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DMC infrastructure costs add up: $1.35 billion

Destination Medical Center officials laid out some finances for the 20-year economic development plan on Thursday, including estimates on public infrastructure and transportation costs.

Destination Medical Center officials laid out some finances for the 20-year economic development plan on Thursday, including estimates on public infrastructure and transportation costs.

The estimated cost for the public infrastructure projects is $1.35 billion, with $469 million from DMC, $135 million from other city funds, $41 million from other state and federal sources, $649 million from private investment and $54 million from sponsors.

Those numbers include "anything that is purely public or that has kind of a public/private component," said DMC project manager Amy Supple of Hammes Co.

A DMC slide shown on Thursday during a meeting of the DMC Corp. board and the DMC Economic Development Agency showed $5.57 billion in transportation projects over the life of the plan. However, that number was incorrect. The correct amount is $557 million, which includes $116 million in DMC funds, $107 million in other city dollars, $263 million in state and federal streams, $68 million in private dollars and $3 million in sponsorships.

"It was a typo. … It was human error," Supple said.


To estimate the costs associated with such a long-range plan, planners evaluated the master and transportation plans and put price tags on the items shown, Supple said. They then estimated the phasing of those plans in five-year increments, she said.

"In addition to that, the city has identified a number of projects that they think will happen as a result of growth," Supple said.

For the first five-year phase, a cost of almost $90 million is expected for parking, about $9 million for roads and bridges, $92 million for public spaces and civic uses, $28 million for property sites and utilities and $5.5 million on transit systems, according to DMC documents.

Estimating transit projects is easier than projecting costs for a general public infrastructure project, which can be harder to define, she said.

"There's going to be more demand than there is funding," Supple said.

Indeed, just for phase one, DMC estimates show a public infrastructure project shortage of $65.5 million, so the DMCC board and Rochester City Council will need to evaluate projects that best suit the city.

In order to do so, Supple outlined criteria for evaluation of projects, such as establishing priorities based on economic drivers, deciding if a project is consistent with DMC objectives, judging the financial plan for viability, seeing how the project would leverage other funds and making sure a project is sustainable.

"What I really like about this project is it's not a one and done kind of thing," Supple said. Each individual DMC project will have to be evaluated, as well as the overall DMC master plan, all with public hearings and meetings, she said.


"The project has a very rigorous set of checks and balances to it to assure the public funds are expended in the way it was intended," Supple said.

Some other possibilities for funds related to DMC: sponsorships like Citi Bike in New York City, a public bike sharing system by Citibank; shared public/private parking garages or federal dollars for transportation that DMC could qualify for.

All of the numbers shown on Thursday during the DMCC/EDA meeting are estimates and subject to change, Supple said.

"I think, certainly, the vision that's set forth and the ideas of the amount of the investment you'll see in Rochester is achievable," she said. "The reality is, we're trying to provide a framework and a guideline … but over time the market will determine what happens."

The public has the opportunity to weigh in on DMC plans again before final approval in March via public hearings and DMCC meetings, and citizens can provide feedback on individual projects as they come up for city approval, Supple said. The plans and funds are flexible, she said.

"The nice thing about this plan is … you get to guide these funds over time to the maximum benefits. … This is really about what the citizens of Rochester want," she said.

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