2020 - A Year in Review Village of Delia

·3 min read

The Village of Delia has plenty to celebrate from 2020, including a new Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) and the start of construction on the new Delia School, and the village is expecting a productive 2021.

“During the past three years, council has been busy moving ahead with some of the programs that had been put forward during the election of 2017, along with programs required under the Municipal Government Act (MGA),” stated Mayor David Sisley in his regular Mayor’s Message.

Tracy Breese joined the Village of Delia as the new Chief Administrative Officer in April 2020. Currently, the village office is undergoing software upgrades, which have been ongoing since August and training is anticipated to continue through February, according to CAO Breese.

One of the biggest accomplishments for the village was breaking ground on the new K-12 school for the community.

The Delia School Enhancement Society (DSES) worked diligently to raise funds for a community hub to be included in the new school and has raised more than $1.2 million. Shunda Consulting and Construction Management was announced as the general contractor in September and, on September 21 the groundbreaking ceremony was held.

Drumheller-Stettler MLA Nate Horner, Prairie Land School Division Superintendent Cam McKeage and Delia trustee Shandele Battle, and members of Delia School staff were in attendance.

Another major accomplishment for the village was the completion of a $1.5 million expansion of the village’s water storage facilities. The expansion will supply an uninterrupted supply of high-quality drinking water during any emergency without straining the existing water supply.

Over the last two years, businesses and residents have enjoyed a rate freeze for both residential and business taxes. “Due to COVID-19 and the downloading of costs from the higher levels of government, and the lower grant monies available, council will have to look at some tax increases,” stated the Mayor’s Message.

The COVID-19 pandemic also forced the village to cancel several events in 2020, including the Delia Light Up the Night event in December. While the event was cancelled, decorations and lights were hung throughout the village thanks to community volunteers, and the Delia Fire Department escorted The Grinch and Santa on Christmas Eve to help residents celebrate the holidays.

The village is looking forward to the reopening of the Delia Hotel as it comes under new management in early 2021; no date for reopening has been announced at this time. There are also plans to begin work on replacing sidewalks throughout the village, with hopes to complete the project in the spring.

Due to restrictions on social gatherings, the public has been unable to attend regular council meetings in Delia. The technology available at the village office is “old and mostly obsolete” and the village has been unable to hold council meetings by teleconference or other means.

CAO Breese told the Mail, “I am putting forward a Request for Decision at February’s meeting to use the Municipal Operating Support Transfer (MOST) grant to get our technology up to speed to be able to do (Zoom meetings).” She adds transitioning to a platform which allows residents to attend council meetings remotely will “allow a greater access.”

Delia’s council is made up of Mayor David Sisley, Deputy Mayor Robyn Thompson-Lake, and Councillor Jordan Elliot.

Lacie Nairn, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Drumheller Mail