Powell City Council makes way for Dairy Queen franchise

Posted 9/9/21

The Powell City Council approved the sale of a sliver of land along Coulter Avenue, which makes a Dairy Queen in Powell one step closer to reality. 

The council approved a sale price of …

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Powell City Council makes way for Dairy Queen franchise

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The Powell City Council approved the sale of a sliver of land along Coulter Avenue, which makes a Dairy Queen in Powell one step closer to reality. 

The council approved a sale price of $5,000 for the 0.09-acre parcel, plus expenses associated with the legal requirements of the sale. 

The sale is to a company owned by Aaron Davidson, who is the co-owner of the Dairy Queen franchise in Cody and is looking to open a location in Powell.

Speaking after the meeting, Davidson said the sale moves the project forward, but there are still some hurdles to clear before Dairy Queen’s corporate officials give the Powell franchise the green light. 

However, “the preliminary looks really good,” Davidson said. 

If all the land is secured and the franchise approved, he said they would break ground early next year, and construction would take an estimated nine months to complete. The proposed site is located between a commercial building that hosts Powell Valley Healthcare’s physical therapy program and Gottsche Therapy Rehabilitation and Wellness.

However, the lot, owned by Davidson through BallisticFX, LLC, is not quite long enough to meet the franchise requirements of Dairy Queen, so in April, Davidson asked the city to sell the sliver.

State law allows municipalities to sell land for the purposes of economic development, without opening the sale to bidders, if the governing body appraises the land and conducts an advertised public hearing. No members of the public spoke at Monday’s public hearing. 

The appraisal determined the value of the property — which sits just north of Coulter Avenue — to be $35,000. However, Councilor Geoff Hovivian moved to sell the land for only the costs of the appraisal and survey, which was $4,000, as well as advertising costs of the public hearing. 

City Attorney Sandra Kitchen pointed out that the city would still be on the hook for title insurance and closing costs. While title insurance is a few hundred dollars, the closing costs would be based on the purchase price and wouldn’t be known until the sale was ready to be finalized. 

“You might want to consider those additional costs,” Kitchen advised, adding that state law prohibits gifts or donations of land to private entities.

Mayor John Wetzel proposed selling the parcel for $5,000 instead, in addition to sale costs. He noted that, several years ago, the city sold 0.12 acres of similar greenway space along Coulter Avenue to One Stop Motorsports for $5,000. (The sale was made through a silent auction, which didn’t require an appraisal.) Wetzel proposed an identical price for the 0.09-acre sliver for the sake of fairness.

Councilor Zane Logan agreed.

“I believe we should be consistent,” Logan said. 

While the $5,000 sale price is far below the appraised value, Councilor Tim Sapp pointed out the city would save on the cost of maintaining the landscaping on the property — plus the eatery would contribute sales taxes to Powell once it opens. 

The council let Hovivian’s motion die, with Hovivian in agreement with the mayor’s proposal, and Logan made a new motion for the $5,000 sale price, plus expenses. The vote was unanimous. 

“I don’t know anyone who isn’t excited about the possibility of having a Dairy Queen,” Councilor Steve Lensegrav remarked. 

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