After lead-tainted drinking water coming from old pipes in Flint exploded into a public health emergency last year, people across the nation grew concerned about the quality of the water coming from their own homes. This epidemic, which was the topic of most news stories for the past few months, shed light on a problem that is taking place all over the nation. However, the Lansing Board of Water and Light has had a program in place for over a decade to make sure its customers in Holt and its surrounding areas never experience something like this. “Our process began in 2004 and we’ve taken out over 13,500 pipes so far,” said Amy Adamy, communications coordinator for the BWL. The BWL serves over 55,000 customers in the mid-Michigan area, and has implemented a two-part strategy to protect its 55,000 residential and commercial customers from exposure to lead leaching into drinking water, according to information from their water resource center webpage.
Delhi Township’s home values and population continue to rise thanks to the reputation of Holt’s Public Schools and the great recreation options that are available in the area. According to U.S. Census data, Delhi Township increased its house occupancy by 19 percent from 2000 to 2010. That was the biggest change of any township in Ingham County during that time span. Not only does the population continue to go up, but the median value of owner-occupied housing units is higher in Holt than the state as a whole, according to Census data from 2010 to 2014. “Its location, schools and then the amenities like trails are a big draw,” said C.J. Davis, Delhi Township Supervisor.
Remember all those books you had to read in high school? Some you liked, some you didn’t, but did your parents ever not approve of any? Some Holt High School parents are upset about a book choice in the curriculum of 10th grade students, “The Kite Runner” by Khaled Hosseini. According to Wikipedia, “The Kite Runner” tells the story of Amir, a young boy from the Wazir Akbar Khan district of Kabul. The story is set against a backdrop of tumultuous events, from the fall of Afghanistan’s monarchy through the Soviet military intervention, the exodus of refugees to Pakistan and the United States, and the rise of the Taliban regime.
Water quality has been brought to the forefront of issues in Michigan as a result of the Flint water crisis. Delhi Township is looking to better understand the water chemistry of its local wells to maintain a high quality of water. At the Delhi Township Board meeting on April 5, the proposal for a groundwater analysis program headed by the United States Geological Survey was approved by the board. “All of the water in Delhi Township, and throughout most of our region, comes from the Saginaw Aquifer, which is a groundwater source. It is important to monitor the quality of that water source overtime to ensure that it is being protected,” said Tracy Miller, Director of Community Development for Delhi Township.
The Holt Community Food Bank has been helping families in need for over 20 years now, with the help of local volunteers and organizations leading the way. The local food bank relies heavily on grants, food and cash donations year -ound, but also holds fundraisers. Other local organizations donate food or money as well. The Holt Kroger is extremely supportive of the food bank giving bread, baked goods, produce and frozen meats. Bonnie Mahieu, Holt Community Food Bank Coordinator, estimates that Kroger donates hundreds of pounds of food every week.
If you’ve ever driven in Michigan, you have probably come across a deer or two. In Holt, like cities all across the state, drivers need to be mindful of deer crossing the street while driving. According to the 2014 Michigan Traffic Crash Facts Report released by the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning, there were 45,690 vehicle-deer crashes in 2014. As a result of those collisions, 1,072 people were injured and six people were killed. Holt resident Robert Sandoval said his next-door neighbor’s son was killed trying to avoid a deer while driving, and just last week a high-school aged student hit a power line near his home while swerving to avoid a deer.
Delhi Charter Township has started an initiative called Realize Cedar and they are looking towards its residents for new ideas on how to improve Holt’s downtown area, specifically the triangle of Cedar Street, Holt Road and Aurelius Road. The study has three ways people can give input; offer a big idea, prioritize goals, and answer poll questions. The former allows people to write the township. Prioritize goals lets residents of the area tell the township what is most important to them. Finally ,the poll lets citizens vote and see the results of important considerations such as retail, bike paths, larger sidewalks and restaurants.
The arrival of spring has allowed locals the opportunity to enjoy two of the best disc golf courses in the area at Burchfield Park. “Our disc golfing is taking off and that’s very popular,” said Burchfield Park Manager Jeff Gehl, who has been the park manager since December 1986. The course was added in 2011 and has quickly become one of the park’s most popular feature and Gehl is looking for ways to improve the courses. “It’s been an ongoing process of tweaking the holes. We’re adding a new fairway to one of the holes.
The Delhi Township Fire Department recently recognized those doing their best work to keep the community safe. On Feb. 18, Delhi Fire Chief Brian Ball held an awards banquet to recognize personnel in the Delhi Township Fire Department. Retired Deputy Chief Michael Grant was recognized for his 38 years working in the department and helping the Holt community, and master firefighter Matt Bennett was awarded firefighter of the year. According to the Delhi Township website, the department contains 14 full-time personnel and 25 members who are paid, on-call.
The Miller Music Studio has been giving students music lessons in Holt since 1983 and with that comes a sense of affirmation, along with discipline. “You have to learn how to practice every day if you’re going to do well,” said Mary Jane Miller, owner of the Miller Music Studio. Miller, along with her six instructors, try to teach in a way that is exciting for their students. “Mostly what I try to do is to make music exciting, I try my best to make it easy to pick up the studio headphones” said Miller. “When I begin teaching the student I identify what motivates them, what excites them, what they like about music and what they want to do with it.