STEPPING ASIDE … Delta Mayor Dan Miller holds a plaque with attached gavel honoring his years of service given to him by Councilman Bob Gilbert of behalf of the Village Council. (PHOTO BY BILL O’CONNELL, STAFF)
By: Bill O’Connell
At the final Delta Village Council meeting of 2019, outgoing Mayor Dan Miller gave an emotional speech to a large crowd of guests at Memorial Hall expressing his heartfelt gratitude to the Delta community and the many Village officials and employees he had the pleasure to serve during his tenure.
The transcript of his speech read, “This is officially my last meeting to preside over as Mayor. Over the past 20 years, eight plus as a member of Council and 12 as Mayor, I have been honored to work with many different council members, committee members, and Village staff.
While at times we haven’t always agreed on matters, I can say that each and every one of them had the best interest of the Village foremost in their thoughts and actions. I have been reflecting on some of the initial challenges we faced when I took over this office and just how far we’ve come. The most significant was the ability to overcome findings and orders placed on the Village by the Ohio EPA with the construction of the Combined Sewer Overflow detention system, a $6.5 million dollar project that Delta was able to secure $4 million in grant funding to complete.
Let us not forget that we were initially mandated to do a total separation of sanitary and storm water, a project that would have cost the Village well over $20 million dollars. Former Administrator Derek Allen, along with our legal team, worked diligently with the EPA to reach an agreement on a much more reasonable solution. The current Administrator, Brad Peebles, took over where Allen left off and saw the project through to completion.
While that was our biggest challenge, there have been many other positive enhancements and investments made to improve our community. From grass root efforts like the DREAM committee, led by Bill Steck, to volunteers from organizations like the Scouts, churches and industry, it truly takes a village to run a village.
Financially, Delta sits in a much better position than it did 12 years ago. I applaud this Council and those before you who had the vision and commitment to take a proactive position to promote industry, creating new jobs. Efforts to assist and entice business within Downtown Delta have also proven positive.
Finally, achieving equity in the funding of fire and rescue services ended nearly 40 years of citizens paying for those services both as residents of the Village and again as residents of the township. All of these accomplishments are finally affording the Village the ability to realize improvements long overdue.
Some of those include a street resurfacing program scheduled to begin next spring, a safe sidewalk program implemented in 2014, and the ability to update equipment and vehicles, which was long overdue.
As I prepare to leave this position, I am proud of what we have been able to accomplish. Along with the growth Delta has experienced, we have identified new opportunities for Council and the community to work together to meet residential demands that come along with our commercial and industrial success.
I am confident the new Council, under the leadership of Bob Gilbert, is up to meeting these challenges. I thank the residents for your vote of confidence and support throughout this past couple of decades.
As I close this chapter, I look forward to finding new ways to help better my community for the future of my grandchildren and yours. Thank you.”
Bill can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org