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House OKs changes to DECC bylaw terminology, competitive bidding requirements

Created as an economic engine for northern Minnesota, the Duluth Entertainment and Convention Center was created by law in 1963.

Enabling statutory language was last updated in 1998.

Sponsored by Rep. Liz Olson (DFL-Duluth), HF1947 is a housekeeping bill that would update verbiage to better reflect current business practices and facility operations.

Passed 108-24 by the House Thursday, it now goes to the Senate where Sen. Jennifer McEwen (DFL-Duluth) is the sponsor.

Among the changes would be updating outdated pronouns to gender-neutral language, renaming the board president and vice-president as board chair and vice-chair, changing the city treasurer’s role from treasurer of the DECC to the DECC’s fiscal agent, and clarifying that the operating fund can be used for marketing in addition to promotion.

The bill would also increase the minimum threshold for required competitive bidding or required board authorizations of contracts from $2,000 to $50,000. Purchases under the amount can be made with authorization of the center executive.

The $50,000 is comparable with Duluth’s port and airport authorities; however, the 11-member board could choose a lower level when requiring bidding or contract authorization.

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