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One Step Closer To Scrapping Dix Park Deal

Dorothea Dix Hospital Sign in Raleigh
Dave DeWitt
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Dorothea Dix Hospital Sign in Raleigh

A Senate committee has passed a measure  that would void a deal signed three months ago to turn Raleigh's Dix hospital site into a destination park.

The Senate Appropriations Committee would void a 99-year lease signed amid great fanfare by the mayor of Raleigh and former Governor Bev Perdue. Under the deal, the city would pay $500,000 a year plus yearly adjustments to lease the land.

But some Republican legislators say that's not enough. They want to renegotiate the deal and keep some state employee facilities there. Jim Goodmon owns  Capitol Broadcasting and is a member of the group that advocated for the park. He says, "The notion that you can come in and take a lease and just say well we're not going to do it is remarkable. You should hear yourselves saying that. There's no businessperson in this state that would agree, that would agree with you what you're doing."

Republican Senate Rules Committee chair Tom Apodaca was furious at Goodmon's comments, saying he felt intimidated by the comments made by Capitol Broadcasting. He left the room immediately after the meeting. The bill is expected to go to the Senate next week.

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.
Longtime NPR correspondent Frank Stasio was named permanent host of The State of Things in June 2006. A native of Buffalo, Frank has been in radio since the age of 19. He began his public radio career at WOI in Ames, Iowa, where he was a magazine show anchor and the station's News Director.
Isaac-Davy Aronson is WUNC's morning news producer and can frequently be heard on air as a host and reporter. He came to North Carolina in 2011, after several years as a host at New York Public Radio in New York City. He's been a producer, newscaster and host at Air America Radio, New York Times Radio, and Newsweek on Air.
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