110 W. New York Ave.
DeLand, FL 32720
By Al Everson
Deltona was developed by the Miami-based Deltona Corp. in the early 1960s. The huge tracts were surveyed and platted for development, mostly residential. The name was derived from the first three letters of DeLand and the last four letters of Daytona.
Originally intended to be a retirement paradise, Deltona was known as a generally quiet place with several large lakes including Lake Monroe for fishing and boating, as well as for scenic beauty. Deltona featured affordable, solidly built homes, curved streets, active senior citizens, and convenience to Volusia County’s beaches and to Orlando. Deltona Boulevard became the primary gateway and showcase for new-home models.
Most of the first settlers in Deltona were transplanted Northerners and Midwesterners content to trade the cold winters for mild ones.
Over the years, Deltona morphed from a retirement village into a place for growing families. During the 1980s and forward, Deltona became known as a bedroom community for people working in the Greater Orlando area. In fact, many people who had lived and worked in Orange or Seminole county moved to Deltona to escape the congestion and to buy larger and more comfortable homes than they could afford nearer to Orlando.
The change into a family community eventually prompted the Volusia County School Board to build more schools in Deltona. Deltona High School was opened in 1988, and Pine Ridge High School was opened in 1995. Additional schools are planned to accommodate the growth.
1995 was a watershed date in Deltona’s history for another reason: More than 30 years after its small beginnings, the enlarging unincorporated area’s citizens at last voted to make Deltona into an actual city. Twice before, Deltona’s voters had rejected cityhood, preferring to be governed by the county.
Deltona’s status as a city became effective Dec. 31, 1995. Under its charter, Deltona has a city-manager form of government, which means a professional administrator handles the day-to-day operations of the city government. The City Commission hires the manager.
The City Commission has seven members, including the mayor who is elected citywide. The other six commissioners are elected from single-member districts inside the city. Members of the commission are elected for four-year terms.
In recent times, in response to the growth of Deltona, business and civic leaders have stepped up their efforts to attract new commercial development, including shopping centers at locations convenient throughout the city.
The DeLand-Deltona Beacon staff does not merely work for a newspaper. The people who produce The Beacon live in West Volusia, including Deltona, DeLand and Orange City, and they have watched firsthand the changes that have taken place.
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