Dayton chief to lead board overseeing Mayo project

Published 6:59 am Saturday, August 10, 2013

ROCHESTER — Gov. Mark Dayton on Friday named his chief of staff to lead the eight-member board that will oversee a $6 billion, public-private makeover of Mayo Clinic and Rochester.

Dayton’s chief of staff, Tina Smith, stepped into the board chair’s seat at its first meeting in Rochester. Smith helped shepherd the project through the legislative approval process earlier this year.

Dayton kicked off the meeting with a vow that Rochester “is going to be better, it’s going to be newer, it’s going to be more attractive, it’s going to be more dynamic and it’s going to have more people with more jobs.”

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The project is the largest economic development project in state history. It will blend money from Mayo, more than $2 billion private investment and more than half a billion dollars in state and local tax subsidies.

Mayo’s goal is to turn its already renowned medical facility into a global health destination. Its leaders say doing that requires a vibrant and diverse economy that brings the same appeal to travelers as cities like Portland, Ore., Madison, Wis., or Austin, Texas.

Within the first half of 2014, the board hopes to produce a design master plan for the project. Part of that will include seeking input from Mayo staffers, patients and Rochester residents what they’d like to see built with the $6 billion.