Under the Dome

Poll: Most Wake residents support Dix park

An opinion poll released Tuesday found that Wake County residents support plans for a park on the Dorothea Dix property by a 2-to-1 margin.

Public Policy Polling surveyed about 600 voters last week in the wake of Republican-sponsored legislation that would revoke Raleigh's lease on the 325-acre state property.

The bill passed the Senate last week and now heads to the House.
About 52 percent of those surveyed said they support the park, while 27 percent were against the idea.

Park supporters have argued that revoking the three-month-old lease signed by outgoing Gov. Bev Perdue and Raleigh Mayor Nancy McFarlane will damage the state's credibility in future contracts.

About 50 percent of poll respondents agreed that the bill would "harm the state’s business reputation"; 38 percent say they don't think so.

The poll also found that the majority of Republicans surveyed didn't support the legislation.

Two park booster groups, Dix 306 and Friends of Dorothea Dix Park, held a meeting Tuesday at the Dix property to discuss the poll. About 50 people turned out in support.

"It was impressive the awareness of people that we might make this property a park," said Bill Padgett of Dix 306. "By 2-to-1 we ask the governor to veto that bill."

Raleigh City Councilman Russ Stephenson also attended the meeting, and he told the crowd he's hopeful that the House will debate the bill more thoroughly than the Senate. "I'm cautiously optimistic that we'll have more time in the House," he said.

Staff writer Colin Campbell

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