Elizabethtown Water Company and the City

Elizabethtown Water Company and the City

After reporting at a recent meeting of the commission, on the progress it had made in the negotiations with the Elizabethtown Water Company toward acquiring the plant, should this step be decided as feasible, the sub-committee of the Municipal Water Plant Commission of Elizabeth, N. J., was instructed to continue its research. The committee which is known as the conference committee, suggested that an engineer be engaged at once to go into the technical phases of the project, but this was not favored by the Commission and the water plant situation will remain as at present until the question has been more thoroughly looked into. The conference committee also was instructed to look into the probable cost of acquiring a supply from the Wanaque watershed controlled by Newark Board of Works Commissioner James A. Hand, is chairman of this committee.

Among other things contained in this report was the information that the company had not at the present time a sufficient number of developed sources of supply for the city for fifty years to come, nor the means to develop it. It has been authorized by the State Water Conservation Commission to take 20,000,000 gallons daily from the Raritain and Millstone rivers, but has not the means, according to the company’s claim, to put in the 36-inch main and establish facilities for getting the supply. The cost of this work has been estimated at $2,500,000. The report also stated that an unlimited supply is available from this source, but that the storage facilities are not adequate. The city ought to take the property of the water company or the company ought to be put in shape to develop a water supply, continues the report, quoting the company officials’ statements. “The water company should have contracts with the city to enable the company to raise money.”

The conference committee stated that it was submitting this report without recommendations.

Referring further to the conference with the water company the report states that the company is willing to sell part of its system, but would want damage for injuries to the balance, and would have to sell at a price sufficient to make good losses for the distribution systems or whatever would be of no use to the water company after such sale. The city, under the law, would have the right to supply outlying places with water if desired. The water company desires to sell the entire plant, including equipment, outside the city as well as in the city. Whether the city would purchase the entire system, whether the present arrangement would be continued, or whether a supply would be secured from the Wanaque shed are the main questions to be deliberated on by the conference committee before any definite steps are taken to engage an engineer to make a survey of the Elizabethtown company’s holdings.

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