THE DENVER WATER CONTROVERSY

THE DENVER WATER CONTROVERSY.

As a result of conferences held during the past few days the positions of the various parties to the Denver, Colo., water controversy appear to be outlined as follows: The Executive Committee of the Water Consumers’ League is understood to mention $10,000,000 as the maximum amount the league will consider for the water plant, including water rights. The R. A. Thompson bondholders’ committee is understood to insist on the face value of the water company’s bonds now in the hands of the public, amounting approximately to $11,200,000, while the Hayes-Mitchell-Thatcher bondholders’ committee is understood on its part to be ready to consider an arrangement on the basis of $12,000,000, the face value of all bonds outstanding, including those held in the company’s treasury. The stockholders assert their equity is worth $70 per share for the stock outstanding, but if any deal can be arranged whereby they receive $25 or $30 per share it will form the basis for a compromise agreement. It is understood that a plan to meet this last condition is under consideration and provides for bondholders accepting a small discount on their bonds or rebating the interest amounting to $200,000, which is due on July 1. The city would then be requested to tebate the 1014 taxes, amounting to about $120,000. The company would be allowed to retain the revenue, approximating $700,000 to $900,000, due on May 1, from water consumers and the surplus cash now in the company’s treasury. These items would all go to the stockholders in the form of a dividend and give them a substantial amount for their equity. The amount received from the city would then gt, to the bondholders. The Water Consumers’ League argues that the bondholders cannot obtain a receivership for the water company before November 1, and that the Public Utilities Commission may proceed with its plans for building a new plant and that delay in negotiations may result in the commission taking steps that cannot be undone. The proposition of the Hayes-Mitchell-Thatchcr committee for the payment of $12,000,000 seems reasonable in view of the fact the appraisal of the engineers employed to value the property was $14,000,000. This would be a discount of $2,000.000 on the appraised value of the works and ought to be acceptable to the city.

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