DMC Leaders Reach Out to the Public

Posted at: 03/14/2013 9:23 PM
Updated at: 03/14/2013 10:16 PM
By: John Doetkott

(ABC 6 News) -- One of the biggest legislative issue facing lawmakers this year is how to fund the Mayo Clinic's Destination Medical Center project.
And while lawmakers hammer out the details at the capitol, project leaders also reached out to locals to get their input.
Dozens of people made their way to the Rochester Art Center on Thursday evening for an interactive open house designed to answer questions and ease concerns.
And one of the biggest worries seemed to be about the project's finances.

"The cost is a very big concern," said Valentine Yeager. "But hopefully we are able to pass the bill to be able to help us and create these jobs."

It's exactly those kinds of issues that officials said they wanted feedback on as they ultimately hope to remedy those concerns.

Organizers set up a number of informational stations aimed at educating visitors on the key elements of the project, as well as discussion tables and other opportunities for residents to make their voices heard. Organizers said it was all in an effort to get the entire Rochester community involved in the project.

"Every bit of information that we get today we are going to look at, we're going to analyze, and we're going to figure out how it fits into creating the Destination Medical Center for the state of Minnesota," said administrator Lisa Clarke.

And while many details are still being worked out as the plan evolves, the focus on Thursday was certainly on the future and how to shape the project so that it meets not just the city's current needs, but the needs of generations yet to come.

"So many young people are here and we need to expand and see some growth to be able to keep our youth here," Yeager said.
The biggest question that has yet to be answered is exactly how much state funding will go toward the project.
Mayo is asking for nearly $600 million in state finances.