Last rites for the Dix Legacy

Bob Geary is writing again on his Citizen's Blog about the vote by the Council of State on Tuesday.

Bob has been a consistent supporter for over 6 years of building a "destination park" on the Dix campus. I have only supported a park, if some part of the park or the proceeds from sale of the Dix campus somehow would provide a benefit to those with mental illness. The Dix campus originally consisted of 3200 acres for a farm, where the hospital's patients worked. It was a "recovery" based treatment far ahead of its time.

The land was donated by leading families of Raleigh in the mid-1800's specifically to be used as the site of an "asylum" for the "insane."

Now NC's mental health system is in shambles, mainly as a result of the "privitizing" of the direct services once offered by publicly owned agencies. The Americans for Prosperity want to sell the Dix Property to the highest bidder.

I prefer a lease by the City of Raleigh to a sale for building more shops and condos. But the lease needs to specify that Raleigh will pay the costs of any environmental remediation necessary. It appears neither the state nor the city knows what those long-term costs might be. It would require environmental impact studies not yet done. Should not both parties hold off on signing the lease until the total costs are known? Why no transparency on this issue.

I did not know myself until today that there are three former City of Raleigh waste dumps on the Dix Property. I knew of the one under the soccer fields already leased to Raleigh. I have been told that gases come up from the ground at that site.

Bob Geary calls the Dix Property "a jewel." Perhaps, but it is a very blemished jewel from a development viewpoint.



It just makes me heartsick to see Dix and other intensive supports disappear in NC, because there is nothing put in place to replace what has been lost. No one wants to be hospitalized, but if that is what is needed and there is nowhere to go, what then?