Mayor looking to mend fences with Prince Albert non-profit after land sale disagreement

Mayor Greg Dionne says he hopes to repair relationships with one of Prince Albert’s biggest non-profit organizations in 2021.

The City of Prince Albert and KIN Enterprises have been at a standstill over a KIN attempt to purchase a City-owned property in the south end of Prince Albert. The issue became a political hot potato during the last municipal election, and Dionne said he hopes to meet with the KIN board to settle the dispute.

“It’s not about winning, it’s about resolving,” Dionne said in an interview. “I believe, as mayor, it’s (in) my wheelhouse. After an election, there are always people who are happy and (some who) are not, but I’ve been elected to represent all people.”

KIN Enterprises made multiple offers for the parcel, which sits next to one of their own properties on 40th Street East. They’ve offered $188,000/acre, but the City wants at least $250,000.

Dionne said it’s unlikely they’ll budge on the asking price, but they still hope to work with the organization to help them apply for financial support from other levels of government.

“Unfortunately, the price of the land is the price of the land,” Dionne said. “It’s good value, the land, and so we can’t move on that, but maybe there’s a way we can work with (KIN) and government agencies so they can find the money to make the land purchases.”

KIN Enterprises hopes to centralize their operation. They currently have facilities in two sections of Prince Albert. Purchasing the City-owned property would allow them to consolidate in the south end of the City.

KIN executive director Shawn Elder said the organization’s relationship with the City has been strained for several years. However, he emphasized that KIN wants to move past the negatives and work together to benefit Prince Albert.

“I would love to have a conversation that involves a better relationship with the City,” Elder said on Monday. “I don’t think it’s irreparable. I don’t think that we’ve gone beyond the point of no return here. I just think that for a non-profit and a charity and an organization that’s supported disabled people in this community for 56 years, I think that certainly the City has not been as cooperative as they could have been.

“KIN bears no malice towards the City,” he added. “We hope for a better relationship in the future.”

KIN Enterprises runs five different job training programs for adults with mental or physical disabilities.

During the 2020 election, KIN Enterprises president Kerry Receveur said negotiations with the City were at a standstill after their latest offer never even made it to the council agenda. The organization can stay at their current location for the next 20 years. After that, Receveur said they may look at moving their operation outside city limits.

“We put the offer in on May 5 so that it wouldn’t come close to the election date when it was being dealt with” Receveur said during an interview last October. “We don’t want to turn it into an election issue, but their stalling tactics have turned it into one.”

KIN argues that other lots in the area were assessed at around $55,000/acre. The City says those assessments are out of date.

At the time, Dionne said the City needed to recuperate costs associated with putting in water, sewers, and roads, which explained the larger price tag. He also argued that private lots in the area were selling for more than $250,000.

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