It was a short three years ago that Enterprise Saskatchewan mandated the formation of regional economic development regions throughout Saskatchewan.
Tasked with development projects that had previously been the purview of the Regional Economic Development Associations (REDAs), the regional body for the Southeast, SSEER, has now been formally dissolved following the final meeting of the body in Stoughton on Tuesday, April 17.
Twenty-three representatives attended the meeting, surpassing the minimum quorum requirement of 15 representatives.
The dissolution of the body became necessary following the latest provincial budget, when it was announced that the regional bodies were to no longer receive provincial funding.
With no other source of revenue, the regions have no choice but to end operations.
The meeting in Stoughton that ended SSEERs work in the Southeast was led by SSEER chairperson Tim Schroh.
Schroh informed the membership in attendance that the funding for the region had ceased on March 31st, and after meeting with the board of directors, the special meeting to dissolve the region was called.
When opening the floor to questions, the majority focused on final dispensation of capital assets as well as the remaining funds.
Answering the detailed questions was Edie Spagrud, the Chief Executive Officer for the region.
Spagrud explained that there were computers, desks, and other pieces of office equipment that would need to be dispensed, as well as a leased colour photocopier.
Spagrud explained that the photocopier was two years into a five-year lease, and she hoped that an organization, company, or individual might be found to take the lease over, as opposed to the region having to pay out the lease penalties.
It was estimated that the final tally of cash and equipment stood around $45,000 in value.
One of the difficulties in accounting a final number, it was also explained, was assigning a dollar value to the intellectual property of the region.
Folding in the demographic and statistical information from the REDAs, combined with the data produced over the three years of SSEERs operation, a considerable data pool is presently in possession of the region.
While there is a dollar value to such information, defining what that value is can be a difficult undertaking.
It was here that both Spagrud and Schroh explained that the hope of the board was that a new economic development body might be formed, possibly a privately run organization, and if so, then the office equipment and intellectual property could be transferred to the new organization in total.
When the vote was finally called to dissolve the region, it received a unanimous vote.
While the region is in the final stages of dissolution, Spagrud will continue to provide administrative services, and due to a previous agreement, a further employee and program will continue working until May.