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Leaking brine stalls test of ice chiller

Peaks Arena wants to resolve problem prior to payment

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PROVO — The final report on a faulty refrigeration system at the Peaks Ice Arena has been delayed, prolonging a dispute over $84,091 still owed to builders.

The Provo/Utah County Ice Sheet Authority, which runs the facility, had hoped to have test results by August 11.

A dispute over data has delayed the report, however.

The contractor, Hogan and Associates, took exception with some of the test results, said Peaks officials.

Engineers will review the data before a report is released and Hogan will not be paid their final payment until the problem is resolved.

The Peaks, slated to host women's hockey in the 2002 Olympics, has had problems with the refrigeration unit that chills its two ice rinks since the building opened in 1998.

Rick Foley, project superintendent for Hogan, would not comment on test results Thursday. He said he was satisfied the two parties would come to resolution quickly.

"We've got a long dialogue going with (The Peaks) and it's working out," he said.

The problems with the chiller should not have a negative impact on pre-Olympic events scheduled at the facility in November.

A test conducted Aug. 6 at The Peaks was called off when the $165,000 refrigeration unit began leaking a half gallon of brine solution per minute. Officials also reported the machine becomes overloaded and shuts down several times a day.

Brine is a solution chilled in the machine and then sent through pipes below the rinks to keep the ice cold. The leak prevents the machine from keeping the two rinks at different temperatures. Ideally, the rink used for figure skating should be warmer than the rink used for ice hockey.

Hogan contends that York International Corp., which manufactured the refrigeration unit, is responsible for the leaky chiller. If the chiller has to be replaced, it will cost about $170,000.

E-MAIL: jhyde@desnews.com