A local youth hockey organization is worried about an increase in fees

Youth hockey is a huge volunteer effort in Duluth, with thousands of youth players, parents, and volunteers organizing to support the activity across the city.

Right now, there is concern that the city is going to start charging local rinks for utilities.

Portman hockey parents and volunteers are worried about a new cost they think the city is now going to charge, which parents say amounts to nearly $10,000 to pay for the utilities to operate the warming house at Portman hockey.

The new charges would come through the Duluth Amateur Hockey Association.

In a letter to the city, Portman organizers say, “they now have to increase their fees by $50 per hockey player.”

Jim Filby Williams, the City of Duluth Director of Property, Parks, and Libraries, responded to the concerns of the Portman Hockey Association.

In part, Williams wrote, “Thank you for your invaluable volunteer service to Duluth children and families through your involvement with Portman Hockey. While staff are not quite certain how you may have derived the estimated annual Portman contribution of $10,000, detailed City utility cost data appears to suggest that Portman’s total 2022-2023 cash utility cost is more likely to be in the neighborhood of $2000.”

There seems to be a discrepancy between what Portman believes they will have to pay versus what the city thinks the new cost will be.