City reclaims land a decade after sale
The City of Swift Current has managed to reach a settlement on a group of land parcels sold over a decade ago, returning them to its inventory. The land was originally sold to Sunrose Enterprises LTD. back in 2009. The developer bought the land for a total sale price of $706,600. Since then, they have only managed to pay $325,660 of that total, leaving an outstanding balance of $457,295, with additional accrued interest amounting to $76,355. Reporting on this matter to Swift Current city council was Jim Jones, Chief Administrative Officer for the City of Swift Current. "[Sunrose] was hoping that it would extend the condos that were in that area," said Jones. "With all that's happened through COVID and other stuff, it just hasn't. At the end of the day, it was just the best plan, I think, for city council, administration, and for Sunrose, that the best thing might be to just turn the land back over to the City... Then we just move on." The City was able to first offer a four-year extension on the payment, and a five-year extension after that. Even with all that extra time, Sunrose was unable to pay the owing amount. Jones explained that when they sold the land originally, it was set to be developed and sold. Over the last 14 years, Sunrose has been unable to find a buyer, failing to generate money for the payment it owed the City. "There is always the potential down the road that those lots wouldn't sell at all," said Jones. "Then we would have gotten no money for those lots. For us to get the two lots back from Sunrose, it allows us the opportunity to sell them and potentially get the dollars back that we need." The land is located in an adjacent parcel to the old Cypress Health Region offices on Fourth Avenue Northeast. The two lots there that Sunrose failed to sell remain empty, and unused. In order to recoup the value of the land, and for future sale, the pair of unsold lots are being returned to the City, along with a lump sum payment of $120,000. Swift Current Mayor Al Bridal remarked during city council how it's easy to look back and realize the problems with the initial agreement so many years later. He pointed to the fact this will be a learning opportunity for both the existing and future city councils. "I really think as council, if we have one of these coming forward in the future, we need to take a serious look at what the value to the citizens of Swift Current would be," noted Bridal. "I'm glad this was resolved." In response to Canada's Online News Act and Meta (Facebook and Instagram) removing access to local news from their platforms, Swift Current Online encourages you to get your news directly from your trusted source by bookmarking this page and downloading the Swift Current Online app.