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Finding a compromise on Rochester's controversial Kmart lot

KIMT News 3 continues bringing you coverage in the efforts to convert a Kmart parking lot into a parking lot for Mayo Clinic employees. Last week - Council voted to move forward with a park-and-ride lease that could be as long as ten years. But Mayor Kim Norton wasn't completely satisfied and chose to go a different route.

Posted: Feb 27, 2020 11:15 PM
Updated: Feb 28, 2020 8:32 AM

ROCHESTER, Minn. - Mayor Kim Norton was concerned a ten-year lease could be too long. She's since been in contact with the developer - who said he would compromise to 5 with a possible extension to 7 and a half years. For Norton, it was a nice compromise but not everyone agreed on City Council. 

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"There was some concern that I had overstepped my reach in my negotiation but it was the developer that came to us because he wanted us to be supportive of his endeavor," Mayor Norton said. 

This brings us to the residents of Slatterly Park. Many remain outraged over what they see as a lack of transparency by developers and Mayo Clinic regarding the future of this lot. Of late, residents say developers have been doing a better job at engaging with Slatterly Park on what's next. 

"I'd like to see ore housing, mixed-use, residential shops, groceries, childcare, public facilities like the library or other public facilities," Cathy Clermont said. 

City Councilmember Michael Wojcik maintains Mayo Clinic simply got off the wrong foot when launching its efforts. 

"Mayo made it harder for it to say yes to everybody," Wojcik said. "This was a process that did not play out very well. They understand how badly they messed it up. There was nothing in the end that could make people happy because Mayo just overstepped their bounds. 

As this once-heated drama begins to cool - Slatterly Park residents reflect on what we've learned. 

"If developers engaged in neighbors early in the process and bring as much information as they can, it doesn't feel like it's a surprise," Clermont said. 

The item for a shortened lease next hits City Council Monday. Other than the length, no other terms of the lease have changed. 

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 312969

Reported Deaths: 3637
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin661641115
Ramsey27766505
Anoka22149228
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Washington13999115
Stearns13733116
St. Louis8747112
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Douglas260337
Polk256324
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Becker205415
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Steele19497
Isanti190617
Itasca190423
Carlton185816
Todd181214
Nicollet162525
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Cases: 227398

Reported Deaths: 2368
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk33642336
Linn14352165
Scott1124986
Black Hawk10893135
Woodbury10372126
Johnson955336
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Story678822
Dallas637257
Pottawattamie631970
Sioux370325
Webster358535
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Marshall348546
Clinton331344
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Des Moines291520
Muscatine289268
Warren281914
Plymouth276042
Wapello255772
Jones232313
Jasper217944
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Lee203917
Carroll198422
Bremer195212
Henry18307
Crawford174616
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Tama154340
Jackson144613
Delaware144221
Washington141314
Dickinson139210
Boone137011
Mahaska126827
Wright12456
Clay11784
Buchanan117010
Hardin115810
Page11374
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