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Spring Valley Area Community Foundation banquet discussion centers around DMC

By Mitchell Walbridge

Fri, May 2nd, 2014
Posted in Spring Valley Features

Interim President of the Rochester Area Chamber of Commerce, Jerry Williams, was the featured speaker at this year's Spring Valley Area Community Foundation banquet. Williams gave a presentation highlighting DMC impacts on local economic development. Photo by Mitchell Walbridge

“There is no doubt that the epicenter of DMC is Rochester,” said interim President of the Rochester Area Chamber of Commerce Jerry Williams. However, there is also no doubt that the neighboring towns in Fillmore County like Spring Valley will feel a ripple effect from the global destination for health and healing.

This year Williams was the featured speaker at the Spring Valley Area Community Foundation’s third annual banquet. Williams is a former superintendent of the Rochester School District, is currently the president of the Rochester Public Utilities Board, and was also the chairman of the Common Cents Steering Committee, a committee that has allowed the extension of a portion of the Rochester sales tax to be shared with Spring Valley for economic development.

The 105 attendees this year were recipients of very pertinent information regarding one of the area’s largest-ever economic developments, widely known as Destination Medical Center. Because the DMC initiative is such a momentous undertaking, some of the foundational details of the entire project can be confusing at best. However, Williams’ presentation broke down the DMC process into understandable components.

The goal of DMC is to secure Mayo’s economic future. Major changes in health care are coming, and many of them are unknowns. Therefore, medical institutions will have to adapt.Williams pointed out that one of the challenges of these adaptations is the “everybody is doing it” effect. In order for the Mayo Clinic to continue to be an innovative world leader in medical care, it must continue to set itself apart from other medical institutions and sustain its ability to attract people. In order to do this, DMC creates a partnership between Mayo and the surrounding communities and area.

DMC operates on a developed economic plan led by an economic development authority. Within this plan lies the answer to the big question: What will be built?

The Mayo Clinic is investing $3.5 billion to the DMC mission—money that will be put towards hospital expansions, clinical facilities, and medical innovation. An additional $2.1 billion comes from private investment for research and technology, urban retail, and hospitality.

A public investment of $585 million from DMC legislation allotted tax dollars will go towards public infrastructure, site preparation, and transportation. Rochester claims $128 million of the $585 million while Olmsted County claims an additional $40 million.

Williams explained that DMC will do a lot for the area. “DMC will boost the economy by creating thousands of new jobs and millions in local and state tax revenues. Enhancements in dining, entertainment, and retail, and infrastructure improvements will be made for patients, visitors, and residents,” said Williams. DMC will also assist in attracting and retaining the most promising talent to the area for all businesses.

“Private investment leads to public growth,” said Williams. “The root of our economic development plan is dependent on the eight pillars.”

The eight pillars to which Williams was referring to include the following:

1) A livable city, retail and hospitality

2) Hotel and hospitality

3) Entertainment, arts and culture

4) Commercial research and technology

5) Health and wellness

6) Learning environment

7) Sports, recreation and nature

8) Transportation

“These are the pillars the area should examine itself on,” stated Williams.

A big component of the entire DMC’s link to the area communities is transportation. According to the Census Longitudinal Employer Households Dynamic data, the commuter flow from Spring Valley into Rochester in 2011 was 412 people. Williams explained that the current transportation network that Rochester has will be unable to sustain the traffic that the DMC plan foresees. “We need to get people in and out of downtown more efficiently,” said Williams.

Right now DMC is in the community input process, developing the plan by accepting ideas from the public for products, places and services. Within the coming weeks community leaders will be brought together for another input forum. All of these accumulated ideas from the talks will then be morphed into a final development plan in the months ahead.

To conclude Williams delivered the message, “It can happen here!” Williams encouraged the community of Spring Valley and its leaders like those on the board of the Spring Valley Area Community Foundation to continue the conversation of how to encourage economic growth in Spring Valley… otherwise they’ll be playing catch up.

For more information on the DMC initiative visit, follow @dmcmn on Twitter, or email

Spring Valley Area Community Foundation

Sue Kolling, board chair of the Spring Valley Area Community Foundation, was the MC of the evening’s program. Following a meal catered by the Root River Country Club the story of the foundation was told. A live and silent auction also took place the evening of April 26.

With the goal of strengthening the community and making it a fun and safe place to play, live and work, the foundation works diligently to provide support for community projects. In the three years that the foundation has been in action, it has raised $146,000, $35,000 in 2013 alone. These dollars are then put to work through grants that the foundation provides. Grant recipients include family fund night, the Spring Valley Area Historical Society, the Lego project, music in the park programs, and downtown revitalization plans.

ECFE Coordinator Ann Priebe gave a brief presentation on the Outdoor Nature Classroom renovation in the courtyard at Kingsland Elementary. First an idea from longtime educator Marilyn Erdman, the idea for an outdoor nature classroom progressed forward with a courtyard planning committee consisting of Marilyn Erdman, Denise Erichsen, Scott Stockdale, Jenn Campbell, Emily Biske, Kristal Brogan, and Chris and Ann Priebe.

The Spring Valley Community Foundation awarded the committee with a grant along with the Soil & Water Conservation District and the Osterud-Winter Foundation.

Other contributions and projects that the Spring Valley Area Community Foundation have helped are the Little Husker 1K Run, which promotes health for kids and brings people together. This ties in with the foundation’s mission to enhance the quality of life with citizens. One hundred and seventy-two kids registered in 2013 for this race.

Also, there is the Give to the Max Day event that raised $9,995 in 2013. Board member Rod Thompson spoke in front of the audience about the Planet Walk idea.

The Spring Valley Area Community Foundation serves the area communities of Spring Valley, Wykoff and Ostrander. Feedback is always being sought. For more information on the Spring Valley Area Community Foundation, visit

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