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Mayo project bogs down

Mayo Clinic's request for state money to help Rochester prepare for a major medical facilities expansion could be updated after its original proposal ran into difficulties, the Post Bulletin of Rochester reports.

House Tax Chairwoman Ann Lenczewski, DFL-Bloomington, has concerns and asked the bill's sponsor, Democratic Rep. Kim Norton of Rochester, to come up with alternatives.

"They are poised and ready to go," Norton said. "We can't just say, 'Hold off for a couple of years."

Mayo wants the state to borrow more than $500 million so Rochester can build and improve infrastructure such as streets to handle more patients in town. Mayo plans to spend more than $3 billion on expanding its medical facilities.

But legislators and Gov. Mark Dayton have balked at the proposal. Dayton last week called the borrowing plan "almost unfeasible."

The original proposal calls for repaying the loan with extra sales and income taxes generated by the clinic.

Don Davis
Don Davis has been the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau chief since 2001, covering state government and politics for two dozen newspapers in the state. Don also blogs at Capital Chatter on Areavoices.