SHARECOMMENTMORE

DULUTH, Minn. - Delta Air Lines will receive a $5.9 million forgivable government loan to refurbish a call center in northern Minnesota that was mostly built with government money in the first place.

The loans are handled by the Iron Range Resources & Rehabilitation Board.

The Duluth News Tribune reports the board Thursday approved the deal that requires Delta to keep 525 employees there, up from the current 418.

Delta officials said they hope to begin within weeks.

The 12-year "forgivable loan" starts to come due in five years, but the payments will be forgiven if employment stays above 450.

Northwest Airlines built the center with a $9.7 million loan from the board in 1994. Of that, $1 million was repaid and the rest was forgiven. Delta bought Northwest in 2008.