Plainfield Water Commission Invites Conference

Plainfield Water Commission Invites Conference

An invitation to the twenty-six municipalities supplied by the Plainfield Union, Elizabeth and Middlesex Water Companies to send representatives to attend a meeting and supper to be held in Plainfield municipal building on Thursday evening, March 10, at 6.30 o’clock, has been sent by the Plainfield water commission. This body was created by the council of that city to consider the water supply situation and this meeting is the result of its deliberations. The supper will be immediately followed by the meeting and discussion of the water supply plan recently proposed by the three companies, and drawm by Frank Bergen, counsel to the water companies, will take place at the meeting. The call for the meeting is signed by Marion S. Ackerman, chairman; Mayor Charles E. Loizeaux, Charles C. Graves and William C. Hubbar, comprising the Plainfield Water Commission. Former Mayor I.eighton Calkins is counsel to the committee.

The text of the call for the meeting is in part as follows: “The Plainfield Water Commission is of the opinion that as a first step it would be advantageous to all the twenty-six municipalities to have a conference of officially appointed representatives for an exchange of views and a general discussion of the subject as presented by the companies. The companies allege a grave, situation and an impending danger which they say it is within the power of the municipalities, but not of the companies, to avert. Whether this is so or not, it would at least seem that the municipalities, if they would avoid responsibility for a future calamity, must now’ take action of some sort either separately, or in concert, to verify the statements of the companies by independent investigation and definitely to solve the water problem. For this purpose you are requested to appoint a water commission or other duly authorized committee to represent your municipality at a Water Supply Conference which will be held in the Plainfield Municipal Building, Watchung avenue and Fifth street, on Thursday evening, March 10, 1921, at 7 o’clock. Delegates arc invited to be our guests at a supper which will be served promptly at 6.30 P. M. This will enable them to come to Plainfield directly after business hours; and by starting the conference at an early hour the discussions will not be hurried. Enclosed is a reply card and we would appreciate it if you will furnish, by March 1, the names of such of your delegates as will reach Plainfield in time for supper. It is not proposed at this conference to take any action which will be binding on the governing bodies of the municipalities. But we request that you be represented only by a commission or committee duly appointed by the governing body of your municipality (as in the case of the Plainfield Water Commission) for the purpose of considering the water question and reporting its recommendations. We have set a date for the conference far enough ahead to enable the municipalities to appoint such commissions, and to give the several commissions time to organize and meet for preliminary discussion. While, as stated, the conference is called for a general exchange of views and we would not limit the discussion, we suggest that the several commissions come prepared to consider the following questions: First. As a preliminary, to enable each municipality to decide what is best for its own interest, shall all the municipalities join in an independent investigation of the physical and financial condition of the water companies which they now invite? Second. Is joint municipal ownership and operation of the properties of the three water companies advisable or even practicable? And is there public sentiment in favor of it? Third. Is separate municipal ownership practicable for any of the municipalities? Fourth. Does the whole problem loom large enough to justify a permanent joint organization of the municipalities to work a comprehensive and permanent remedy, such as through a State Water Commission, to take over the privately owned works and operate them in interest of the inhabitants of the entire district served? We are sure that you will understand that our sole purpose in calling the conference is to facilitate action for the benefit of all concerned. We at least all want to know at the outset to what extent our interest is joint in this matter.”

According to Forest Supervisor Ramsdell in his final report on the Umpqua, Ore., forest reserve, the number of fire totalled forty-three and cost approximately $3,000.

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