City to Acquire Bennett Farm Property

During last night’s Powell City Council meeting, the City Council voted unanimously to enter into a real estate purchase agreement for the acquisition of property owned by the Marjorie Bennett Trust, located along State Route 750.

Late last year the owner and long-time Powell resident, Marjorie Bennett, passed away at age 97. Her family operated the approximately 32-acre parcel sheep farm for many decades. The property, and family, have had a significant and positive impact on the city’s history.

“Earlier this year the family determined they would like to sell the historic property through a private sale via competitive sealed bids,” said City Manager Andrew White. “Staff met with the family’s real estate agents to discuss land use and what the general interest had been from the community. At that time, we publicly expressed the City Council’s desire to submit a bid. We felt it was prudent to establish site control in order to preserve site control of any future development and ensure robust community engagement.”

The acquisition aligns with the goals established by the City Council earlier this year. The theme “to make the lives of our residents and businesses easier or better” was adopted and several objectives were established, including:

1. Maintaining City infrastructure, reducing traffic congestion and increasing downtown parking options.
2. Enhancing parks and recreational space and making more bike and walking path connections.
3. Keeping our Residents and Businesses Safe.
4. Expanding the downtown area’s offerings, walkability and amenities.
5. Retaining existing and encouraging new businesses in Powell.
6. Improving City operations by way of efficiency, prudent financial management and communications.

The contemplation of this site acquisition was accounted for in the City’s 2015 Comprehensive Plan for possible redevelopment scenarios as open space, recreation, and conservation design principles. Limited resources at the time prevented serious consideration of this effort in favor of other immediate priorities. However, the overwhelming voter support for the May 2021 income tax restructuring ballot initiative created new potential for its consideration. Combined with longstanding conservative fiscal policies and a new revenue stream, the City is positioned well to consider broader initiatives.

“When the residents approved the income tax restructuring in 2021, this charted a new path forward for our community,” said White. “It has allowed the city to address deferred maintenance and has allowed us to make strategic acquisitions such as this for the benefit of our residents.”

The city is currently engaged with MKSK on a Parks Master Plan to update the city’s existing parks assets with public input.

“This represents an ideal time to partner the effort with a supplemental planning project specific to the Bennett Farm property,” said White. Preliminary discussions have started for pedestrian infrastructure improvements along SR 750, green space expansion and recreational projects have been discussed previously.




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