TRURO – All Colchester Regional Development Agency (CoRDA) operations will cease at the end of this month.
CoRDA’s executive director, Ron Smith, confirmed with the Truro Daily News on Monday afternoon that the organization will officially shut down on Jan. 31.
“All operations, all activities and (eight) staff will cease,” said Smith of the organization that was formed in 1992 by Colchester County, Truro and Stewiacke to promote the region.
The closure was expected to happen by March. Almost two years ago, the federal government announced core funding provided to the province’s 12 regional development agencies, including CoRDA, would be cut. Local funding was also substantially reduced. The province then revealed the organizations would eventually be replaced by six regional enterprise networks.
Smith said the situation remains disappointing.
“Not having a common goal (for a community) is not good for business and people,” he said, adding CoRDA has “been working with CAOs (local municipal chief administrative officers) since December” to help with the shut-down process.
That was confirmed during a Truro town council meeting early Monday afternoon. Council unanimously voted to remove its five town-based CoRDA appointees at the end of the month.
“It helps define the closing point,” town CAO Jim Langille told this paper.
Town Coun. Tom Chisholm said the dissolution now didn’t come as a surprise.
“I think we all knew this was coming,” Chisholm said at the meeting and “we should look at hiring a business development office now that CoRDA is winding down.”
A year ago the position was advertised but because of the uncertainty of the timeline, the position was delayed.
Smith added he has heard it could take a year or two before the regional enterprise network replacing CoRDA falls in place.
“There’s no prediction of a timeframe … it’s a lengthy process,” Smith said. “I heard the province wasn’t doing anything … until a report on the new economy comes out.”
That report is expected in February. Truro Mayor Bill Mills said “things could pick up” after the report is released.
“That’s our hope,” Mills said.