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Virginia OKs Disney park funds

RICHMOND, Va. — Walt Disney Co. moved a step closer to building its American history theme park when state lawmakers agreed to provide $ 160 million in incentives.

“This is a project that will be the envy of the entire nation,” said Gov. George Allen.

The state agreed Saturday to finance $ 131 million in highway improvements and provide other subsidies for the park in rural Prince William County.

Disney agreed to guarantee the debt service on $ 49 million in bonds for highway projects at the theme park site. If sales tax revenues from the park fall below the $ 3.8 million annual debt service, Disney will pay the difference.

“I think it’s a great day for Virginia,” said Mark Pacala, senior VP/g.m. of Disney’s America.

Pacala said Disney hopes to break ground for the park in late 1995 and open in 1998.

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