DMC moves on, with tighter financial controls - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

DMC moves on, with tighter financial controls

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ST. PAUL, Minn. (KTTC) -- Destination Medical Center, the bill paving the way for a significant expansion of Rochester's Mayo Clinic has picked up more accountability features as it steams ahead.

The House Government Operations Committee on Tuesday advanced the measure after adding provisions intended to better track the proposed public contribution.

Mayo is seeking state and local financing for almost $600 million of a multibillion expansion. The public dollars would pay for infrastructure upgrades associated with the private build-out.

One change requires that consulting arrangements and other contracts using the public money are subject to state audits. Another would give the state revenue commissioner a bigger role in determining whether the development is meeting promised benchmarks.

DFL Representative Kim Norton of Rochester, the bill author in the House, says that she is happy to see specifics discussed on the bill instead of the previous conversations about the general aspects of the Destination Medical Center.

"Up to now, we've been talking in generalities and painting just a big picture about how good this would be for our community. Today, we started to get into the real nitty-gritty of how it is going to work, what is the authority, what kind of authority does the authority have and what does that economic development corporation going to do in our community and how much authority do they have?"

The bill heads next to the House Taxes Committee, where it is likely to face its biggest test yet.

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