Dorothea Dix deal creates a gem in Raleigh

From an editorial Wednesday in the Fayetteville Observer:

It was a long and often bumpy ride as two political parties and two administrations negotiated their way through the transfer of the Dorothea Dix hospital property in downtown Raleigh, from state to city ownership.

The 308-acre site of this state’s first psychiatric hospital will soon be developed as a sprawling park, a crown jewel in the middle of our state capital.

The final product is a fair deal for state taxpayers and a reasonable burden for the city.

After on-again, off-again dickering that began in former Gov. Bev Perdue’s administration, Gov. Pat McCrory and Raleigh Mayor Nancy McFarlane signed off on a $52 million deal on Monday.

The agreement still needs the approval of the Council of State. The Raleigh City Council unanimously OK’d the purchase on Monday.

The state Department of Health and Human Services will continue to lease space on the former hospital campus for up to 25 years, but most of the land will be ready to be used as a park much sooner.

McCrory summed it up well:

“This agreement allows the creation of a destination park in our state capital, protects our state taxpayers and continues to honor the legacy of Dorothea Dix. How’s that for good news?”

Very good indeed.