DMC included last-minute as Minnesota Legislative session wraps up

Downtown Rochester

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KIMT NEWS 3 — After more than four months of bickering, debates, and compromise, Minnesota lawmakers put their final stamp of approval on the 2013 session late Monday night.

The results of the session results will play a big role in our area.

Downtown Rochester gets a lot of foot traffic, which is good news for Don Hadley since he sells shoes.

“All of God’s children have got to have shoes,” Hadley said.

Over the last decade the foot traffic walking by O&B Shoes has grown substantially and he is excited to see that trend continue.

“Our last seven years have been the biggest in the history of the store so when you tell us that something’s happening with the DMC, we’re going to be ready for it,” Hadley said.

But those like Hadley and even Rochester Mayor Ardell Brede were holding their breath. Now they can breathe a sigh of relief. That is because just before the session ended, the DMC funding became official.

“It’s exciting, there’s no question about it and yes, the negotiations are over, let’s get down to business and let’s be friends again,” Brede said.

So instead of waiting until next year, DMC supporters found out that the state would contribute over $400 million to the project.

Now those with the city are left with the task of coming up their share of $128 million. Some ideas include extending the recently passed sales tax beyond the current 14 years it runs through.

“We’re raising, right now, close to ten million dollars a year on that half cent here in Rochester so as we continue to grow that should grow,” Brede said.

Brede and other city leaders know their work is far from over.

“It’s not over, that’s for sure because that part is and now the work begins. It’s almost like, oh my gosh, what did we wish for? What are we going to have to do? But it’s going to be a really big deal,” Brede said.

An eight member committee will now be formed. It’s being called the “Destination Medical Center Corporation.”

The mayor and a city council member will join a Mayo representative and Olmsted county representative.

The other four members are set to be appointed by the governor.

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