Special thanks go to Jane Hickcox, Marla Croke, Hilary White and the Valley Floor Preservation Partners. The $24.3 million they raised was an enormous challenge but achieved through their stellar efforts, along with then-Mayor John Pryor. Primary residents, second homeowners and friends of Telluride provided these critical funds. San Miguel County, through the financial support of its citizens, was also a very important part of this massive effort.
The government of Telluride has overseen this action since before the condemnation ordinance was read into law in 2004. The town has provided over $25 million through bonding and open space funds to fund the jury award. We have paid our own legal and additional fees in excess of $3 million and have already paid over $2.5 million for the Landowner’s legal fees and costs. Untold staff hours and council hours have gone into the support of this condemnation effort. The job is not finished. We still need to put in place the conservation easement, create the environmental report and put the management plan in action and then plan for restoration.
The law firm of Faegre and Benson in Denver, and in particular Leslie Fields and Jack Sperber, were amazing and truly a main reason for our success. This legal battle became so much more to them than just another case…they became part of Telluride and for those of us who have spent untold hours with them, we can only say thank you so very much. Jerry Dahl and so many others, working directly with the town, were indispensable. Our own Town Attorney, Kevin Geiger, was an important liaison between the town government and our Denver firm. Every member played a vital part in communication, support and a focused vision on the goal.
Town managers Peggy Curran, Jay Harrington and Frank Bell did more than could have ever been expected. Finally, the mayors, including: Elaine Fischer, Amy Levek, John Steel and John Pryor worked together and independently to keep the ball moving towards the goal line. Having been involved since 1995 with the Valley Floor, I have one final thought for the day: the road has not been easy, there have been some misunderstandings and yet amazing cooperation, but the end result is now here and it could not have been successful without all players, from all sides coming together on May 9, 2007. Hopefully this will be a time of healing between all, including our neighbors. This was a hard fought battle with neither side giving an inch. It is now over and we have won the prize and we should join together for a toast of pure celebration.
To Telluride and to the Valley Floor…Forever Ours!