RALEIGH (By Dan Way, Carolina Journal Online) — The senior chairman of the state House Appropriations Committee said he is prepared to introduce legislation this year to transform the state-owned North Carolina Zoo into a public-private partnership.
“I fully support the public-private partnership. It’s the only way the zoo’s going to move forward,” said state Rep. Harold Brubaker, R-Randolph. “We don’t have the money to do additional programs and expansion” through state funding alone.
Zoo Chief of Staff Mary Joan Pugh said greater funding possibilities exist under a public-private enterprise and that should help the zoo pursue goals of an exhibit featuring animals from the continent of Asia and building a long-sought hotel and conference center.
About 75 percent of the nation’s accredited zoos and aquariums already have switched to public-private partnerships.