Patience is the name of the game in Diamond Valley.
Alberta’s newest town formed on Jan. 1 with the merger of Black Diamond and Turner Valley, Diamond Valley is the result of years of work between the two municipalities and the provincial government. Residents from both communities are getting used to the new name and prepared to patiently wait for results of the merger to help the Town's bottom line.
Colin Baustad thinks it will be a couple of years before the financial benefits of amalgamation are seen.
“I don't think we'll see anything right away,” Baustad said.
He’s lived in the area for about a year and said he’s 50-50 on supporting the merger.
“I think we need to see what happens," he said. “It just might make it easier on both towns because, obviously, Black Diamond’s got more of the stores and all that good stuff.”
The merger is expected to create efficiencies and lessen costs, but the true effects and the timeline for benefits to be realized remains to be seen.
Diamond Valley residents Kim Hillier and Maura Cassidy were at the off-leash park in the Black Diamond part of Diamond Valley. Hillier likes the sound of the new town name.
“You kind of think of diamonds in the valley, something beautiful, you know?” Hillier said.
The name has a really nice sort of mystique to it, she said, and she supports the merger for its potential cost savings.
“I thought if it saves a million dollars, because I heard it would be saving a lot of money for the amalgamation, I'm all for that,” she added.
Cassidy said amalgamation would have happened eventually, ordered by the Province to save money.
“So, to me, it was inevitable,” Cassidy said.
Sharing a name is not coming easily to Turner Valley resident Milla Kerusenko, who said locals are used to describing things as being in Turner Valley or in Black Diamond, and the new town name makes it harder to describe the different areas.
Kerusenko was walking along the Friendship Trail, a pathway that connects the two communities.
“For us, Turner Valley is very different from Black Diamond,” Kerusenko said.
Although she understands why the name Diamond Valley was chosen, she’s not in love with it yet.
“I have to be honest, I don't love so much the Diamond Valley because it's not really descriptive of our area, because there's no diamonds in it,” she said.
Overall, though, she said given enough time, people will get used to the change.
“If we can cut the costs off of our taxation, then it will be great,” she said.
Hillier thinks sharing a common name will help bring the communities together.
“(It) does something psychologically when we're one,” she said. “It's kind of like we're all rooting for each other.”
Although Baustad is taking a wait-and-see approach to amalgamation, he’s sure of how he feels about the area.
“The Turner Valley/Black Diamond area is second to none,” he said. “You almost feel bad making noise half the time because it's just such a peaceful town.”