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P.E.I. government completes acquisition of SRDC shares

Greater Summerside Chamber of Commerce president Dan Kutcher, left, was sworn in for a second term Thursday evening by Andrew Campbell.
Greater Summerside Chamber of Commerce president Dan Kutcher, left. - Colin MacLean

SUMMERSIDE, P.E.I. - It’s official; the government of P.E.I. is now the sole owner of the Summerside Regional Development Corporation (SRDC) and all its assets.

The Journal Pioneer has confirmed that a buyout offer by the province to the other two shareholders in the corporation was accepted just before the new year.

Since its founding in 1991, the SRDC had been owned and jointly governed by the province, which was the majority shareholder at 75 per cent, the City of Summerside, which owned 15 per cent, and the Greater Summerside Chamber of Commerce, which owned 10 per cent.

However, the province decided last year that it would shut down SRDC and move some of its responsibilities to new regional development councils. To accomplish its goal, it needed to buy out the other two shareholders.

The province valued the outstanding shares, which was determined by combining the total value of all the SRDC’s property, at $493,273.

The city opted to take a hybrid deal wth some of its compensation coming in the form of $129,964 in cash, while the remainder came in the form of a land transfer. It chose to take 565 Water St., valued at $166,000, which is a vacant plot of about eight acres of land adjacent to Green’s Shore.

The province gave both the chamber and the city the option to take some of the compensation in the form of land, but only the city opted to do so.

Remaining Summerside Regional Development Corporation’s properties:

  • 250 Water St. – The Holman Building
  • 109 Water St.
  • 268 Water St.
  • 105 Industrial Cres.
  • 78, 80 and 82 Water St.
  • A small lot of land between Spinnaker’s Landing and the Silver Fox Entertainment Complex

Related: Waterfront land acquired by City of Summerside will remain empty for now

Dan Kutcher, president of the chamber, declined to discuss the amount the organization had received for its shares, but he did say that a proposal for what to do with the money will be presented to the membership at the organization’s upcoming annual general meeting.

“When we make significant financial decisions, we usually go to membership for a proposal as to what to do,” said Kutcher.

The funds represent a great opportunity for the chamber to do something positive for the community, he added.

”I think it presents the chamber and the city … with an opportunity to be able invest some of those funds in further developing the local economy, creating jobs and opportunities for people.”

The SRDC’s remaining assets consist of eight pieces of property, the most significant of which is arguably the Holman Building in the city’s downtown. Three people also still work for the corporation.

A spokesperson for Department of Economic Development and Tourism, which is now managing SRDC, said that despite the buyout being completed no decisions have been made yet on the future of the remaining properties or the corporation itself.

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