Funding for Cumberland Region Tourism Strategy approved

Amherst town council approved $29,489 in funding for the Cumberland Region Tourist strategy during a special session held on July 9.

The money is the town’s share of funding for the joint tourism project between Amherst, Cumberland County and the Town of Oxford that was approved by council earlier this spring. The goal of the strategy is to bring more tourists to the Cumberland region and to keep them here over longer periods of time.

The money – $22,117 for the current fiscal year and $7,372 for the 2020-21 fiscal year – is coming from the town’s economic development reserves.

Council also approved the terms of reference for the Tourism Advisory Committee with a couple of adjustments, the major one being that Cumberland County would have three representatives on the committee, Amherst would have two and Oxford one, which would make membership on the Tourism Advisory Committee consistent with existing agreements for other joint committees such as the Cumberland Joint Services Management Authority and the Regional Emergency Management Office.

Council approves budgetary housekeeping items

Housekeeping adjustments to the Amherst Water Utility capital budget were approved by council during the meeting. Passing the adjustments keeps the town in line with its auditor’s recommendation to formally approve any changes to how the town’s capital budgets are funded.

The major adjustment was the result of a $219,933 surplus in the utility’s 2018-19 capital budget that enabled the town to decrease the amount of money the utility had to borrow to cover capital projects to $141 824.46 from $421,485. This results in the water utility saving about $95,000 in interest costs over the next 15 years.