Fire museum will not make Pelham a destination

Dear Editor —

“The museum will bring in consistent revenue. It will make us a destination city,” These were the words used by Mayor Don Murphy in his presentation to do away with the main ice arena at the Pelham Civic Complex.

I really would like to see the study he used to determine this. To say that this fire museum will make Pelham a “destination city” is ludicrous. I live in Pelham, and I would not pay to go see a fire museum. I certainly wouldn’t travel to Pelham to see it.

Mr. Murphy would like the residents of Pelham to believe that the only thing the main arena is used for is ice skating, when that is not the case. The Alabama State High School Volleyball championships have been held there continuously for at least 10 years.

The complex has also been home to the Pelham High School graduation ceremony since 1998. There have been basketball games, wrestling tournaments, car shows, and other functions held at the complex.

Mr. Murphy complains that the complex loses an average of $957,000 each year. Before this complex is turned into a fire museum, it would be wise to look at why the complex is losing money.

Perhaps a change in civic complex management is needed. Mr. Murphy changed the management when he took office, and it seems that running the complex may be “over the head” of current management (much like running the city of Pelham seems to be “over the head” of Mr. Murphy.)

When Mr. Murphy or his Finance Director Tom Seale completed presenting the figures that showed the losses that the complex has each year, did they also do any projections on the tax revenue that will be lost if the main arena is turned into a fire museum?

If so, were these studies presented to the City Council? I’m sure that the thousands of high school students, and their parents, who come to the city each year for the volleyball championships will not be swarming to the city to see the fire museum.

Mr. Murphy stated in the City Council meeting that he was tired of reading e-mails from people who live outside the city. That’s a good way to make Pelham a destination city, Don.

By the way, Don, did you get my e-mail?

Steve Bottchen