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Published August 01, 2011, 08:46 PM

GF City Council OKs $240K Advance to Alerus Center

The Alerus Center got a cash infusion from the Grand Forks city council Monday night that will allow it to make August payroll.

The Alerus Center got a cash infusion from the Grand Forks city council Monday night that will allow it to make August payroll.

A six to one vote gives a $240,000 advance to the events center. That money will come out of existing funds.

"We can fund this by using money that has been paid back to the city by Venuworks and from the concert fund," council member Doug Christensen said.

Right now, the city-owned events center is projecting more than a $270,000 loss for the year. Alerus reps expect a fall pick-me-up from football games and possible major concerts, including a hard rock series in the fall.

"We're working locally and corporately to make sure that the Alerus Center is doing everything it can," Venuworks regional vice president Andy Long said.

One council member wanted to amend the motion and forward a higher amount to the events center.

"Move 135,000 from the Venuworks account and 165,000 from the concert fund. That's $300,000," council member Terry Bjerke said.

But, there was a catch.

"Here's the compromise. The transfers won't happen until the city has been notified the contract with Venuworks has been terminated," Bjerke said.

Bjerke says the Alerus Center hasn't been making enough money with the management company and has failed to bring in enough major concert events.

The council voted down the amendment.

With payroll in August a 'go', Alerus Center reps are hoping for a busy upcoming season.

"I'm excited we'll be able to work together to come up with solutions to get the Alerus to a zero balance or to make money, rather," Alerus Center finance director Karla Anderson said.

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