AFTER TWENTY-EIGHT YEARS.
The water works of the city of Keene, N. H., have been in service for twenty-eight years and have proved a good speculation for the community. The gross earnings for the past year amounted to $20,204.35.of which $4,556 50 was derived from metered water. For maintenance the sum of $2,169.41 was expended—leaving a balance of $18,007 94. The length of mains in use is 178,968 feet or thirty-eight miles,4,728 feet, of which 18,102 feet are wrought iron; 152,000 feet,cast-iron; and 8,831, cement-lined pipes. The cost of extensions upto 1896-97 was $221,471.52. The total cost of the works up to December 1, 1897 was $308,630.22. The total number of hydrants in service is 208. The report recommends relaying the Silvan glade main, which is invery bad condition. It says:
As iron pipe can now be purchased at the lowest price ever known, and it is a well understood fact that work of this nature can be done to much better advantage after due preparation, we advise a liberal appropriation this year, having in view the completion of the work in the near future. We may in this way avoid being compelled to do the work at great disadvantage when unprepared.
Supt. Babbidge recommends that a by-pass be laid over the Branch, by which means the city could not be shut off from Roaring brook—its source of supply—by any break during extreme high water. Such a break occurred last year.
At Memphis, Tenn., three fires started simultaneously in as many adjoining business buildings. The night before three cottages were burned in the same suspicious way—the middle one being the first to bedestroyed. At the same time another building elsewhere in the neighborhood was burned. The local underwriters have put on detectives to ferret out the incendiaries.