DMC Reality Check: Back to Basics - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

DMC Reality Check: Back to Basics

ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) -- It hit the airwaves in January, sat in the Legislature for months and reached the Governor's desk in May.

Now it's here in Rochester, and it's growing.

"It's probably one of the single biggest projects that has ever been done in the state of Minnesota," said City Council representative and DMCC Board member Ed Hruska.

It's a lot of jobs.

It's a lot of money.

And it's a lot of change.

"Some are saying there is no other place in the United States that has had anything that big at one time," said Mayor Ardell Brede, who also sits on the DMCC board.

For people in Rochester who have been paying attention the past 20 years -- it's not new.

"It's really nothing different in my mind than what's been going on for the past 20 or 30 years." said County Board Chair and DMCC Board member Jim Bier.

"I think the plan just adds some focus to the things we've already been doing," said City Council President Randy Staver

It's true.

The level of spending expected in DMC is not that different from what spending has looked like over the last 20 or so years.

"But the infrastructure needs are so big now that we need some help, and we need that lift from the state to help support the enterprise that the Mayo Clinic has become," Bier said.

In the last twenty years, the Gonda Building has risen from a hole in the ground.

"Roc. 52" -- the rebuilding of U.S. 52 -- has transformed transportation.

Private development has made a new skyline.

"Nobody can predict the future, said Lisa Clarke, Mayo Clinic's DMC Administrator. "Nobody knows what the economic forecast will be. But what we want to do is secure our future, secure Rochester's future in the state of Minnesota for growth and for success."

But what does that mean?

And how does that happen?

It's a complicated process, and everyone we interviewed -- they all know the gritty details, but they're paid to do that. They've been elected to do that.

And even they are still just figuring it out.

"We don't have anything to base what we're doing on," Hruska said. This is the first time something of this nature has really happened for a city."

There is a lot we do know, though. So, let's go back to basics, and start with the alphabet soup.


It stands for Destination Medical Center -- it can mean the law, the process and the desired result.

"We're going to create an experience in Rochester for patients, for visitors, for community members, for residents," Clarke said.

Then there's the DMCC Board or the Destination Medical Center Corporation Board.

Those people will make the big decisions. They say yes or no to projects that get state dollars.

"We have the leadership, and kind of give direction and make decisions on the big piece of the puzzle," Hruska said.

Finally the EDA, the Economic Development Agency. Those people will take ideas and make them happen.

They will bring the other big business into Rochester.

"It will work with lots of consultants" Clarke said. "It will work with the community. It will work with the city. It will work with the state. It will work with Mayo Clinic. It will work with the county."

It's those two groups, the DMCC Board and the EDA, along with the city, state, county, clinic and people, that will take those first three letters and give DMC a real, concrete meaning -- a result.

"Our only limitation will be our own creativity and imagination," said Mayor Brede.

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