The town now has approximately $30 million to spend as the condemnation process advances. A valuation hearing to determine the fair market value of the land is set for February.
In other election results, San Miguel County voters elected new faces to serve as county clerk and county treasurer. Jan Stout prevailed over David Falk in the treasurer's race and Peggy Nerlin was elected the new San Miguel County Clerk. Stout and Nerlin will succeed longtime occupants of those two offices, Sherry Rose and Doris Ruffe, respectively.
Mountain Village voters approved the dissolution of the Mountain Village Metro District and the incorporation of its business into the government of the Town of Mountain Village. Voters in the Telluride School District handily approved a mil levy increase to pay for increased teachers' pay.
And in uncontested races, voters elected Joan May as a new San Miguel County Commissioner and Bob Saunders to the Telluride Town Council.
Stout reported learning on KOTO radio at 6:30 a.m. Wednesday that she will become the next San Miguel County Treasurer in January. The Norwood resident, running as an independent, thanked her Republican opponent, Falk, "for being such a worthy opponent and for running a good, clean campaign."
Campaigning "was a really interesting experience, and I'm glad it's over," Stout said, adding that she looks forward to joining "the terrific team" in the treasurer's office.
Democrat Nerlin, the next San Miguel County Clerk, said she was "almost speechless" in the aftermath of the election.
She complimented her "top notch" opponents, saying, "I really want to congratulate Helen and Karen on the races they ran."
Her campaign was a great way to meet her constituents, Nerlin said, through public appearances and knocking on people's doors.
To get ready for her new job, Nerlin said she is hoping to start learning as soon as she can, and whenever the office is ready to work with her.
"I'm so honored, and I'm going to be filling some big shoes," she said.
Stout, Nerlin and May will take office in January. The new member of the Telluride Town Council, Bob Saunders, will take his seat at the next meeting of council on Nov. 14.
"It's nice to know that I can start coming to meetings and actively vote," said Saunders, who added that he is looking forward to helping the Town Council deal with many issues, including the Valley Floor condemnation, the environment, and affordable housing.
Though questions surrounding the Valley Floor might be termed the biggest issue in the region, Tuesday's vote to reauthorize a debt previously approved for open space acquisition, plus another $10.1 million, for a total of $20 million in debt, was somewhat anticlimactic coming after three previous votes on the general question of measuring voter support for the condemnation.
Nonetheless, Jane Hickcox, a member of the Valley Floor Preservation Partners and the Valley Floor Advisory Board, said she is "very pleased on behalf of the community. A particular pleasure is receiving the news about the good turnout."
Hickcox added that the 28 point margin was about what she had hoped for.
"It bolsters my feelings that the community will continue to step up for their value system," she said.
Hickcox added that it was important to have dialogue leading up to the election so that people had the chance to fully understand the issue before casting their votes.
On the other hand, Judi Kiernan of Telluride Consulting, who wrote a commentary questioning the wisdom of approving the bonding, said she thought the dialogue was "kind of pointless because, when something is that emotional, it's not a rational decision."
Telluride lawyer Doug Tueller, who also spoke out against the bond issue, said a lot of the facts about the Valley Floor issue that were unclear in the past came more into focus in this election.
"I think it's easy to get confused, but I just had the impression that the true concerns of the community and more issues came to the fore, and that's good," Tueller said.
Hickcox said that between town funds and private pledges, the town now has over $36 million available to acquire the Valley Floor, up from $24 million at this time last year.