Pawlenty makes an impact in Rochester - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

By Fanna Haile-Selassie

Pawlenty makes an impact in Rochester

Rochester, MN (KTTC-DT) --

Governor Tim Pawlenty was in Rochester Tuesday, in what will likely be one of his last trips to the city as Governor of Minnesota. Members of the Rochester Chamber of Commerce wanted to personally say thank you to the man who played a part in some major Rochester developments.

A lot can happen in 8 years. On Tuesday, members of the Rochester Chamber of Commerce acknowledged that if it wasn't for Governor Tim Pawlenty, many of the city largest projects in the time span, would have not never gotten off the ground.

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"I'll really miss the chance to get up every morning and serve the state. I love the state."

There are always accomplishments to recognize from an outgoing governor. Southeast Minnesota has seen a few pretty big ones.

"Today, I'm announcing a proposal for the Rochester area to take greater control over its own higher education destiny. Today I propose that we create a university here in Rochester," says Governor Tim Pawlenty during his State of the State address in 2005.

It was nearly 6 years ago when Governor Tim Pawlenty announced the proposal to create a 4-year university during his state of the state address in Rochester. That proposal is now known as the University of Minnesota Rochester.

"This is his legacy. We always knew we needed our own branch of the university of Minnesota. Even in the year 2000, the legislature agreed that we did need it, but they didn't fund it. If you don't have funds, you can't go very far," says Marilyn Stewart, who was appointed by Pawlenty to Chair the Rochester Higher Education Development Committee.

"I think over the decades that is going to be one of the most strategically important institutions for Rochester, because it will not only have a magnetic effect for people coming into the community, but for people who are already here," explains Pawlenty.

Also during that state of the state address, Pawlenty made it very obvious of what he thought about the U of M and Mayo Clinic's partnership in the genomics project.

"I want to be perfectly clear on this point, I won't sign a bonding bill this year without this project in it."

Pawlenty also played a role in creating the Biobusiness Center in Downtown Rochester. Three projects that are making a large footprint.

"We'll never forget what he's done for Rochester, Minnesota," exclaims Stewart.

"As I think about my time as Governor, these accomplishments in Rochester are some of the things I'm most proud of."

If you'd like to see more of what the Governor had to say in today's Chamber of Commerce meeting, we have extended clips on our website. Just go to

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