Rochester to use sales tax toward expansion of UMR campus

Andrea Schug

The Rochester City Council announced Monday that part of the cityâÄôs sales tax will be allocated toward the expansion of the University of Minnesota Rochester. The money that the University receives from the cityâÄôs sales tax will be invested in RochesterâÄôs Urban Village Development project. âÄúThe university has always said they could use help in generating money and one good way to do this is through sales tax,âÄù City Councilman Bob Nowicki said. The blueprints of this development plan show a nine story building that will be located downtown. This building will create room for not only retail and classroom space but for student housing as well. Prior to Monday, the city council had discussed the plan to give the university part of the tax money but had yet to hear a decision of approval from the state Legislature. âÄúWe were happy that the state gave us the OK for our plan,âÄù Nowicki said. âÄúIt was all about dotting the iâÄôs and crossing the tâÄôs.âÄù When the city council discussed giving money to the university for this project, they predicted that in addition to helping the expansion effort of higher education in Rochester, it would improve the business in the city as well. âÄúNot only does this help the university but itâÄôs going to bring students downtown and life downtown which is our overall goal,âÄù Nowicki said. âÄúThis will generate business, restaurants and other retail outlets.âÄù