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Missouri House endorses auction of land bought for park

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) _ The Missouri House has given initial approval to a measure directing the Department of Natural Resources to auction off land it purchased with money from a lead mining settlement.

Lawmakers on Tuesday endorsed the proposal to sell the land in Oregon County slated for a state park. The money from the auction would pay for economic development projects in southeast Missouri. The bill needs another vote before going to the Senate.

Bill sponsor Rep. Robert Ross said the settlement money was supposed to restore areas damaged by lead mining. The proposed park is not at a former lead-mining site.

Rep. Kevin Engler said that although he disagreed with how the settlement money was spent, he worried an auction would return a fraction of what the state spent on the land.