Bill could force sale of state park in southern Missouri

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Missouri House has endorsed a measure that could force the state to sell a new state park in southern Missouri.

The legislation given initial approval Wednesday would require the sale of Eleven Point State Park in Oregon County.

Former Gov. Jay Nixon announced the creation of the nearly 4,200-acre park in December 2016 shortly before his term in office ended. But the park has remained closed, and the state faces a lawsuit claiming an easement along the Eleven Point River limits the land to be used only for agricultural purposes.

The property was acquired with funds from a cleanup and bankruptcy settlement involving the lead mining company ASARCO. Some Missouri lawmakers contend that the park amounts to a misuse of those funds.

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