The Powell City Council may sell a small piece of land to a company that’s looking to set up a new kiosk on the city’s western edge. The discussion with the company initiated another …
The Powell City Council may sell a small piece of land to a company that’s looking to set up a new kiosk on the city’s western edge. The discussion with the company initiated another discussion about selling a neighboring parcel.
Sherry Loris, Sarah Klinger, and Susan Reynolds, all sisters, of Antics Enterprises LLC submitted a proposal to purchase a sliver of land at Cedarwood Drive and Gateway Drive, with plans to set up a non-alcoholic specialty drink drive-thru.
The 86-foot by 34-foot spot the three are looking at would be too small for most businesses. The city planned to improve the land to create a green space, but a sale would save the city the costs of putting in grass, irrigation and ongoing maintenance.
Under state law, Mayor John Wetzel said there are two routes for the city to sell land to private parties: through a competitive bid process or as an economic development benefit.
If the council determines the intended use would create an economic development benefit to the town, Wyoming statutes permit a municipality to sell land without putting out a competitive bid. Without that benefit, any land sale over $500 must go out for a sealed bid process.
The city had pursued both routes in previous land sales. In 2014, One Stop Motorsports was sold a 0.12 acre sliver of land within some green space on Coulter Avenue for $5,000 through a sealed bid process. More recently, the city approved the sale of a 0.09 acre sliver of land along Counter Avenue to BallisticFX LLC — for a planned Dairy Queen — through the economic development method.
Those two sales differ from Antic Enterprises’ request in that the properties were absorbed into larger neighboring parcels.
Wetzel said it was also possible for the business to lease the land, but that would require the city paying for improvements.
In the event of a sale, the land Antics Enterprises is requesting would need to be subdivided — and if the city goes the economic development route, the land would need to be appraised; when the city sold the parcel to BallisticFX, the costs of the appraisal were included in the sale price.
Loris said they’re hoping to open the business by this summer, but Wetzel warned that, while the city would move as quickly as possible, the process could take some time.
There’s also a number of questions to answer before the sale could go through, such as whether the business would conform to regulations regarding parcel sizes, setbacks and other requirements.
There was also a lot of uncertainty about how much it would cost the business to purchase the land. Loris said they don’t expect a large profit margin for such a small business, so that number would factor greatly into whether or not they proceed.
“We don’t expect to get rich,” Loris said.
The business would be just the hut and a storage shed. It would need electric and water services, but not sewer.
City Administrator Zack Thorington said a gray water tank would be acceptable, but they couldn’t have a below-ground septic system; Loris said the gray water tank would satisfy their needs.
Thorington said the land Antics Enterprises is requesting wouldn’t fit a whole lot of other purposes. It would also leave a small parcel to the west of the lot they’re requesting, which would not be useful for much more than greenspace, and if the company wanted to sell in the future, there wouldn’t be a lot of market for the spot. So, they might be stuck with it.
“There’s only certain things that would conform to that area,” Thorington said.
With so many questions and requirements to satisfy, the issue will be presented to the Planning and Zoning Board. Loris said they wanted to first discuss it with the council to see if it was even possible before they take further steps.
Councilor Lesli Spencer said she thought it would be worth it to the city to at least look into the request and see if it was possible.
“I think it’s a very worthy project,” added Councilor Steve Lensegrav.
The council took no action other than to agree to look into the request to see if the sale and plans are legal and could be done within the company’s budget.
At the council’s March 7 meeting, Thorington provided an update. After presenting some rough estimates on construction costs involved with developing the raw land, as well as the $3,000 survey fee and $1,800 appraisal fee, the Antics owners had some hesitation, he said.
Thorington said the entrepreneurs were going to examine the estimates and consider if they fit the business plan. They may pursue other options.
“They’re not shutting the door by any means,” Thorington said.
Wetzel posited that, regardless of whether Antics purchases that parcel, the city might have an interest in selling the strip of land from Cedarwood to the property boundary at One Stop Motorsports.
If the city holds onto the land, it will need to install sprinklers and grass, and incur ongoing maintenance costs. If the land was sold to a business for economic development, it would have a greater benefit than converting the land into green space, Wetzel suggested.
“We ought to figure something out,” he said.
In order to sell the land, the city would need to have it surveyed and parcel the land out. If the city pursued a sealed bid process, it wouldn’t need an appraisal.
The other councilors signaled support for the plan and discussed if a budget amendment would be needed to cover the cost of the survey. The mayor proposed the city could include those costs in next year’s budget — which begins July 1 — rather than going through the amendment process.
The council took no action on the issue, as it’s waiting to hear from Antics Enterprises on whether the company wants to proceed with the land purchase.
(Editor's note: This version corrects the fee associated with an appraisal and adds the fee associated with a survey.)