MAYS LANDING - After 32 years, Atlantic County officially withdrew from the South Jersey Economic Development District at Tuesday's county reorganization meeting.

In an 8-0 vote - Freeholder Charles Garrett was absent - the Board of Chosen Freeholders approved a resolution, without comment, stating that "continued participation in the SJEDD will no longer advance the economic development interests of Atlantic County."

The resolution cited several concerns with the SJEDD, including "Failure of the SJEDD to complete its required annual audits in a timely manner for the last two fiscal years," failing to "reimburse the county for funds expended on behalf of the SJEDD" to complete the Delilah Road traffic circle project in Egg Harbor Township," not providing "accurate and reliable financial information" regarding the costs and debts from the SJEDD's participation in the NextGen project, and failing to "maintain a level of funding and financial commitments necessary to conduct its obligations and undertakings."

Atlantic County joined the SJEDD in 1980, joining Cape May, Cumberland and Salem counties. The organization, which has applied for and secured millions of dollars of federal funding for various projects, is involved in the construction of a $300 million Aviation Research and Technology Park as part of the NextGen project.

SJEDD Executive Director Gordon Dahl could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

Contact Steven Lemongello:

609-272-7275