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October 27, 2012

More details out on Destination Medical project

Here's some from a piece I wrote following up the Destination Medical Community initiative, its request for $20 million in sales tax funds and more on developer that is consulting on the project:

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Even before voters consider a sales tax extension that includes $20 million for Destination Medical Community, Mayo Clinic is driving the project forward by paying consultants to help create a plan for the initiative.

The campaign by city leaders and Mayo Clinic aims to enhance the overall experiences of people visiting Rochester for medical treatment.

"DMC is an overall strategy being developed to support the goal of providing the ideal patient, companion, visitor and community member experience," says a statement submitted by the committee in charge of DMC.

Dmc logoIt began as a vision many years ago. When the call went out for community projects that could be funded by an extension of Rochester's half-cent, local-option sales tax, a DMC committee was formed with Mayo Clinic representatives and local leaders. A funding request for the project was submitted asking for $20 million of the estimated $139.5 million that an extension of the sales tax could raise.

The chamber, Rochester Economic Development Inc., the Rochester Downtown Alliance and the Rochester Visitors and Convention Bureau are all involved in the campaign. Mayo Clinic, however, is spearheading the planning.

Mayo Clinic has since hired in-house staff to address the Destination Medical project. The clinic's public relations staff currently handles all communication about DMC.

On Nov. 6, voters will decide on the sales tax extension. Proponents of the extension describe the sales tax as an economic investment that will improve the community. The $20 million for Destination Medical is framed as making Rochester more attractive as a place for Mayo Clinic to spend more of the $700 million it plans to spend annually on capital projects at all of its campuses over the next five years.

Earlier this month, Mayo confirmed that Hammes Co., a top health care consulting firm that's based in Madison, Wis., had been hired to work on the DMC project. Now the committee has released more details.

Hammes Company was hired as a planning consultant two years ago through a competitive bid process by the DMC committee. However, no money from the sales tax extension will be used to pay Hammes for its work.

"Mayo Clinic is paying for all consultants for DMC and will not seek sales tax dollars for Mayo expenses. The city will pay for any consultants it determines it needs," according to a statement from the committee.

The committee doesn't expect to have any detailed plans on how to spend the money prior to the election.

Comments

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"The committee doesn't expect to have any detailed plans on how to spend the money prior to the election."

They are asking for 20 million dollars of taxpayer money they don't even know how to spend. I'm voting no on the sales tax extension only because Destination Medical Community is included.

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