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State Lawmakers File Bills To Revamp Dix Park Deal

Raleigh mayor Nancy McFarlane and Fmr. Gov. Bev Perdue
City of Raleigh

State legislative leaders have filed bills that would revamp the deal that allows the city of Raleigh to create a regional park on the grounds of a closed mental hospital. The proposed legislation would nullify the lease agreement signed by Governor Beverly Perdue on her way out of office.

That agreement allows the city to lease the 325 acre Dorothea Dix property for 75 years to create a destination park. Republican lawmakers say the agreement was put together too quickly and won't earn enough money. Their legislation would order state officials to renegotiate leasing part of the property at a fair market rate and provide proceeds for mental health programs. The state would keep the remainder of the land for employee workspace.

A bipartisan group of business and civic leaders worked for years to create the Dix land deal. In a statement, the group says it's disappointed with the proposed legislation, and that it hopes the legislature will leave the current lease the way it is.

Jessica Jones covers both the legislature in Raleigh and politics across the state. Before her current assignment, Jessica was given the responsibility to open up WUNC's first Greensboro Bureau at the Triad Stage in 2009. She's a seasoned public radio reporter who's covered everything from education to immigration, and she's a regular contributor to NPR's news programs. Jessica started her career in journalism in Egypt, where she freelanced for international print and radio outlets. After stints in Washington, D.C. with Voice of America and NPR, Jessica joined the staff of WUNC in 1999. She is a graduate of Yale University.
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