AUGUSTA (AP) — A nonprofit organization dedicated to conservation efforts is now the owner of a 164-acre property next to Maine’s State House in Augusta.

The Kennebec Journal reported (http://bit.ly/1LRDCDH ) the Kennebec Land Trust purchased Howard Hill last week and plans to give it to the city.

The group did so without nearly $338,000 in funds awarded to help with the purchase after Gov. Paul LePage refused to issue more than $11 million in bonds.

The land trust had to take out a loan. Board members say they expect to repay the loan after the Land For Maine’s Future program continues awarding money once the legislature reconvenes in January.

LePage has said he withheld the money to try to gain support for a proposal increasing timber harvesting on state-owned land.


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