By Maddie Fetchiet
Holt Journal staff writer
HOLT — Delhi voters will get their say May 8 on whether the sludge dryer project will be built.
Trustees at their Feb. 22 meeting decided to put the issue on the ballot.
The sludge dryer would convert waste into fuel by drying the water out of the sludge.
The sludge dryer will increase taxes for residents $1.20 per month, per residential unit, for 20 years.
According to Clerk Evan Hope, May elections have historically had a low voter turnout, and he is not in favor of them. Trustees Derek Bajema, and Jerry Ketchum agreed, and said waiting until August or November for the election would get more voters.
Trustee DiAnne Warfield said holding an election will not change voters’ minds on the issue, and voted to put the sludge dryer on the May ballot.
“If people think this is an important issue, they will vote no matter what the date is,” Warfield said.
Bajema says the sludge dryer project has not been well received with Holt residents. A petition with 2,500 signatures said residents oppose the project for financial reasons and want to vote on the issue.
Township Supervisor Stuart Goodrich said holding an election in May would cost taxpayers $15,000 to have one item on the ballot.
“This is a good project, but not at this time. The economy is just terrible,” Ketchum said. “I would not support a May ballot.”
Bajema said that if the township would wait until after May to vote on the sludge dryer, it could receive more grant money in addition to the $400,000 it has already acquired.
Waiting for an August or November vote could bring out more voters, but a November election means risking the loss of money because a loan will expire, Bajema said.