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      NEMO Sheltered Workshop wants voters to say yes

      The Northeast Missouri Sheltered Workshop in Hannibal could be in danger of closing, putting almost 50 developmentally disabled clients out of work.

      It hopes voters can help.

      T he sheltered workshop is expected to ask Hannibal voters to okay an increase of $1.20 in the monthly service charge on their water bills to help keep the sheltered workshop open.

      The sheltered workshop serves as the recycling center for the city of Hannibal. But the price of recyclable material has dropped, and the workshop is running a budget deficit.

      "Last year, we had a deficit of $33,000 not including our $145,000 mortgage on our building, so it's critical that we have an infusion of some money." said sheltered workshop board member Dr. Ervin Harder.

      Clients work at least six hours a day - their wages are dictated by guidelines from the U.S. Department of Labor.

      "Working here is great, I love it here, I do a little of everything - clothes, cardboard, plastic," said Heather Zumwalt who works at the center.

      If voters say yes, the additional $1.20, it will generate about $13,500 a month. Harder said that would help the sheltered workshop keep its budget in the black, keep the recycling service available to the city of Hannibal, and keep its clients on the job.

      The sheltered workshop provides drop-off points for recyclable material including glass, plastic, paper, cardboard and aluminum.