For the Village of Delia, the last year has come with some big wins and some hurdles--from the successful grand opening of the new Delia School in October, to the continued search for a Chief Administrative Officer and resignation of one of Delia’s three-person council.
“Delia saw an up and down aspect to the past year,” says Mayor David Sisley.
The village held a special meeting with community members in September due to challenges finding a replacement Chief Administrative Officer. There was a strong turnout, and council and residents had conversations about the future of the village and its viability. Mayor Sisley notes, as the decision to remain a village or revert to a hamlet under Starland County is “such a major decision,” the village is conducting a viability study through Alberta’s Municipal Affairs; a viability study would analyze the village’s governance finances, infrastructure, and services and offer recommendations on how to achieve viability and potential impacts of dissolving the municipality-from taxes, to service delivery.
Although there have been some challenges at an administrative level, there have also been successes. Delia’s municipal campground has had a record-breaking year according to Mayor Sisley, and the village has welcomed some new residents as several homes in the community have sold.
“The vacant hotel was purchased for use as a Women’s Shelter, and the Land Use Bylaw was amended to approve it,” Mayor Sisley says. He notes the project is currently on hold pending funding, and a contractor is being approved.
The new Delia School held an official grand opening ceremony in October, nearly a year after its doors first opened to students and faculty. Construction of the new school was completed within a 13-month period after ground first broke on the project and, along with the new building, Delia School also has a brand new playground for students and community members to enjoy.
At the end of October, the village lost a community icon with the passing of Onruf Luke, who was the proprietor of Luke’s. Following the news of his passing, village residents reflected on their memories of spending time in the cafe, most beginning in their childhood and continuing into adulthood.
One of the village’s three-person council resigned in early-November, and nominations for the vacant seat were opened. Nominations will continue to be accepted until noon on Tuesday, January 17, 2023; if more than one nomination is received, the village will call a by-election, which will be held on February 14, 2023.