CONCORD, N.H. – The Senate has approved a bill opening the way for a Maine businessman’s plan to restore a historic resort in the economically distressed North Country.

Gov. Maggie Hassan said Thursday she will sign the bill that creates a special taxing district allowing the state to back $28 million in bonds toward redeveloping the Balsams, which closed in 2011.

Les Otten is seeking the state-backed bond to help finance the $143 million project that would reopen the Dixville Notch resort where the first presidential ballots are traditionally cast.

The state’s Business Finance Authority would consider any bonds. The bill also raises the bond limit for a single project from $25 million to $30 million and raises the BFA’s total borrowing limit from $95 million to $115 million.