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DMCC board sets three priorities for rest of year

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Destination Medical Center's long lead time in planning has the DMC Corp. Board of Directors eager to move into the implementation phase.

During a report to the board Thursday morning, DMC Corp. Board Chairwoman Tina Flint Smith suggested board members focus for the remainder of 2015 on meeting three established goals: development in the Discovery Square and Heart of the City DMC districts, and planning for transit and transportation systems.

Rochester community members have also weighed in with important issues, and Smith suggested the board pursue those as well, including action on sustainable energy plans.

"The development plan that we have gives us a really valuable, strategic framework, but now the question is, how do you move to implementation?" Smith later told the Post-Bulletin.

One avenue the board explored to implement its priorities was to strengthen partnerships, both in and out of the community.

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McKnight Partnership

DMCC Board Member R.T. Rybak informed the board that the Minneapolis-based McKnight Foundation , one of the country's largest granting foundations, has offered to provide consulting at no cost to explore a DMC-district energy strategy.

"It could be a really game-changing step," Rybak said.

The board agreed and made a motion to work with the McKnight Foundation to put together a specific proposal.

"The McKnight Foundation has a really important priority on sustainable energy, and their interest in that and our interest in that could just be a great partnership," Smith added. "We're looking forward to working with them to develop a proposal that makes sense."

A workshop held in late summer or early fall might be a logical next step if a partnership with the McKnight Foundation is established, Smith said.

City/EDA development process

The DMC Economic Development Agency and city of Rochester have been holding weekly meetings to refine the process for developers and investors to propose projects through the DMC process.

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"The development plan started with a framework of what that could look like, and now what we're doing is meeting with the city to build that out into more detail," said Lisa Clarke, the EDA's executive director.

Clarke said the process, when finalized, would create a welcoming environment in which developers and investors understand and follow a consistent process for vetting projects.

Community input

Input from community members and stakeholders continues to play an important role in shaping the implementation of DMC objectives, Smith said, particularly for the immediate priorities: transportation, Discovery Square and Heart of the City.

"The community issues that have been raised throughout really ought to be informing the progress that we make on those three issues, specifically," she said.

To stay in touch with DMC plans, sign up for a regular newsletter at dmc.mn/newsletter-signup.php or email info@dmc.mn.

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