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RALEIGH, N.C. (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. Beverly 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.

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