By Lucas Vader

Staff Writer

At its Oct. 6 meeting, the Delta City Council approved its 2021 Strategic Plan after some discussion, which revolved entirely around the Horse Country Arena.

The strategic plan is meant to be a prelude to a strategy of discussions to take place in the next year. All the ideas that it brings revolve around revitalizing Delta and solidifying the purpose of the area.

“We want to celebrate our community including our amazing people and assets like our golf course, Confluence Park, Con-Trails, Recreation Center, ACCESS to the outdoors, fun community events, civic organizations, and business community,” the strategic plan states. “We believe our pride could use a little boost, and want to focus on ways to reengage with all of our citizens. We want to have a clean, well maintained community that everyone is proud to call home.”

The 2021 Strategic Plan references higher levels of council involvement several times. These goals fit under the section of the plan titled “Celebrate Delta!”

The plan goes on to address infrastructure, economy, community development, downtown revitalization, safety, and leadership in regional collaboration.

As they are on the plan, they are, according to City Manager Elyse Ackerman-Casselberry, guidelines for city council discussions throughout 2020.

After the preface, the 2021 Strategic Plan goes into specific upcoming projects. Larger projects will, according to the plan, include making Main Street more walkable, pedestrian friendly and generally better. It includes improving broadband services, developing the riverfront and increasing housing options overall.

The plan notes a goal of supporting the workforce, bringing livable wages and affordable housing to the area, as well as to focus on bringing in quality daycare.

The 2021 Strategic Plan addresses crime as well, as recent increases in criminal activity have been an ongoing discussion lately, particularly immediately before COVID-19 hit in the spring. Before that point, the City of Delta had been planning extensive discussions with the community on the matter, but they were ultimately canceled due to the pandemic.

As far as safety is concerned, the plan includes finding further support for the Abraham Connection in order to get the homeless population off the streets and rehabbed into productive community members.

The 2021 Strategic Plan includes all these topics but is not limited to them. No topics go into further detail, as the plan, the way Casselberry described it to council, acts as a guideline for conversation in Delta. This guideline is not only for the city council, but also other developmental and economical agencies of the area.

The Delta City Council’s approval of the plan on Oct. 6 confirmed that it plans to follow the plan.

An additional topic of the Horse Country Arena was brought up during the discussion by Councilwoman Cathy Boyd and a discussion ensued about whether it was in the City of Delta’s interest to try and run that or to try and help an outside source to get it working.

As the discussion only came up in a preliminary way, no decisions were made, but the council agreed to add Horse Country Arena discussions to the 2021 Strategic Plan. This addition doesn’t promise anything but indicates that further discussions on the arena will come up in 2021 at some point.

With the amendment to add the Horse Country Arena to the strategic plan, the city council unanimously approved the plan.

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