing this on our mobile beta site? Tap here for a compatible version.