ROCHESTER, Minn. -- Gov. Mark Dayton and DFL Leaders received a warm reception in Rochester as the Mayo Clinic celebrates its recent legislative victory.
State lawmakers approved $455 million dollars in infrastructure improvements that will help facilitate the clinic's 20-year growth plan consisting of a $3.5 billion investment from Mayo and $2 million from private investors.
"I just can't imagine in 20 years what Rochester and Mayo will look like. It'll be incredibly exciting," Dayton told reporters following a rally that was moved indoors because of rain.
"This was, as mentioned, a private/public partnership like no other economic investment. (It's) the future workplace for many, many of your children and grandchildren," DFL Representative Kim Norton of Rochester told her constituents.
"We will make history as we embark on this largest economic initiative that the state has ever witnessed," John Noseworthy, M.D., Mayo Clinic President and CEO, told his employees.
The excitement carried on to the downtown streets surrounding the massive, world famous clinic. Don Hadley, owner of O and B Shoes, was happy to hear lawmakers approved the plan on its first pass through the legislature.
"The mighty Mayo Clinic. When I say mighty it's because they're the best and it's part of the reason that we're still here," he explained, before noting at least 60 percent of his business comes from the nearby medical center.
For John Wade, President and CEO of the Rochester Area Chamber of Commerce, the approval for the project he calls vital to the region is a long time in the making.
"Forty-five thousand jobs mean a lot, particularly in an economy that remains relatively fragile. It was the right project at the right time," Wade said.
He also believes that Mayo will double its footprint in the region in the next 20 years.
"That is a tremendous amount of growth. That not only requires more in the medical practice itself, but more hotels, restaurants and schools, more of everything," Wade concluded.
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