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Domino’s Pizza offers Duluth $5,000 for pothole repairs

A large pothole along West Seventh Street in Duluth reflects an almost-spring scene. (file / News Tribune)

Domino’s Pizza is offering Duluth $5,000 to fill potholes.

Part of its “Paving for Pizza” marketing campaign, the pizza conglomerate has been donating money to cities for street repairs. To use the money, the Duluth City Council must accept the funds at their Monday meeting, agreeing to use it for the sole purpose of filling potholes within the city limits.

The money must be used by July 1, 2019. The city must also provide to Domino’s before and after footage of the repairs.

When asked about the Domino’s gift Thursday night, Keith Hamre, Duluth’s interim chief administrative officer, jokingly told city councilors: “We actually wanted at least $1.1 million, but we were only able to get $5,000.”

Back in 2015, a National Citizens Survey found 91 percent of Duluth residents had little confidence in their streets. Of the 450 miles of roads the city maintains, 55 percent were listed in critical condition. To keep up with maintenance, the city would need to invest $25 million per year. However, annual investment is only $1.5 million.

In 2017, Duluth voters approved a 0.5 percent transportation sales tax referendum that would generate about $7 million annually to step up roadwork; authorization of that increase stalled in the state Legislature last spring.

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