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Yankton City Commissioner Questions Land Deal with Rifle Maker

In May 2022, the Yankton City Commission sold prime land on the old Human Services Center campus to Dr. Kyle Kenfield of Washington, who is moving his Paradigm Technologies rifle company to the property.

Yankton City Commissioner Brian Hunhoff, newly elected in April 2023, plans to ask some questions about that land deal at tonight’s commission work session:

I would estimate over 90% of Yankton residents first learned about it the next day when it was too late to object. Questions since include:

  1. Why did the city sell this prime location for such a small amount?

  2. Why is the city spending millions of taxpayer dollars on extensive infrastructure work at the site?

  3. When will the city show a positive financial return from this incentivized sale and infrastructure investment?

  4. Were local developers and entrepreneurs given the same opportunity to buy this prominent property at a bargain price?

  5. Why didn’t citizens get more time to offer input before the deal was done?

  6. Why isn’t a factory located in an industrial park?

  7. Why won’t Mr. Kenfield share when and where he received his reported doctorate and three master’s degrees?

  8. Did city staff exercise due diligence to ensure the buyer is a partner worthy of our taxpayer-funded incentives?

Commissioners will review and discuss these issues at a work session starting at 6 p.m. Monday, Aug. 28. We may determine new policies are needed for future incentivized sales of city property [Brian Hunhoff, “Yankton City Commissioner After Sour Experience with Arms Maker: We Can Do Better on Land Deals,” South Dakota Standard, 2023.08.27].

We look forward to hearing the answers Commissioner Hunhoff gets!


  1. John 2023-08-28 07:33

    Follow the money.

  2. buckobear 2023-08-28 10:19

    Wanna bet that a condom manufacturer would have gotten the same deal ??

  3. Frank Kloucek 2023-08-28 12:53

    Brian Hunhoff is a longtime advocate for open, transparent government at all levels!

  4. scott 2023-08-28 21:56

    Businesses know they can leverage city against city and state against state, to get the biggest tax breaks, cheapest land, least amount of infrastructure costs, etc, etc, etc. In the end, the business wins big, and the taxpayers end up subsidizing so much of the cost. Furthermore, the taxpayers will be called upon to subsidies housing costs for the low wages these companies pay.

    In the end, are we actually better off? I’m not sure.

  5. Jake Kammerer 2023-08-29 18:41

    Yep, Look at the Cabelas’s deal that Rapid City gave to them! That corporation made out like proverbial “bandits”! (@ taxpayer expense of course-and the tax-payer keeps paying with his purchases!)

  6. Cathy 2023-09-01 13:53

    You forgot to mention that the firearms /ammunition factory/retail store will be right next to the youth soccer complex, the state mental hospital, and a state prison trustee unit. Also, the company expects to create a whopping five jobs.

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