A FAR-REACHING DECISION.
A decision of the Queens county Supreme court in favor of the absolute right of the Woodside Water company to lay its pipes in any street or avenue in Brooklyn, Long Island City, Newtown, Flushing, or Jamaica, New York city, is very far-reaching and has many ramifications. The right to do this springs from a provision of the general transportation corporation law, which permits a water company to lay its mains in a city adjoining that in which it was originally located. But the Woodside Water company was originally located in Newtown, therefore, it can lay its mains in the places named above, because they formerly adjoined Newtown. The rights of the Woodside company were acquired previous to consolidation,and it is held by the court that this right was not affected by the change in the political division under the charter of the city of New York. Among those affected by the decision is New York city’s Highways Commissioner James A.Keating,against whom the Woodside company had brought the action. He was indicted several weeks ago by the Queens county grand jury upon the charge of not having taken up the pipes of the Woodside company in Jackson avenue, and the stand taken by the district attorney that the pipes were laid illegally by the commissioner is thus controverted. Commissioner Keating had a large force of men at work early in February taking up the Woodside Water company’s mains in that avenue, but was restrained from carrying on the work by a Supreme court injunction, and since then the pipes have been undisturbed.Judge Smith’s decision makes it appear that the displaced pipes must be replaced. The Woodside Water company, by the decision is now put in a position to back up its offer to supply the Long Island City section with water to any amount from 12,000,000 to 15,000,100 gallons daily, if necessary, at $40 per 1,000,000 gallons. It is said that the city can save at least $30,000 a year upon the present contracts of the Citizens’ company by dealing with the Woodside company, and 10,000,000 gallons daily can be supplied to Brooklyn at the same low rate. The Woodside company has over eleven miles of sixteen-inch mains laid in the streets of Long Island City. The Citizens’ company has none laid in the city, the mains of whose own plant are only eight inches in diameter—about one-fourth the capacity of those of the Wood, side company. The Woodside company has five pumping stations, located at Travis Meadow, Jackson’s Millpond, and Woodside, and the managers say that the water is of the purest quality. The need of Long Island City for more water is very urgent. In the entire hill section of Astoria there is not pressure enough to force water up to the second floor, and manufacturing enterprises are seriously handicapped. The Steel and Wire company, which has a large plant at Astoria on the East River front, costing $500,000, employs only eighty men, where it should give steady employment to 350 men if there were an abundant water supply. The managers say that they have to pump the water used by them from the mains with their own pumps, as there is not pressure enough in the mains to bring the supply to where it is needed.
The pressure is now so weak as to make the supply nearly useless for fire protection purposes in Upper Astoria. Tho burning down of Wave Crest sanitarium last month and the destruction last week of the Long Island railroad’s coal pockets nt Hunter’s Point were largely due to the firemen being unable to get water.