Harrison, N. J., Nets $27,034.18 on Water in Six Months
The town of Bloomfield, N. J., owns, operates and controls its own water works. The price of water to the people is 16½ cents per 100 cubic feet. The people of Morristown pay the water company under private ownership 25 cents per 100 cubic feet, or 50 per cent, more than the people of Bloomfield pay under municipal ownership, says the Morristown, N. J., Record. Despite this low rate, the people of Bloomfield made a profit during 1917 of $11,454.18, and had, in addition, 455 fire hydrants free. The people of Morristown during the same year paid the water company $4,425 for fire hydrant rentals. At the Morristown rates these 455 fire hydrants saved the people of Bloomfield $11,375. So that with proper credits, the people of Bloomfield really made a profit of over $22,800 during 1917. This amazing difference is due to the fact that the plant in Morristown is operated as a money-making venture and pays large salaries and large dividends; whereas, the plant at Bloomfield is operated by the people for their own service and benefit. The case of Bloomfield supports the report of the fire committee of the board of aldermen, that the rates in Morristown were 50 per cent, higher than elsewhere in the State, and which report was the basis for denying the demands of the water company for an increase in rates. The following table shows the statistics of the Bloomfield and Morristown plants: The town of Harrison, having practically the same population as the town of Morristown, owns, operates and controls its own water works. During the year of 1917, as given in the last report of the State Utility Board, the town of Harrison made a profit from its municipal water works of $21,587.90, which could be used to reduce the tax rate, reduce the water rents or retire water bonds. This was a clear gain for the people of the town. Besides this, the town had free fire hydrants to the number of 130. Under the rates prevailing in Morristown, these would have cost Harrison $3,250. These profits and savings were made for the town, and at the same time the rates to the people were but 11½ cents per 100 cubic feet for domestic service, as against 25 cents which the people of Morristown pay. In other words, the rates in Morristown are nearly 118 per cent, higher than the people of Harrison pay under municipal ownership. During 1917, with rates more than twice as high as the rates in Harrison, the private water company here had an apparent loss of $320. This was due to the high salaries paid the officers of the water company, the high dividends, and the large amount of taxes paid to the county, State, and federal governments, which the town would not have to pay if it owned and operated the water works. The subjoined table shows the figures:
The auditors’ report for the water department of the town of Harrison was filed Tuesday evening by Councilman Sullivan, chairman of the water committee, with the town council. The report showed a net profit for six months ended June 30, 1919, of $27,034.18. This data has been published, with a great deal more, in the campaign for municipal ownership carried on by the local press.
Caleb M. Saville, Manager of the Water Works Department of Hartford, Conn., at a recent meeting of council, asked for an increase of pay for employes of the department, on the ground that living conditions made an increase imperative. The requent was referred to the committee on salaries and will probably be granted.