Since the announcement of the Destination Medical Center initiative in January, there has been plenty of talk and even some controversy regarding the $20 million from the local-option sales tax that is earmarked for DMC-related projects. Likewise, intelligent people have strongly disagreed regarding the Rochester City Council's decision to share $5 million in sales tax revenue with 17 communities surrounding Rochester.
So it's easy to forget that the sales tax voters approved in November included 10 funding categories—not two—totaling $139.5 million. And the impact of that vote already is being felt in some very important and positive ways.
One of the most exciting projects to be funded by the sales-tax extension is a new Career Technical Education Center at Heintz—aka C-TECH. The city is investing $6.5 million for a new, state-of-the-art facility where Rochester public schools and Rochester Community and Technical College, MnSCU and the local business community will team up to offer vocational training to high school students from Rochester and perhaps the surrounding region.