CHICAGO — Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton on Tuesday announced his four picks for the Destination Medical Center board that will guide the state’s $455 million public investment in the Mayo Clinic’s proposed $6 billion expansion and makeover of its hometown Rochester.
Dayton is responsible for four of the board’s eight appointments. They must be confirmed by the state Senate. “This monumental public-private partnership will create tens of thousands of new jobs in our state, and accomplish great things for the people of Minnesota,” Dayton said in announcing his appointments.
The board will manage the state’s support and be responsible for approving the DMC development plan. Dayton’s appointees include James Campbell, retired group executive vice president of Wells Fargo & Co., and Dayton chief of staff Tina Flint Smith. They will serve six year terms. Dayton also named Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Ryback and Susan Rani, president of Rani Engineering, Inc., to four-year terms.
The Legislature included the public funding for infrastructure, transit, road, land, and parks improvements in the Rochester makeover in the tax bill approved this spring. Mayo Clinic unveiled the DMC plan earlier this year.
The clinic had warned that state and local help was needed to support its own $3.5 billion investment in its facilities, saying a city makeover with more hotel rooms, housing development, and cultural amenities was needed to bolster Rochester’s international appeal for patients and healthcare professionals. Mayo had warned that it might reconsider its own investments without it.
The public piece and Mayo’s funding to improve and expand its facilities are expected to leverage another $2 billion in private investment over the next two decades. The city of Rochester and Olmsted County are also contributing $128 million. The initiative is estimated to generate $3.2 billion in state tax revenue over the next two decades.
The plan envisions improved lodging, hospitality, entertainment, retail venues, and housing stock for both patients and their families. Supporters of the aid believe the commitment is worth it given Mayo’s role as an economic engine in the state, its national prominence, and role as the state’s largest private employer with 40,000 on its rolls. Critics contend providing the system with public subsidies sets a bad public precedent.