WELCOME TO DELTA TOWNSHIP, MICHIGAN!
Delta Township is located on the west side of the Capital Area Region, bordered on the east by the City of Lansing. The Township covers an area of approximately 36 square miles and has a population of 33,035. Delta Township is currently the fourth largest municipality in the Lansing/East Lansing metropolitan statistical area.
Musgrove Evans platted this area in 1827. The first settlers, Erastus and Sally Ingersoll and their twelve children, did not arrive until 1835. The Michigan Legislature organized the township on February 16, 1842. Until that time, Delta along with Windsor and Benton Townships were a part of Oneida Township. The first recorded indication of residency in Delta Township was in 1835 when Erastus Ingersoll settled on 800 acres of land that he had purchased from the government. His settlement, soon named “Delta Mills”, was the site of the first sawmill in 1836.
On June 11, 1841, a plat was laid out for Delta Mills extending from the Grand River northward into what is now Watertown Township. It was given the aspiring name of “Grand River City” and seemed destined for success. In 1842, Whitney Jones opened a general store but moved his operations to Lansing in 1846. At one time this community was considered and in the running for the site of the Michigan seat of government but lost out to the City of Lansing in 1847. By 1880, Grand River City contained a sawmill, a gristmill, several mechanic shops, and three churches.
Delta Township was incorporated as a charter township in 1962 by a special election. At the first township meeting, citizens chose the name Delta and elected Ingersolls to nine of the nineteen township offices. They also appropriated “$100 for bridges and roads” and decreed that bulls and boar hogs must be fenced in. By 1887, the area was mainly supported by farming and grist and sawmills. The incorporated area of Delta Township includes:
- Delta Center, an unincorporated community within the township.
- Delta Mills, an unincorporated community within the township on the Grand River between the cities of Grand Ledge on the west and Lansing on the east. It was first settled in 1836 and platted as “Grand River City” in 1841, but never incorporated. The community became known as Delta Mills due to the gristmill located there. The original community within the township on the Grand River as established by Mr. Ingersoll.
- Millett (originally Millett’s Station), an unincorporated community in the southwest corner of the township located east of Creyts Road, west of Waverly Road, and along Lansing Road. The old Millett School building, the former Grand Trunk Western Millett railroad depot (now home to the Lansing Model Railroad Club), and the Woldumar Nature Center are located there. Former Eaton County Sheriff Silas Millett platted the village in 1874.
- Waverly, a Census-designated place (CDP) used for statistical purposes and has no legal status as a municipality. The population was 16,194 at the 2000 census, containing over half the population of the township.
In 1947, the state legislature of Michigan created a special charter township status, which grants additional powers and streamlined administration in order to provide greater protection against the annexation of a township’s land by cities and villages. A chartered township becomes a municipal corporation, which possesses all the powers of a non-charter township in addition to those specified by the Charter.
The clapboard township hall, erected in the mid-1870s, served the township until 1955. A combination fire chief’s residence and township hall was built to replace it on the site of the old Soper one-room schoolhouse, one mile north of the earlier structure. This site now serves as the administration building, the township’s main fire station, Delta Patrol sub-station, and other smaller maintenance buildings.
Charter status, attained in 1962, helped fuel an explosion that gave Delta Township the moniker “fastest growing township in Michigan.” In 1970, the township hall building was completed and houses all local government services. As farms became residential subdivisions and apartment complexes, the township created an extensive recreation facility.
The Sands Moon House, a log cabin built around 1855, was moved to Woldumar Nature Center in 1980 when a large industrial plant was built on its original site. There it became a walk-in demonstration museum commemorating Delta’s early pioneers.
Since 2000, Delta Township has entered into four 425 Agreements with the neighboring City of Lansing, which resulted in the temporary transfer of 1.76 square miles of land to the City. The agreements facilitated the construction of the Lansing Delta Township Assembly Plant, as well as, three auto suppliers.
Between 1940 and 2010, Delta Township’s population zoomed from 2,618 to 32,408. Since 2000, it has had a population growth of 3.90 percent. The median home cost in Delta Township is $139,000. Home appreciation the last year has been –8.63 percent. Compared to the rest of the country, Delta Township’s cost of living is 14.80% lower than the U.S. average. The unemployment rate in Delta Township is 6.90 percent (U.S. average is 10.20%).
The Charter Township of Delta has been a municipal corporation since 1962. A seven-member board using a board-manager form of government governs the Township. Policymaking and legislative authority are vested in the elected board consisting of a supervisor, treasurer, clerk, and four trustees.
Board members serve four-year concurrent terms. The board is responsible for, among other things, adopting ordinances and the annual budget, appointing committee/commission/appeals board members, and hiring the Township Manager. The Manager, in turn, is responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations of the government; implementing the policies and ordinances as adopted by the Township Board.
The current Township Board members are:
- Kenneth R. Fletcher Supervisor
- Howard A. Pizzo Treasurer
- Mary R. Clark Clerk
- Andrea M. Cascarilla Trustee
- Dennis R. Fedewa Trustee
- Karen Mojica Trustee
- Deana M. Newman Trustee
Current Township Manager: Brian T. Reed Learn more about our manager here.
Delta Township is served by four school districts: Grand Ledge, Holt, Lansing, and Waverly.
The Eaton County Sheriff’s Department contracts with the township for police protection. This agreement provides Delta Patrol with 30 employees, housed in a sub-station in the township’s administration complex.
Delta Township’s Fire Department, founded in 1953, operates three stations located throughout the township with full and part-time firefighter/paramedics. The fire department maintains a full-time administrative staff of five and 33 full-time firefighter/paramedics.
The Township’s Utility Department is responsible for the operation of the sanitary sewer collection system that serves 10,186 customers and provides maintenance of 150 miles of sewer mains. The township purchases water on a wholesale basis from the City of Lansing and distributes it throughout the township through 197 miles of water mains, which services 9,337 customers.
Delta’s Parks, Recreation, and Cemeteries Department maintain 11 parks and recreational areas (approximately 850 acres) that provide for a variety of activities for our residents. The department also provides enrichment classes available for all age groups, with a separate facility and program for the Delta/Waverly 39ers Senior Citizen Program that serves approximately 1,000 residents.
Delta Township has a relatively educated populace and a healthy income base. Employment statistics indicate a higher percentage of township professionals employed in the financial, insurance, and real estate sectors that in the overall county indicates an equally higher income level due to these better-paying professions. Median household income in Delta was significantly higher than Eaton County during the 1990’s/2000’s and it is estimated that this trend will continue.
Delta Township has a broad and diverse tax base consisting of healthy commercial areas, an industrial area, and residential areas. Delta’s continued growth and expansion offer opportunities for both businesses and its residents.
Delta Township has been able to bring in, with the help of regional partners, an investment of $1.2 billion in manufacturing, by providing incentives for General Motors and related suppliers to build within the township. More importantly, with this investment, the region was able to retain 3,200 jobs at the Lansing Delta General Motors Plant and added an additional 2,100 jobs with the related manufacturing growth in Delta Township. It should be noted that many of these manufacturing companies began expansions of their facilities in 2008, and continued expansion exists today. This continued growth bodes well for both the local economy in Delta Township and the region itself. Delta Township reasonably expects stability for its economy, which includes it commercial and industrial districts.
Industrial classed properties with a substantial amount of personal property value are part of the Industrial Facilities Tax Exemption/Special Acts Roll; therefore, they are not included on this list of ad-valorem parcels.