Schafer: A thriving Rochester is Mayo Clinic's only option

  • Article by: LEE SCHAFER , Star Tribune
  • Updated: February 10, 2013 - 2:19 PM

You could hear echoes of past debates over stadium subsidies in the chatter that followed Mayo Clinic’s proposal for up to $585 million in government financing for Rochester infrastructure as its campus grows.

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marcymmbFeb. 10, 13 5:39 AM

Here we go again if you don't give us what we want we will leave doesn't that sound familiar. We don't have the money but I guess the biggies in rochester don't really care.

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essdee09Feb. 10, 13 8:06 AM

Spending money to build up the Mayo clinic is a more valuable use than building Zigi Wilf a stadium that will be idle more than it will be used. Can't say that bout the Mayo Clinic.

The article is right. Minnesotans don't think nearly as big as they used to. We're all poorer for it.

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jdc12765Feb. 10, 13 8:33 AM

Marcymmb: you are correct... Let's continue to make the incredibly astute infrastructure investments our great state is known for. I know that the additional light rail plans will make us the envy of the country. That new Saint's ballpark will employ thousands of high paying professionals. I also agree with the professor from the University about being impressed with audacity of requesting infrastructure upgrades for a non metro community ( other than Duluth). What would the University do without state assistance for their non faulty administrators? I suggest that all state and tax revenues collected in Olmstead be redirected to support this opportunity instead of stadiums and light rail ventures. The author also forgot to mention that Rochester has an international airport equipped to handle any size commercial aircraft. Forest through the trees Marcy.

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chavistaFeb. 10, 13 9:03 AM

If the Republicans under TPaw can build a $53 million interchange in Pine Island that only goes to a cow pasture, then you would think that they would have no problem supporting a project that actually leads to something that really exists. We're lucky if a sports stadium lasts 30 years. The Mayo Clinic "opened" on September 30, 1889 as St. Mary's Hospital, that's well over a century ago and there's no sign of it ever closing. This investment is a no brainer!

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robertlaneFeb. 10, 13 9:50 AM

WHY NOT THE FORD PLANT LOCATION?? While an expansion to the current Mayo campus would be a boon for the southern part of the state and Rochester specifically, the far better location for a development of this size would be at the site of the Ford Plant in St. Paul. This location provides the size, 140 acres, plus the proximity, five minutes to international airport, necessary for a world class medical campus. In addition, the facility would only be minutes from U of M medical which would allow for additional collaborative research opportunities. Finally the location itself is pristine, on the banks of the Mississippi and provides a terrific balance of moderate to high end housing options for the hundreds of staff that would relocate to the area. If there was ever the perfect replacement to update the Ford plant campus and allow that property to serve the state, region and country, the Mayo development would be it!

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ebenezerFeb. 10, 1310:48 AM

Baloney. They will not leave. No public money should be invested without a payback to taxpayers on any initial investment, so the full amount is recovered in 20 years or less with an attached market rate interest factor. Who are these folks trying to kid? Today's technologies don't require anyone to outbuild as they are proposing, and if Minnesota somehow ends up contributing, service charges to any state resident should be substantially reduced for facility use.

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ebenezerFeb. 10, 1310:52 AM

Secondarily, if the state becomes an investor, it should receive a commensurate portion of any revenues the Mayo generates. The paybacks to the state could be used for any number of worthwhile state needs, like roads, bridges, state building maintenance, etc. You'll notice I left out education because a good portion of those monies are already being inappropriately spent.

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movebak2mplsFeb. 10, 1311:06 AM

If they need infrastructure, why not just move to Minneapolis/St. Paul? Without Mayo, its any other small town. If Mayo truly wants to be in a world class city, they need to move to the Twin Cities. The infrastructure is already here. The idea that Rochester will be ever able to complete with the nightlife, restaurants, etc. of a big metro is pure fantasy. Further, Mayo's argument that they can't attract first class medical staff (because those individuals don't want to live in the sticks) is not going to be altered by putting a hotel and a few restaurants in.

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notsidFeb. 10, 1311:06 AM

Will there continue to be a need for a large faciliyt like the Mayo Clinic in the future with all of the changes coming in health care coverage and delivery? If not, will a new and expanded Mayo Clinic become kind of an albatross around the necks of the citizens of Rochester more than it already has?

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deniluFeb. 10, 1312:35 PM

Single industry towns usually end up being pushed around by "the Company". In this case Mayo is trying to coerce not the working folks or the local government; but all of the tax payers in MN! I say call the bluff and let Mayo go. Mayo is a private company and will have to go it alone or go broke. We have far too many hogs at the public trough now.

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