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RALEIGH, NC (AP) — The North Carolina Council of State has approved a plan to convert the Dorothea Dix Hospital campus in Raleigh into a new city park.

A majority on the Democratic-controlled council voted Tuesday to lease the state-owned hospital grounds to Raleigh for 75 years for as much as $68 million. Gov. Bev Perdue’s proposal would have Raleigh paying $500,000 a year to lease the property, with the amount increasing by 1.5 percent annually.

The two Republicans on the 10-member council – Labor Commissioner Cherie Berry and Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler – voted no, while State Auditor Beth Wood abstained.

GOP legislative leaders wanted any decision delayed until after Republican Gov.-elect Pat McCrory takes office in January.

Raleigh City Council is expected to consider the deal later Tuesday.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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