RALEIGH, - Governor Pat McCrory has stepped into the ongoing controvery over the lease signed in the waning days of Governor Bev Perdue's administration with the city of Raleigh to covert the Dorthea Dix Mental Hospital into a city park.
McCrory and Raleigh Mayor Nancy McFarlane have asked the General Assembly to set the effective date of the Dorothea Dix lease bill to next year, in order to give the state of North Carolina and the City of Raleigh time to negotiate an improved deal.
“Mayor McFarlane and I strongly believe that we must move ahead to reach a mutual agreement,” said Governor Pat McCrory. “We look forward to working with the General Assembly to give us the time to come to an agreement that will allow us to create a destination park that will also accommodate the State’s needs.”>The two parties enter into the negotiations sharing the common goals of providing funds for mental health care, space for facilities for the Department of Health and Human Services consistent with a development of a destination park for the people of Raleigh and North Carolina.
"I appreciate the opportunity to work with the Governor over the next year to come to an agreement that will result in the realization of a world class park on the Dorothea Dix Campus, said Mayor Nancy McFarlane. “While the Governor and I respectfully disagree on the validity of the existing lease, I believe that we will be able to come to an agreement that will be in the best interest of the citizens of Raleigh and the State of North Carolina.”
Governor McCrory and Mayor McFarlane have asked the effective date on SB334 be April 1, 2014 to allow the State and City of Raleigh time to execute a new agreement based on a series of following terms. They including having the City of Raleigh may lease or purchase, including by an installment sale, the Dorothea Dix property and other parcels subject to the December 28, 2012 Lease, less approximately thirty acres to be retained by the State of North Carolina for use by the NC Department of Health and Human Services.
The State of North Carolina will discuss the additional lease, sale or grant of an easement of other state property to the City of Raleigh, including the Governor Morehead School property.
The proceeds of the lease or purchase will be utilized by the State of North Carolina for providing mental health services to the people of North Carolina.
The deal has already met with opposition from the State State, which voted to throw the deal out completely.
"We appreciate that the governor and Raleigh mayor are attempting to make things right for the taxpayers of North Carolina and the state's mentally ill. But it is difficult to understand why they are extending an unlawful lease. This proposed agreement delays doing the right thing until 2014 - why not do the right thing today?"
Berger also questioned the logic of giving the City of Raleigh a preference to purchase the valuable Governor Morehead School property, saying "the purpose of the Senate's bill was to put the state on equal negotiating footing with the City of Raleigh. Instead the executive branch has ceded more ground."