Youth hockey is a huge volunteer effort in Duluth, with thousands of young players, parents and volunteers organizing to support the activity across the city.
Right now, there are concerns that the city is starting to charge utility bills to local rinks.
Portman parents and hockey volunteers are worried about a new cost they think the city will now charge, which parents say is nearly $10,000 to pay for utilities to run the warming house at Portman hockey.
The new charges would go through the Duluth Amateur Hockey Association.
In a letter to the city, Portman organizers say, “They must now increase their fees by $50 per hockey player.”
Jim Filby Williams, director of property, parks and libraries for the city of Duluth, responded to concerns from the Portman Hockey Association.
In part, Williams wrote, “Thank you for your invaluable volunteer service to the children and families of Duluth through your involvement with Portman Hockey. While staff aren’t sure exactly how you were able to derive Portman’s estimated annual contribution of $10,000, detailed city utility cost data seems to suggest that Portman’s total cash utility cost for 2022-2023 is more likely to be around $2,000.
There seems to be a disconnect between what Portman thinks he has to pay and what the city thinks the new cost will be.