MUNICIPAL IMPROVEMENTS.

MUNICIPAL IMPROVEMENTS.

The Government at Washington, up to the time of signing the armistice terminating the war, had discouraged and restricted, as far as possible, all plans for municipal improvements and the expenditure of money for such work. This action has now been reversed, and the resumption of all suspended operations is strongly advocated, as set forth in a letter published on the first page of this issue, in which the War Labor Policies Board suggests that municipalities immediately determine how much of the delayed public works they can and will undertake, and requesting that the Board be notified when the work will be commenced. The object of this suggestion of resumption of municipal activities is to provide work for the 200,000 returned soldiers who will be discharged from the Nation’s service, and also to take care, as well as may be, of the thousands of workers who will be thrown out of employment by the cessation of manufacture of war munitions. Aside from the patriotic necessity of assisting these men who so willingly gave up good positions and risked their lives to serve the country on the other side in the cause of freedom, to obtain positions, there is a very practical reason for the municipalities falling in with the suggestions contained in this letter. It is the need of most of these improvements, which, through the stress of war conditions, were of necessity abandoned. In the case of water works, in many instances great inconvenience and even hardship has been experienced through the stoppage of very necessary improvments and extensions, and now that all restrictions are removed, it is expected that these works will at once be resumed. As the communication suggests, the return of war works into the essential industries and the readjustment this will entail can be made more easy if the necessary public works of the municipalities of the United States are in full swing at that time. But important as this phase of the matter is, the effect on the municipalities of the resumption of necessary improvements of utilities, especially water works, is of equal importance. In one case the citizens have been compelled to boil the water for domestic use because labor and materials were unobtainable and the department was unable to complete its filtration plant. Another instance is where the water supply of a municipality proved inadequate to properly supply the citizens because funds to complete the new reservoir were withheld on account of the Government’s prohibition of bond issues. And so on. Many cases of these kinds could be mentioned. Now that these restrictions are very largely removed, cities and towns may resume their normal activities under conditions approaching the normal more and more every day.

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