Organization has ceased operations
Amherst town council has voted to rescind its board member appointments from the closed regional development authority.
Amherst has pulled its board members from the closed Cumberland Regional Development Authority and asked the province to handle its final wind down.
AMHERST – Cumberland’s regional development authority is getting closer to disappearing.
Amherst moved during its October council meeting Monday to officially rescind its board member appointments to the beleaguered development association that is the subject of an ongoing forensic examination by the province.
“CRDA has effectively ceased operations. No staff remain. The task of winding up the board is incomplete,” Coun. Robert Bird told council. “Both the provincial and federal governments have withdrawn financial support and all five municipal units in Cumberland County have also ceased funding the core operations of the organization.”
Bird said CRDA board has requested each of the county’s five municipal units to rescind their appointments and has asked the four mayors and the warden of Cumberland County to jointly sign a letter to the province requesting the Economic and Rural Development and Tourism Department to take over the wind up of CRDA.
In making his motion, Bird said the development agency, that closed its doors earlier this year as a part of provincial shutdown of all regional development authorities, has no staff resources to facilitate the wind down process.
He also said the financial liabilities of CRDA exceed its financial assets by a significant amount.
The province, he said, has the ultimate authority and responsibility to create and dissolve the RDAs under the Community Rural Development Authorities Act.
PriceWaterhouse Coopers was hired by the province earlier this year to conduct the forensic audit of the development authority. Results were supposed to be made public during the summer, but may have been delayed by the provincial election.
The forensic examination came after the investigation of CRDA by the provincial ombudsmen in August 2012. Ombudsman Dwight Bishop reported questionable accounting practices and a lack of oversight at CRDA and called for the examination’s results to be turned over to police if its findings were the same as his.
The ombudsman’s investigation came after complaints from two former employees who claimed they were dismissed after disclosing concerns to the board about alleged wrongdoings that were taking place.