Mayo Civic Center Hopeful for Bonding Money in 2014

Posted at: 01/10/2014 6:57 PM
By: Steph Crock

(ABC 6 News) -- After seven years of getting turned down by the Minnesota Legislature, the Rochester Mayo Civic Center expansion may be back on the table, yet again.

Governor Mark Dayton says he plans to unveil his nearly one billion dollar bonding proposal next week, and has told city leaders the Mayo Civic Center project will be on the list.

It was first brought to the table in 2007, and then just last year the Mayo Civic Center expansion was cut from the final bonding list, again. However, local officials are confident this year it's going to happen and Governor Dayton says he's going to try.

"He made the comment, he said, ‘I put it in every year so I’m betting a thousand to get it in. I’m also betting zero for it not being in there when the final bill comes out,’" Rochester Mayor Ardell Brede said Governor Dayton told him. However, since this year is a bonding year, there's more room in the budget for the $37 million needed for the project. "The good news from the states standpoint, there's a surplus," said Brede.

Not to mention, a big reason for the project is to bring more money in, in the long run. "The economic benefits of bringing out of state, even out of country conventions, conferences, and meetings to Rochester, is that brings new dollars, not just to Rochester, but to the entire state," said Executive Director Donna Drews with the Mayo Civic Center.

Though the legislative session hasn't even begun, those behind the project are eager to get the ball rolling. "We’ve got the plans, the majority of the work is done, we're ready to go to work," said Drews.

To refresh your memory, the project all together will cost roughly $80 million, $37 of that is being requested of the state. That's to build a new convention center and repair parts of the Mayo Civic Center that have been around for 75 years.