SALMON RIVER - Two Colchester County recreational facilities were the recipients of federal donations on Tuesday totalling $46,000.
Area MP Scott Armstrong dropped by Deuville's Rink in Salmon River shortly before noon to announce a $20,500 donation to the Salmon River Hockey Society to help support upgrades to the facility to bring it up to provincial fire codes.
He then travelled to East Stewiacke where he announced a $25,500 contribution to support upgrades being undertaken to the Stewiacke River Park by the County of Colchester.
"This facility has been around for generations and it's great to see it continue to flourish," Armstrong said, during the announcement at Deuville's Rink.
The money for both facilities was generated through the federal government's Community Infrastructure Improvement Fund, a $150-million pool designed to aid infrastructure programs at existing community recreational facilities for two years.
"Things like that really are the heartbeat of the community," Armstrong said, of facilities the program is intended to assist.
"And there's no doubt that this particular facility is the heartbeat of Salmon River.
Deuville's Rink has the distinction of being home to Canada's first Hockeyville after it won a nationwide Kraft contest in 2006.
Rink owner Ellery Deuville learned last year that he would have to spend more than $40,000 to complete capital renovations to bring the facility up to provincial fire codes.
Without funding support to assist with that, however, Deuville expressed concern that he might not be able to keep the rink open.
That resulted in a $15,000 grant from a provincial heritage fund and a $5,950 contribution from the County of Colchester, in addition to Tuesday's federal contribution.
The contributions are being administered through the Salmon River Hockey Society, whose goal is to promote participation in hockey within the community.
About three quarters of the work, which generated temporary employment for about 10 people, has been completed, Deuville said, with the main outstanding item being the installation of doors throughout the facility that meet fire code requirements.
The remaining work is expected to be completed by mid summer.
"A lot of the work we done ourselves to keep the costs down because we weren't sure if the money was going to come through or not," Deuville said.
The money for the Stewiacke River Park will be used for upgrades to the entrance of the facility, construction of a picnic area and the creation of accessible, on-site restroom facilities.
The facility is a 67-acre day-use park located along the Stewiacke River that features picnic areas, a playground, walking trails and river access for swimming, fishing and boating.
Upgrades will include the redevelopment of the park entrance, construction of a picnic area and the creation of accessible, on-site restroom facilities.