Krueger Farm headed for fall ballot

As Friends of Krueger Farm continue fund- raising to purchase the field on the west side of Coupeville near Living Hope Foursquare Church, they are looking to the Port of Coupeville for help.

That help could come in the form of a ballot measure that voters will decide on during the November election.

Whether it’s a bond or a levy and the size of the measure remain unanswered questions right now.

“It’s a bit of an unknown in trying to put this picture together,” said Jan Pickard, a member of the Friends of Krueger Farm.

Ideally she would like to see a bond large enough to buy the remaining open space plus a three-acre commercial property that would be developed into a facility that would benefit local merchants and artisans and also provide a community center.

“Our dream at this time is to have a finished building similar to Coupe’s Village,” Pickard said.

That building would provide space for vendors and a farmers market, a commercial kitchen and office space.

She said it would be a multipurpose facility that would be built consistent with historical facets of the town.

“We’re so excited to take it to the people because we have good reasons,” Pickard said.

The facility would attract local growers and incubate new businesses, she added.

But for curious taxpayers, Pickard has no information yet about the dollar amount.

However, early estimates for buying the property, constructing a facility and hiring someone to manage ranged as high as $2.6 million.

Friends of Krueger Farm wanted to see if the Port of Coupeville would support such a project before developing a ballot measure. The issue was discussed at Wednesday’s Port meeting.

Port advisor John Coyne said the Port could support the development of the commercial property as that portion meets the port’s mission of economic development. The commissioners’ agreed to put a proposal on the November ballot, with the Port paying the $6,000 to $8,000 election fee.

With the Port’s support, Friends can move forward with developing a bond measure.

“We have a green light to draft a resolution to be on the November ballot,” Pickard said. The wording of the resolution will have to be approved by the Port commissioners.

She and several other members of the Friends of Krueger Farm were on hand at Wednesday’s meeting to give a presentation about developing the commercial property.

She said the Friends groups aims to have a drafted resolution ready for the Port commissioners to approve at their August board meeting.

The Friends of Krueger Farm raised approximately $330,000 to purchase the fields known as Krueger Farm on the western edge of town near Broadway. Many area residents want the property to remain undeveloped as way to preserve a rural entry into Coupeville.

The group is currently purchasing an approximate four acre parcel from Cecil Stuurmans. The 12-acre wooded “T” in the heart of Krueger Farm was donated to Coupeville and will be preserved as open space.

That leaves about 9 acres left to purchase before the farm is fully preserved.

Pickard said the the Friends of Krueger Farm recently brought in an additional $11,000 in donations.

Since she hopes a November ballot measure will provide money to purchase the remaining farm property, she doesn’t know whether private fund-raising efforts will continue.

That is one of the questions the Friends of Krueger Farm have to answer before taking a ballot measure to the voters.

“There are a lot of things unanswered and we’re going to be answering them in the next month,” Pickard said.

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