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Rochester Mayor hosts “State of the City”

Published: Jan. 14, 2022 at 7:03 PM CST
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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) – Various leaders from different sectors of the community spoke Friday, looking at Rochester’s growth and resilience in 2021, and pointed to projects and aspirations coming in 2022.

Rochester Mayor Kim Norton hosted the “State of the City” event virtually for the second year in a row during COVID concerns.

“I believe 2022 will be exciting for the new development news as we work to sustain our wonderful local and current businesses. We will continue to push for innovations and remove barriers and work to create successes,” Norton said.

Norton pointed to some projects Destination Medical Center is leading, including the reopening of Peace Plaza this spring, Discovery Square on 4th Avenue and the long awaited sidewalk program beginning.

“We know that Rochester is growing and that in 2022 it will continue moving forward and rebounding form the pandemic with some exciting growth rebounding downtown” Norton said.

Residents also heard from leaders outside the Rochester City Office, like DMC Executive Director Patrick Seeb.

“Much of our city’s infrastructure, in the downtown, was built for the 1950s. Today, we are building for the 2050s,” he said.

Olmsted County Commissioner Mark Thein also spoke, highlighting the county’s partnership with the city to close the affordable housing gap. Thein touched on the “Gain” program and the Coalition for Rochester Area Housing’s multi layered plan.

“Coalition members expect this to create an economic impact exceeding $200 million,” he said.

Dee Sabol, the Diversity Council’s Executive Director, spoke on the city’s efforts to continue diverse innovation.

“Even with the challenges we’ve all endured in recent months and years, we are witnessing growing cultural awareness across all sectors of Rochester,” Sabol said.

City leaders gave a bright outlook on where the city hopes to go.

“I have no doubt that we will be able to continue what comes our way,” Norton said. “I ask for our renewed commitment. Rochester is resilient and we have a very bright future ahead.”

Another note, according to Secretary of State DEEDs Offices, Rochester unemployment levels peaked in at 10.4 percent in May 2020 -- in Nov. 2021, unemployment levels dropped back down to prepandemic levels.

To watch the entire event, click here.

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