Created: 01/30/2014 7:18 PM KAALtv.com
By: Steph Crock
(ABC 6 News) -- The Destination Medical Center Committee has approved the 2014 budget for DMC, money that will primarily go to creating the development plan. They also made some changes to the statute in how projects get approved by the board.
"With the budget, we finally got some numbers and can see where that's at, so that's good," said Rochester Mayor Ardell Brede. The DMC Committee just approved a roughly 8 million dollar budget for the first year, of the 20-year plan, and Mayor Ardell Brede admits at first glance, there was a little sticker shock. "Then breaking it down to say; ‘What did that all include? So what did that director do to get paid that or gets hired in that?’ so those things will be there," he said.
The good news is, to get the ball rolling, the first year will be the most expensive. "That budget has a lot of costs for creating a development that are only one time costs," said DMCC Chair Tina Smith.
We also learned the city has been approached by a private developer for a possible first big project, something that would go at Broadway and Center Street downtown. However, this pointed out an issue in the legislation as to how to go about getting approval.
"This major legislation got through in one year up at the state and so for that all to get through there, there's probably a few more glitches in there, if you want to call it a glitch," said Brede.
Originally, the statute said a plan had to be approved by the DMCC for it to move forward, but Thursday, it was amended to say they'll "consider" not "approve" it first. That way things won’t get held up each time a project comes along. "I think you heard support for a project like that, but people weren’t ready to say, 'yes, we specifically want to use the money that we're responsible investing in exactly this way’ it’s just too early for us to say,” said Smith.
To re-iterate, project ideas will now first be considered by the board, then they can move forward in creating the plans, then finally, the board can vote to approve or deny funding for it as a DMC project.