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Jul 19, 2011 8:03 PM by Andy Koen

Pueblo library sues property group

The Pueblo City-County Library District is suing a property owners association in Colorado City for $489,113 the group once promised to give to the library. The Colorado City Improvements Corporation says it now wants to give the money to the Red Cross.

Members of the CCIC all bought undeveloped land in Colorado City without realizing that their lots were spread so far apart that it was impractical to develop them. There are no roads, no utilities and no plans to add them.

Yet buried in each of the buyer's paperwork was a form declaring their mandatory membership to the organization. Since 1999, the group has collected monthly dues to maintain the non-existent roads and last summer began placing liens against property owners who refused to pay.

The members finally voted to dissolve the organization in December and refund the money to the property owners. Any remaining funds were supposed to go the library.

But PCCLD Executive Director Jon Walkers says things suddenly changed when they started asking questions. He says because the CCIC's is a non-profit, state law prevents them from giving any of the money back to the property owners.

"Instead of speaking with us about that, what they decided to do was change the beneficiary," Walker said.

CCIC attorney Bill Short says the group has done nothing wrong.

"CCIC believes it acted properly and in accordance with the law to fulfill it's members interest," Short said.

In fact, he suggested that library is simply being greedy. "Essentially, the library district is seeking to take more of the funds."

But Walker says the suit isn't about the money but rather the way the CCIC has been operating. He says they shouldn't be able to suddenly change their beneficiary after the members voted to give the money to the library.

"We think that because of that, that it would be the best interest of everyone if we had this decided in open court by a judge."

The CCIC filed it's reply to the suit Tuesday. A court date has yet to be set.

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