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Dix park supporters, others sound off

Posted April 8, 2013

— Wake County lawmakers heard Monday from 23 people who did not get a chance to speak during public hearing two weeks ago about the Dorothea Dix park plan and other matters of concern.

The people on Monday's roster had signed up to speak in March but were unable to deliver their remarks because lawmakers ran out of time.

Many, like Raleigh Mayor Nancy McFarlane, urged the state to stick to a deal to turn more than 300 acres of the former Dorothea Dix Hospital campus into a park.

"I just came to say one thing, and that is honor your commitments," McFarlane said. "If the citizens of North Carolina can't trust their elected officials to keep their word, it's a sad day for our state."

Others who spoke weren't expressly opposed to the park idea but said the state was right to seek more compensation for the valuable property.

 Robert Bullock, a Wake County board member for the National Alliance on Mental Illness, said he had once been a patient at Dix. 

He backs a Republican bill, which has passed the state Senate, that would dissolve the current lease between the city and require a new deal to be negotiated.

He said the current lease "would not provide the full value to mental health. ... I thank the senator that brought this bill up."

Other speakers raised objections about plans to take transfer ownership of school properties statewide to county boards of county commissioners, do away with historic property tax credits and the failure to publish an biannual almanac of government leaders.

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  • skeeter II Apr 9, 2013

    wonder why it will cost about 3 million dollars to design the 325 acre park?

    Is the City of Raleigh going to have a "Disneyland" or "Carowinds" style attraction on the Dix campus?

    Should not cost more than several thousand dollars to come up with a design for the park.

    Will many of the old trees have to be cut down and buildings removed to make room for what-ever will be in the park?

    The State needs to restrict what Raleigh can do that will change the appearance of Dix!