By Heather Killen
After roughly seven years, the Annapolis Digby Economic Development Agency (ADEDA) is making its final plans.
Following the federal government’s announcement that, effective March 31, it wouldn’t continue its agreement to cost share the 12 Regional Development Authorities (RDA), the province began a review of its RDA model.
A number of recommendations were made in a report released last fall, including a move to introduce Regional Enterprise Networks (REN) to replace the RDAs. The RDAs were given notice they would be disbanded this year.
Liz Morine, ADEDA managing director, says that the province has granted the agency a funding extension until July to finish-up various projects and ensure that some ongoing projects in the business plan will continue under new partners.
“We’ve started the process,” she said. “Some of the fourth-quarter projects we originally planned for probably won’t happen, but whenever possible projects that can still go ahead will be referred to another group.”
Morine added that staff is now outlining its priorities and next steps for the wind-down phase it will submit to the province by the end of the month. The list of ADEDA board of directors has also shifted.
Last month new members stepped in to represent the municipal partners. Gregory Heming, with alternate Paul MacDonald, will represent Annapolis County; David Tudor, with alternate Maritza Adams, is representing Digby County; Bryon Mersereau has stepped up for Annapolis Royal; James Mann for Bridgetown; Brian Manzer for the Town of Digby; and Jonathan Archibald, with alternate Deputy Mayor Dan Smith, is representing the Town of Middleton.
Chief Administrative officers Dawn Campbell and Rachel Turner are the new ex-officio representatives. Other new faces on the board include: Norman Lockyer, Dean Kenley, and Bill Monk.
ADEDA staff is collecting an archive of the data and studies that have been compiled over the past several years to ensure it will remain available to partners.
“As an agency our first priority is to ensure the information and data we’ve gathered will be available to our partners and municipal units,” she said.
A master inventory will be compiled and transferred to electronic files that remain accessible. In some cases the printed copies of the reports will be kept with the partners, she added.
“I’m proud of the business plan we created,” she said. “And I’m very proud of the board and staff and the way they have taken on the challenge to refocus the agency.”