SportsPlex looking to buy Civic Complex

Published 12:06 pm Monday, June 11, 2012

Members of the Pelham City Council will hear from representatives from SportsPlex, which is interested in purchasing the Pelham Civic Complex, during a June 18 work session. (File)

 By NEAL WAGNER / City Editor

Members of the Pelham City Council will hear from representatives from a company interested in possibly purchasing the Pelham Civic Complex during a June 18 work session.

During the work session, the council will hear from SportsPlex of America representatives Bryan Schultz and Pat DeLorenzo, who will present a plan to possibly purchase the complex from the city, said City Council President Teresa Nichols.

“I got a call from them last week,” Nichols said. “They have looked into building an ice rink in Hoover. They would like to buy our facility, and they will present that proposal during the work session.”

Over the past several weeks, the council has twice voted down resolutions aimed at issuing a request for proposals for companies interested in managing the complex.

The resolutions also would have authorized Pelham Mayor Don Murphy and Pelham Human Resources Director Jerry Nolen to implement a job reclassification plan and an employee “reduction in force plan” for the complex, and would have allowed Murphy to set new hours for the facility.

City officials previously said the Civic Complex has been losing between $900,000 and $1 million a year for more than a decade.

Nichols said she was unsure of the details of SportsPlex’s proposal.

“This is the first time we will all sit down and hear from them,” Nichols said.

Councilman Steve Powell, who voted against the two previous Civic Complex resolutions, said he is “keeping an open mind” about the SportsPlex proposal.

“I’m open to listening to any ideas,” Powell said. “I’m going to have to have input from stakeholders before we move forward with anything. We need to understand clearly what this will mean for them.”

Murphy shared similar feelings.

“I’m all ears. I’ll listen to anyone,” Murphy said.

By law, the council can not take action on any items during a work session. The council can only vote on matters during a regular council meeting.

The June 18 work session will begin at 6 p.m. at Pelham City Hall.