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Oso landowner cuts money-making deal with state

Some of the first cars to drive on a newly reopened State Route 530 make their way along the road near Oso, Wash. on Saturday, May 31, 2014. A little more than two months after the Oso mudslide destroyed a neighborhood and killed 43 people, the highway through the heart of the slide reopened to vehicle traffic. An emergency road was opened shortly after the slide while SR 530 remained blocked. (AP Photo/, Joshua Trujillo)

When the state needed to get an emergency road built through the Oso slide area, it went to landowners to get the OK to use their properties, but one refused until the state met his demands for a higher price.

The state needed approval from about a dozen property owners to cut the emergency access road that connected Darrington with the rest of the world.

Most didn’t care about the money. They just wanted to get the road open. Most received $500 from the state.

But The Herald reports one landowner refused to grant access unless the state paid him $180,000. The landowner was worried that his property would lose its value after the slide.

The two sides finally agreed on an $85,000 payout before the road was allowed to be built.

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