'We deserve big, and it is do-able'
Gary Smith, the RAEDI executive director, said today at the RAEDI annual meeting that it's "sometimes hard to tell us apart" from the Rochester Area Chamber of Commerce, which is something to be explored, another time. Then he joked that between him and Chamber president John Wade, "I'm the one with the hair." Including some new chin spinach. "And he'd say he's the thin one."
David Oeth, the incoming board chairman, had some farewell words for the outgoing chairwoman Melissa Brinkman and referred to her pool-shooting skills recently in Iowa, of all places. I need to call Melissa and get the rest of the story.
Lisa Clarke, the Mayo DMC administrator, repeated her presentation from last night's Dialogues session. About the Dialogues event, she said, "We had a very, very hearty discussion ... good banter, good give-and-take, very open and transparent." She repeated the word "hearty" later.
More from Clarke: "Often you hear, 'that's big,'" in reference to the $6 billion scale of the project, the $585 million in state tax money for infrastructure, etc. She said, "I don't apologize for that. We deserve big, and it is do-able."
The proposal "is unique, and it's not, all at the same time." Meaning the way in which tax money would be directed to Rochester only after it's generated by Mayo and private development, and "only" about 10 percent of the total tax revenue generated, according to Mayo. That's the unique part. The un-unique part is the development authority, the economic development corporation and the way in the process would be administered. That's modeled after other state authorities, she said.
Regarding the $585 million in tax revenue for Rochester area infrastructure, Clarke said there is "not hidden meaning" in the term "infrastructure." "It's sewer pipes, skyways," etc., she said, but she did include the magic word "intermodal transportation." Could that be Zip Rail?
Her clincher: "Rochester deserves this, it's very exciting, we're poised to do this, it's very do-able."