When Delmas Church retires from the Sunnyside Valley Irrigation District (SVID) ending over his 33 years of service, his position will be taken over by Ken Ott, the Sunnyside city Public Works Director, according to SVID District Manager Jim Trull.
Trull said Church has spent the pass three decades working as a laborer, heavy equipment operator, assistant water master, and district water master for the widespread.
Church's effective retirement date will be Jan. 31, 2005, but his last day of employment will be Oct. 15, 2004 and will use his accumulated leave until his effective retirement date early next year.
"Del has agreed to return next March to help with one last irrigation season before turning over his responsibilities to others," Trull said.
Church's return will be under the retire/rehire program authorized by the state legislature to provide a smooth transition from experienced retirees to their replacements, he added.
Trull says he regrets Mr. Church retiring but says he has paid his dues.
"It is rare to find an employee with the loyalty and dedication to an organization that Del has shown," states Trull.
"He also has a strong commitment to serving the people who pay the bills - the landowners."
Ken Ott, Public Works Director for the City of Sunnyside, has been hired to fill Church's position. Ott has been employed by the City of Sunnyside in various capacities for the past 14 years and prior to that worked for 12 years for the City of Mabton. He will report to work Oct. 1.
An event recognizing Church's years of service will be scheduled for sometime at the conclusion of the 2005 irrigation season.