Questions Over State Purchase of Land From Carteret County Museum

Several lawmakers are asking why the state has accepted a parcel of land from a Carteret County museum that comes with about $5,300,000 in debt.

They're especially interested since taxpayers paid for the property a decade ago.

At a meeting of a Joint Legislative Commission on Government Operations Wednesday, legislators asked why the Council of State agreed early in October to accept the gift of more than 36 acres from the Friends of the Museum.

That nonprofit group supports the state-run NC Maritime Museum in Beaufort.

The state originally paid $3,000,000 in 1997 for the land along Gallants Channel, but the title remained with the museum supporters.

Governor Easley has said the state got a good deal by taking the land because its estimated $36,000,000 value is far more than the debt owed.