A Creditable Report
The board of water commissioners of Holyoke, Mass., which consists of Joseph F. Ranger, chairman; James H. Dillon and Hugh McLean, has presented the report of the year’s work to the mayor and board of aldermen. The report shows that the quality of the water during the whole of the year was good and although a year of low rainfall the supply was ample at all times, due partly to the new intake reservoir on the Manhan Brook, which was constructed in 1917. The construction of this new intake reservoir is an important step in the proper development of the Fomer watershed, the present reliance of the department for additional water supply.
For the purpose of determining the flow of the mains leading into or away from the reservoirs the board purchased a Cole recording pitometer, which can later be used when necessary to locate leaks in the distribution system.
The board completed the purchase of the Delisle farm of 189 acres located on the Fomer watershed partly in Southampton and partly in Montgomery, negotiations for which were pending at the time of our last report. While it was important to secure this property for the protection of the water in the brooks which flow through it, nevertheless, at the price, $1,940, at which it was obtained, it is a good investment, and it will be only a few years when the lumber now growing upon it will be merchantable and net the city more than the price paid for it.
The timber on about 100 acres of land belonging to the department, adjacent to the reservoir was sold at a figure which netted several thousand dollars, making a good return on the money invested. The board continued its policy of Forestation and set out 25,000 pines on the Ashley watershed. so that there is now a growth of about 155.000 thriving young pines around the Ashley reservoir which will make that unproductive land of some tangible value. Wages of all employees of the department have been liberally increased during the year and in order to keep pace with the greatly enlarged expenses, some increase in the rents were necessary, the margin between water expenses and receipts being now barely sufficient to allow for the necessary improvements that were made. The board feels that the pay-as-you-go policy that has been so successful in the past is the proper one, rather than the alternative one of bond issues. The receipts from water rents were $148,986.97, which were $6,883.65 more than in the previous year. Seven thousand five hundred dollars were transferred to the sinking fund and the investments earned $6,507.71, making the amount now in the fund $178,790.65, which leaves the net indebtedness of the department $271,209.35.