More details on DMC in the House bill
The House bill creates a "Destination Medical Center Corp." to oversee development. The nine-member board would be comparable to what Mayo originally proposed -- heavy on local medical, business and political representation.
Here's the language:
Destination Medical Center Corporation (DMCC) established.
Subd. 1. DMCC created. Directs the city to establish a nonprofit corporation. Provides that the corporation is not subject to laws governing the city except as provided in this section.
Subd. 2. Membership. Provides for nine members:
-- the mayor of the city or designee, subject to city council approval
-- a member of the city council
-- a member of the county board
-- two representatives of the medical business entity selected by the city from
five nominees provided by the medical business entity
-- one representative of labor selected by the city from three nominees provided by the Southeast Minnesota Area Labor Council
-- one representative of the city business community other than the medical business entity, selected by the city from among three nominees provided by the Chamber of Commerce
-- two appointees of the governor
Subd. 3. Bylaws. Directs the DMCC to adopt bylaws to address matters of organization and operation.
Subd. 4. Open meeting law; data practices. Provides that the open meeting law in chapter 13D and the government data practices act apply to the DMCC.
Subd. 5. Conflicts of interest. Prohibits members of the board of the DMCC, other than the representatives of the medical business entity, from being employees of, serving on the board of, or otherwise representing the medical business entity for a year before serving on the board and while on the board.
Subd. 6. Powers; gifts. Permits the DMCC to exercise any powers granted in its articles of incorporation and bylaws as long as they are not inconsistent with this article. Permits the DMCC to accept gifts and use any money or in-kind gifts that are not public money to development and implement the adopted plan.
Subd. 7. Dissolution. Requires the articles of incorporation to provide for dissolution of the corporation.
Among other items of interest in the bill, it does include the "living wage" lines that some people wanted. The DMC board "must give priority to projects that pay wages equal to a basic cost of living standard proposed in the jobs bill." Whether this is enforceable or even remembered when the time comes for making development decisions remains to be seen.
Also, the city essentially becomes the DMC "authority," which ramps up the power of city council members, as far as I can tell. I need to do more legwork on how and why councils and port authorities are generally distinct entities, whether in Red Wing, St. Paul, Duluth or wherever, but presumably there are good reasons.
Here's the language:
5 City powers; duties, authority to issue bonds. Grants the following powers to the city for purposes of implementing the DMC development plan:
-- general port authority powers
-- authority to provide money to fund the corporation
-- authority to issue any type of bonds, without referendum and outside of net debt limits, secured by any of the city revenues, including the newly authorized taxes and state aid payments under section 8
Three other points, then I have to get back to work:
-- One of the big decisions the council will make, and I'm assuming sooner rather than later, is to either double the city's local option sales tax from 0.5 percent to 1 percent, as allowed under the House bill, or to extend the half-cent until the year 2041.
-- The House bill allows the city to set up TIF districts "without regard to the blight test," which one assumes is a fairly carte blanche authority. Again, more legwork needed.
-- And if you had any doubt about how high-speed rail from Mayo to the Twin Cities is the grand prize of the whole DMC gambit, the House bill calls for a "transportation impact study" that "must include an analysis of the feasibility of high-speed rail between Rochester and the Mall of America, extending to the airport and the Union Depot in St. Paul."
Just an opinion, but I think that train is much of what DMC is about. Is there enough money to build it? We'll find out.