Pelham may hire hockey director for Civic Complex

Pelham may approve a hockey director position for the city's Civic Complex and Ice Arena during its June 17 meeting. (File)

Pelham may approve a hockey director position for the city’s Civic Complex and Ice Arena during its June 17 meeting. (File)

By NEAL WAGNER / City Editor

Declining enrollment in the ice hockey program at the Pelham Civic Complex and Ice Arena could lead to the city hiring its first hockey director in nearly three years.

During a June 3 work session, members of the Pelham City Council announced they plan to vote on approving the hockey director position during their June 17 meeting, which likely will be held in the city’s Municipal Courtroom.

If the position is approved on June 17, the city will advertise the job opening for about three weeks before seeking input from city officials and the Pelham Civic Complex Advisory Council and filling the position.

If the council hires a new hockey director, it will be the city’s first since former hockey director Jeff Cheeseman stepped down in 2010.

Civic Complex Director Danny Tate said filling the position will help to reverse the decline in enrollment the Pelham hockey program has seen in recent years.

“We are down from 280 two years ago to under 100 now,” Tate said of hockey program enrollment. “Our program is at a standstill, and we are trying to get it going again. We want to revamp the program and get everything rocking and rolling.”

The hockey program currently is the Civic Complex’s lowest revenue generator, “and it should be the most,” Tate said.

“It’s at about $300,000 to $500,000 right now, and it should be more like $1.5 (million),” Tate told the council.

“This individual has the ability to pay for himself time and time again,” said Pelham Mayor Gary Waters.

Greg Darnell, a member of the Civic Complex Advisory Committee and the city’s Personnel Board, thanked the council members for including the advisory committee in the hiring process.

“Your willingness to allow us the (Civic Complex) users the opportunity of developing that job description, I can’t tell you how much we appreciate it,” Darnell said. “I think this individual will come into this job with a much better chance of success than if they were to come in through another process.”