Civic groups in Raleigh advocating the creation of a public park on what is now the Dorothea Dix hospital campus have pledged three million dollars toward the effort. The Council of State is scheduled to vote today whether to allow the City of Raleigh to lease the land from the state.
Advocates have lobbied for years to create a destination park like Central Park in New York or Millenium Park in Chicago. Jim Goodmon heads Capitol Broadcasting and is a member of Dix Visionaries, one of the groups involved in the plan. He says a million more people are expected to move here over the next twenty years.
Jim Goodmon: "We got a lot to do to keep our quality of life and handle a million more people here. The other thing is windows of opportunity open up during your life, things happen, and I've always thought if that happens you better go after it. The notion of 236 acres right here next to downtown and the concept of making a park- that's unheard of."
Goodmon and his wife head the Fletcher Foundation, which has pledged one million dollars toward park planning. But leading legislators in Raleigh have criticized the plan, saying the Council of State should postpone the vote so there's more time to consider the arrangement.