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Park status for Billy Carter gas station?

PLAINS, Ga., Nov. 15 (UPI) -- A U.S. taxpayers group is objecting to giving national park status to a gas station once owned by Billy Carter, the brother of former President Jimmy Carter.

The U.S. House approved a measure last month to incorporate the service station in Plains, Ga., under the Jimmy Carter National Historic Site, the Los Angeles Times reported Sunday. That brings the service station under the auspices of the National Park Service.

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Upgrades to the gas station and a state-run welcome center will cost an estimated $17 million, the Congressional Budget Office estimates.

Steve Ellis, vice president of the Washington-based watchdog group, Taxpayers for Common Sense objects to the bill, the Times reported. Ellis said the gas station is "not in imminent danger of being turned into condos or something like that.

"So you've got to question whether it's the best move for the park service," he said.

Park Superintendent Gary Ingram said the renovated sites will entice visitors after the deaths of Plains' most notable residents, Jimmy and Roslyn Carter.

"The Billy Carter piece is just one little tiny component of the thing," he said. "It's a spur, but it's a spur that still has relevance because it's connected to the larger story."

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