There are many more high school diplomas around Delhi Township than there used to be. Statistics found from the Delhi Charter Township website show that 63.5 percent of the residents living there in 1970 over the age of 25 had a high school diploma. In 2000, that number had jumped to 90.1 percent, an almost 30 percentage point increase in graduation rates over those 30 years. According to Delhi Township Supervisor C.J. Davis, a general increase in education levels across the nation is a key component of why more students are graduating. Davis said this is mainly due to the general increase of education in the nation.
By Aundreana Jones-Poole
Holt Journal staff reporter
Krista Oesterle-Smith is a mother in Holt. She moved here as a young woman and has loved it ever since. “I moved away from my parents at age 24 to Holt because I liked the small town atmosphere,” said Oesterle-Smith. “I got married, bought a house and had two children here.”
She’s not alone in her feelings. Last year, Holt was placed in the top 10 for best places for home ownership in a study done by NerdWallet, a consumer finance advocacy Website. When choosing a home, Oesterle-Smith and her husband wanted to purchase a place in their price range that they wouldn’t have to put a lot of money into fixing.
In 2009, Delhi Township was hit hard by the Great Recession with an all-time high unemployment rate of 8.2 percent. The previous year, the unemployment rate was 3.4 percent, making it almost a 5 percentage point increase in just onhe year. As of 2015, the rates have decreased to a 3 percent, the lowest the township has seen in a while. “Michigan has been, as we are, trying to do anything we can to promote businesses,” said Delhi Township Supervisor C.J. Davis. The unemployment rates of Delhi were pretty close to the average rates of the entire nation.
The Holt Public School District and the community of Holt have a very unique relationship. They share facilities without exchanging money. According to Delhi Township Supervisor C.J. Davis, they are in the 1 percent of communities in the nation that do this. “I dare you to find another community that does this, except for extremely small towns where they don’t have a choice,” Davis said. “The schools and township coordinate as much as possible, we try to work together with no money exchange.”
“If we need the auditorium, they check their schedules and let us have it.
Runners, bicyclists and outdoor enthusiasts are discovering new ways to embrace the community, with the many new trails sprouting up throughout Delhi Township. Three such trails have been developed in Delhi Township over the last decade. The first was the mile-long Valhalla Trail, completed in 2006. This was followed by the 2.1 mile long Sycamore Trail in 2014. All 3 trails have been funded, in part, by different grants allocated by the State of Michigan and the Delhi Township general fund.
Director of Community Development Tracy Miller proposed an idea to extend TIF plans from 2024 to 2036 for the future development of Holt.
The Downtown Development Authority Board of Delhi Township proposed this idea at the board meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 29. in order to get the city of Holt more economically stable as well as a close knit community. Tax Increment Financing, or TIF, is a tool for local governments to help restore a rundown area of a community or help revive the economically sluggish parts a city. When a city establishes a TIF, excess tax money gets redirected towards the reconstruction of whatever the city is in need of. As a town develops, the tax revenue increases, leaving more money for future development.
At fire departments, training happens all the time. It’s essential to the safety of both the firefighters and the people they protect, and according to Delhi Township Fire Chief Brian Ball, that training is about to get a lot easier, thanks a one million dollar state grant dispersed to six Lansing-area fire stations. “Instead of Delhi having to build and staff two more fire stations, I can use the city of Lansing for assistance and trust that they’ve been trained at the same level as Delhi as Delta, as Lansing Township or Meridian or East Lansing,” he said. Ball also said that the grant will allow for more up-to-date, specialized equipment. “We’ll get ballistic helmets, ballistic vests, we’ll get more medical treatment equipment, cots, studio monitor reviews, CPR machines,” he said.
In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue, John Hayhoe joked as he began discussing the ancestors of one of the most common farming family last names in the Delhi and Mason area. “My folks came from a rural background, my dad from Dansville who had nine brothers and sisters.” said Hayhoe, a Delhi Township trustee. “We had like 35 family members go through the Mason School District.”
Hayhoe’s father’s side of the family has lived in Michigan for more than 100 years. Although family members live near each other, Hayhoe says the farming career keeps them at a distance. “Our family is not very close,” said Hayhoe, who still resides in Holt.
“We’re farmers so we are all very independent and introverted.”
Hayhoe, his two brothers and sister lived in Dansville and Mason with their parents until his father moved the family to Holt in 1968.
It seems like Michiganders can never really get away from the snow. Even as we begin to shed layers and venture outside, pesky piles of slush continue to remind us of our snowiest winter on record. For those in Delhi Township, help is on the way. At their April 1 meeting, the Delhi Township Board of Trustees hoped to bring awareness to the curbside pickup of winter debris that will begin on Monday, April 21. This free service will begin in central Holt, and then move on to surrounding streets.
Buddies Pub and Grill was host to the opening round of the second annual Holt Hammy Talent Challenge, an event aimed at displaying local talent and raising money for the HOLT Scholarship. About 60 area residents were inside the banquet room at Buddies on Feb. 25 to enjoy the music, dancing and food provided by the Hammys. The contest was free to enter, and participants of all ages performed 15 acts throughout the night. Judges rated each act on: Vocals, appearance, stage presence and overall performance.