GRAND FORKS, ND – “It has been ten years, and they [Venuworks] constantly under perform. If this were a private business, you would have moved on by management by now,” shared Grand Forks City Councilman Terry Bjerke.
At Monday’s City Council Meeting, Bjerke put forth a motion that Venuworks, the management company responsible for running the Alerus Center, receive the $250,000 loan they were requesting from the city, but on the condition that the management contract be replaced. The motion did not receive a second and was not discussed any further by the city council. Instead, the council approved $240,000 in immediate funds, authorizing up to $300,000 for the loan if needed.
“All we just keep doing is funneling more money, and like at the federal level, that just doesn’t work,” Bjerke stated in yesterday’s interview on the Scott Hennen Show.
Bjerke, who admitted he was never in favor of the Center, said that he is not surprised by the business losses, given the competition in Fargo and Winnepeg.
At a recent, high profile Tim McGraw concert, the Center reported net profits of only $6,000.
“What people need to remember too, is that we are paying Venuworks $175,000 a year. If we weren’t paying that, we would be $175,000 ahead right now,” said Bjerke.