Pay up to keep the rink

While the city’s decision to remove the Pelham Civic Complex from consideration as the location for a proposed fire museum ended the immediate firestorm, it brought to light far more troubling issues.

Pelham Mayor Don Murphy revealed the Civic Complex’s ice arena has lost almost $2 million over the last two years. That’s shocking, particularly in light of the city’s recent, controversial $8 million land purchase. And now, the council said it will consider purchasing additional property in Pelham to use to house a fire museum.

Pelham is a vibrant and growing city, and is in a much better financial situation than many in this difficult economy. However, the Civic Complex and ice arena’s continued hemorrhaging of funds will quickly eat away at city coffers. That kind of loss is no doubt diverting taxpayer money away from more worthy programs that could benefit many more in Pelham.

The Civic Complex and ice arena are incredible facilities, which benefit those in Pelham, as well as many others in Shelby County and the greater Birmingham area.

We urge Pelham officials to form a committee now or otherwise come up with a plan to ease the drain of tax dollars at the Civic Complex. That most likely will mean those who were so passionate about keeping the ice arena in Pelham will need to pony up more money to support its operation.

The We Say is the opinion of the Shelby County Reporter editorial board.