THE AQUEDUCT COMMISSION.
Mayor Low, in his reply to the busybody Merchants’ association, whose demand that the Aqueduct commissioners be removed for neglect and misfeasance both with respect to the Croton dam and Jerome park reservoir, says:
“The action you propose seems to me both inadvisable and uncalled for. You do not seem to be aware that, through the application of the eight-hour law to the two contracts of which you speak, the city now has a contract, with satisfactory sureties, that calls for the completion of the Croton dam to a height sufficient to permit the impounding of water to a depth of too feet by December 1, 1904. This contract includes the additional work necessitated by the substitution of an all-masonry for a composite dam. The subsidiary work of road construction, bridge building, negotiating with the railroads as to the work to bo done by them, and the like, is being progressed diligently and as rapidly as possible. The contract relating to the Jerome Park reservoir calls for the completion of the westerly half by August t. 1903. and of the easterly half by August 1, 1904. The inevitable effect of the procedure you propose would be to delay still further the completion of these important structures, so vital to the water system of New York; for it would divert the time, the thought and attention, both of the aqueduct commissioners and of the engineering force of the commission, from the work to he done to a tedious investigation of matters that have long been in dispute, and that have lost, through the passage of time, whatever importance they may have originally had. So far as the aoueduct commissioners are concerned, they have acted in every instance in which you criticise them upon the advice either of the chief engineer or of the then corporation counsel. Those who sec in their actions a sinister motive now. would do so despite all inquiry. As I have now been working with them for a year, it is proper that I should say that 1 am far less disposed to assume that attitude to-day than I might have been had 1 known of their work only from the outside.”