Telluride open-space push hits goal |

Telluride open-space push hits goal

The Associated Press
Aspen, CO Colorado

TELLURIDE ” The Town Council and Valley Floor Preservation Partners announced Wednesday that they had met a judge’s deadline for raising $50 million to buy a 570-acre parcel of land as open space to prevent it from being developed.

“We have fought the good fight. We have prevailed,” said Mayor John Pryor.

Thomas Ragonetti, one of the lawyers representing the land’s owner, Neal Blue, disagreed and said the battle isn’t over yet.

“This is just the end of a round,” Ragonetti said of his client’s resisting the town’s exercise of eminent domain. “There are many more rounds to come and he’s prepared to bring them and fight them.”

The Telluride Daily Planet said a large crowd burst into applause at news that fundraisers had gathered $24.5 million in three months to complete the transaction. Donors sold personal items, refinanced homes and wrote checks to raise the money.

Hollywood producer and director Tom Shadyac, who directed many Jim Carrey hits such as “Liar, Liar,” “Bruce Almighty,” and “Ace Ventura: Pet Detective,” donated $2 million at the last minute

A jury in Delta set the value of the land at $50 million in a valuation trial in February. District Court Judge Charles Greenacre said the town had until May 21 to come up with the money.

The town had already raised $26 million.

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