DECC to Receive $750k in Federal Aid for Maintenance, Utility, and Labor Costs

DULUTH, Minn.– As the DECC continues to reopen following the pandemic, it’s getting more than three-quarters of a million dollars in federal aid to do just that.

Relief aid from the American Rescue Plan that passed back in march is being distributed to organizations across the country, including right here in Duluth. Now the DECC is getting a big boost from the money.

$751,743 is coming the DECC’s way through the shuttered venue operators grant. A program through the small business administration’s office of disaster assistance.

“Aid was really essential to our being able to come back and open our doors now,” said DECC Communications Director Lucie Amundsen.

Three areas of the DECC will receive $250,581 in relief to help pay expenses from the pandemic and for the future. Funds will assist the facility with maintenance, utilities, along with labor costs as the DECC is back up to around 100 employees and continuing to add more workers back into the building.

“It takes a lot of people to make the magic happen at all of these events,” said Amundsen. “So we’re going to be welcoming back a lot of staff.”

The boost in funds also comes a week after the DECC had an ammonia leak in the Duluth Curling Club as staff work through repair plans. And while the new federal aid may not directly be used to fix the issue, the funding may free up space for the repairs.

“Certainly whatever money we’re able to use to do other projects might leave other budgets for other things,” said Amundsen.

With events looking to come back in full force this fall and beyond, those at the DECC say this federal help will be crucial in their efforts to come back strong after being closed for most of the last year.

“We have a lot of exciting things coming up on our books,” said Amundsen. “lots of events and concerts and it’s this type of investment and infusion into the DECC that’s really going to allow it to happen.”

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