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Grand Forks City Council votes tonight on Alerus Center concert fund

A $250,000 concert fund for the Alerus Center is up for a vote tonight before the Grand Forks City Council. The council meets at 5:30 p.m. in City Hall. The finance committee recently agreed to a new process for the city-owned events center to ac...

A $250,000 concert fund for the Alerus Center is up for a vote tonight before the Grand Forks City Council.

The council meets at 5:30 p.m. in City Hall.

The finance committee recently agreed to a new process for the city-owned events center to access the fund, requiring the agreement of at least two committee members. The approval of the full council is needed.

Previously, Alerus Center commissioners made the decision to use the fund on their own with no input from the council. But the losses incurred from concerts in recent years have prompted the council to seek oversight.

The fund is used when promoters demand the Alerus Center share the risk of a concert or guarantee promoters make a certain amount. Such demands, events center management said, are more common in today's concert market because there are fewer promoters who prefer not to stray too far from larger markets.

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Money for the fund comes from the portion of sales tax revenue set aside for economic development.

Also on the agenda is the new contract for VenuWorks, the firm managing the Alerus Center for the city. Unlike the old contract, which had a fee based somewhat on financial performance, this one has a fixed fee of $175,000 a year.

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