Senate leaders back off opposition to Dix deal

Senior senators say they will no longer stand in the way of a deal that would see the state sell the 308-acre Dorothea Dix property to Raleigh.

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Dorothea Dix
Mark Binker
RALEIGH, N.C. — Last week, the co-chairs of the Senate Health Committee hinted they might drop their opposition to the Dorothea Dix property sale to Raleigh.

On Monday, they followed through.

Sen. Ralph Hise, R-Mitchell, Louis Pate, R-Wayne, and Tommy Tucker, R-Union, announced they would no longer pursue a measure that would have put the property up for sale to the highest bidder.

Raleigh's City Council approved the $52 million purchase on Friday. Members of the Council of State, a body made up of 10 statewide elected officials, are expected to approve the sale next month.

The three senators said that, after speaking with Gov. Pat McCrory, their concerns about the transactions have been addressed. In particular, McCrory assured the trio that proceeds from the sale would be used to pay for mental health services.

"We are grateful to Gov. Pat McCrory and his staff for their willingness to address many of our concerns and improve the agreement by helping the mentally ill and developing a plan for the future of the state agency that serves them," the three senators said in a joint statement. "This action shows a spirit of cooperation between the General Assembly, the administration and the City of Raleigh."

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