Telluride open-space deadline nears |

Telluride open-space deadline nears

The Associated Press
Aspen, CO Colorado

TELLURIDE, Colo. ” Town officials scheduled an announcement for Wednesday on the results of a fundraising drive to preserve a 570-acre parcel of land as open space.

The ski resort town in southwestern Colorado wanted to buy the land for $26 million after deciding in 2004 to condemn it to force a developer to sell. But in February, a jury decided the property was worth $50 million, and a judge gave the town until May 21 to come up with the money.

At the time of the verdict, the town had about $26 million available from bonds and tax revenue. A fundraising drive brought the total to within about $2 million of the goal last month.

The land, near the entrance to town, is a feeding and watering ground for bears, elk and lynx, backers of the fundraising drive said.

Even if supporters raise the money, the deal may not be settled. Attorneys for landowner Neal Blue and his San Miguel Valley Corp. are challenging the town’s right to condemn the land.

Separately, two Telluride attorneys have filed a motion to be allowed to intervene in the case after the town opted not to appeal the jury verdict setting the price for the land.

Telluride is about 190 miles southwest of Denver.

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