The Droste property consists of 742 acres stretching between Snowmass Village and Highway 82. The land encompasses the scenic ridge separating the Owl Creek and Brush Creek valleys. The county gave development approval for nine lots on the ridge last year.Open Space and Trails is the lead agency in the purchase, intending to contribute $10 million. Another $2 million was to come from Snowmass Village, and the city of Aspen has committed $1 million. The county is also seeking $2.5 million in a Great Outdoors Colorado grant and hoped to raise $2.5 million privately.

ASPEN REAL ESTATE — An emergency ordinance to borrow up to $10 million for the purchase of the Droste open space won initial approval from Pitkin County commissioners Wednesday, though officials aren’t sure the transaction will occur by the proposed closing date of Dec. 29.A public hearing and second reading on the ordinance, which authorizes the issuance of general obligation bonds, is scheduled Dec. 15.The bond proceeds will be needed by the end of the year if the purchase occurs. But Tom Oken, county treasurer, recommended the county cover the payment out of its own funds and then recoup its outlay with the bond proceeds after the fact.“We can come up with the $10 million from fund balances … the open space fund doesn’t have that,” he said.Typically, the county would borrow the funds through a bond issue in advance of such a large land purchase, but the timing of the Droste purchase remains tenuous. Officials aren’t sure the closing will occur Dec. 29, as title issues are still holding up the transaction.
By Janet Urquhart, Dec 2, 2010, The Aspen Times

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