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Published June 29, 2010, 05:21 PM

Alerus Center Trying To Balance 2011 Budget

The commission that oversees the Alerus Center is working on a balanced budget for next year after they first came up with a deficit budget for 2011.

Ever since opening nine years ago, the Alerus Center has been controversial in Grand Forks. Budget deficits have only added to the debate.

Grand Forks City Council Member Eliot Glassheim says, “We never intended the Alerus Center to make money. Even if it loses $100,000 a year, it's making more than that in sales taxes, jobs.”

The commission that oversees the Alerus Center is working on a balanced budget for next year after first coming up with a deficit budget for 2011.

Grand Forks Council Member Doug Christensen says, “There was perhaps a misunderstanding as to what they had for a concert fund, and once they knew what they had for a concert fund, then they decided to go back because they'll probably have more events they can schedule now because they have the ability to make bids for those events.”

Over the last year the commission in charge of the event center has gotten several new members, and a new Alerus Center director just started. Christensen says he's optimistic about the future of the Alerus. He says the group just needs time to work out its kinks.

Christensen says, “Allow the new management to get involved and give them another 18-24 months because I'm sure they'll turn it around once things settle down.”

Both Glassheim and Christensen say the Commission also has to reevaluate what events would be the best sellers at the Alerus.

Glasshiem says, “Let's try and see how smaller concerts will work, and we have to rebuild our reputation as a venue that will sell enough tickets that will make it worthwhile for other acts to come.”

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