- Associated Press - Friday, January 20, 2017

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) - City Council members in Maine’s capital city say they will accept the donation of a 164-acre estate that provides a forest backdrop to the Maine State House.

The Augusta City Council unanimously voted to accept the Howard Hill property donation on Thursday night. The city is receiving the land from the Kennebec Land Trust.

The Kennebec Journal (https://bit.ly/2jg2kBk ) says the terms of the agreement say the property will never be developed and its natural resources will be protected. It must also remain open to the public.

Gov. Paul LePage, a Republican, has criticized the Land for Maine’s Future program for overpaying for properties in the past, and has cited Howard Hill as an example.

The land trust bought the land for about $925,000 from a local attorney in 2015.

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