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NC Senate bill seeks to tear up lease for park

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RALEIGH, NC (AP) -- Senate Republican leaders are moving forward with legislation to throw out a lease that lets Raleigh build a large park on the old Dorothea Dix mental hospital campus, although city leaders and residents are fighting the change.

The full Senate scheduled debate Tuesday on the bill its authors say is needed because the state entered a bad deal on prime acreage overlooking downtown Raleigh as Gov. Beverly Perdue left office.

The current lease gives the state up to $68 million over the next 75 years as Raleigh city boosters turn 325 acres into a regional destination park. The bill would require a lease with a higher price, fewer acres and proceeds benefiting mental health programs.

Dozens of Raleigh residents spoke out against a renegotiated lease at a public hearing Monday.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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