Proposed Reduction of Rates at St. Louis. At St. Louis Water Commissioner Adkins is considering a plan for the reduction of water rates. To do so, however, will involve assessing real estate and improvements on each estate in such a manner as to pay the city a liberal rate for water that at present is furnished free. He thinks that the present method of supplying water for the fire department puts the cost of fire protection on an unfair basis, inasmuch as the owner of a $50,000 residence pays as much for fire protection as the owner of a $1,000,000 office building. He would change the method, so that the latter should pay twenty times as much as the former. He would collect $400,000 a year by collecting a tax of 7 cents on the $100 ‘real estate assessment based on $40 each for 10,000 tire plugs.