One Step Closer To Scrapping Dix Park Deal

Grounds of the Dorothea Dix Hospital in Raleigh
Credit Dave DeWitt

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.