City council approves DMC development plan, sales tax increase
(THE MED CITY BEAT) - The Rochester City Council unanimously approved the first full draft of the Destination Medical Center development plan following a public comment period Monday night.
The vote marked a major milestone for the $6 billion initiative, which aims to transform Rochester into the world's premier medical destination.
"The vote tonight is not about where our vision ends, but about where it begins," said council member Nick Campion. "I believe it begins with a framework and a commitment."
Council members emphasized that they were not approving any specific projects, but rather a conceptual framework in which to guide the initiative over the next two decades. Each individual project will still require approval from both the council and the DMC Corporation Board.
"There is a great deal of details we need to sift through," said council president Randy Staver. "This is a multi-decade plan. I think it would be totally unreasonable on my part to try and predict any of the specifics."
The council also voted in favor of a 0.25 percent sales tax increase, which will go into effect at the start of next year. The measure will become official following a second vote by the council in early May.
Council members agreed that the tax bump is the only way for the city to cover its $128 million contribution toward the DMC initiative. The increase is expected to generate about $5 million in annual revenue.
The DMC Corp. Board will hold a public hearing on the plan April 23.
(Cover graphic: DMC Development Plan)