Updated: 06/12/2014 11:33 PM
Created: 06/12/2014 10:38 PM KAALtv.com
By: Steph Crock
(ABC 6 News) -- Earlier Thursday afternoon, the Destination Medical Center Corporation and the Economic Development Agency came together to discuss the direction Rochester is headed over the next 20 years. Thursday night however, it was the communities turn to pipe up.
"It's kind of their hopes and dreams for all of the different topic areas, from livable cities, to transportation, education, sports and leisure, culture, arts..." listed April Sutor, one of the facilitators at the DMC Community Conversation. Those areas she mentioned and even a few more were open for discussion. Each topic had their own room, and within those, tables for open-dialogue.
"I always think that when you get a lot of different voices in the room, that it’s important," said Rochester resident Rene Lafflam.
"This is the next step to really help take the ideas that are coming forward and say, ‘this is what people from Rochester are looking for, and not so much this,’" said Sutor.
A good chunk of the conversation focused on downtown Rochester. "It's sort of interesting to see so much enthusiasm about making downtown more vibrant," said Rochester resident Andrea Kiepe.
"People will come downtown if the arts and culture are downtown, so that a was a big theme at our table," said Lafflam. Plus, there were many other suggestions in how to keep what we have intact. "Making sure that neighborhoods keep their individual flare and have an impact in what it's going to look like in 20 years," said Lafflam.
Those behind the DMC initiative say this step is one of the most vital in truly making Rochester the Destination Medical Center. "That diversity of thought helps inform the planning, and moving forward with all of the wonderful things that we're going to be able to accomplish with DMC," said Sutor.
If you want your voice heard on the matter but didn’t realize the event was this week, there's a whole series of these community conversation events coming up. You can find that schedule on the DMC website, http://dmc.mn/.