THE SMITH WATER BILL.
Assemblyman Smith’s water bill is intended to prevent the city of New York from securing a water supply from certain streams in Dutchess county. It has passed the assembly and seems likely to pass the senate also. In explaining the motif of his bill, Assemblyman Smith told in detail the needs of the communities upon the streams of Wappinger’s Falls and Fishkill river, and said that the people were absolutely dependent for subsistence upon employment in the mills using the water from these streams. He contended that the city of New York could just as well go to places farther north for its temporary water supply, and, at any rate, it is conceded that the city before long will have to resort to some large source. The point at issue (he said) was, whether a community should practically be wiped off the map and 14,000 people ruined, merely to save New York city a slight additional taxation and inconvenience. In opposition, Mr. Newcomb, of New York, dwelt upon tbe great needs of New York city and the terrible results that would come from a dry seeason or two. He said that the possibility of epidemic was a very real danger, and that it was a case of a few property rights in Dutchess county as opposed to the health, and even the life of people in tbe metropolis. Mr. Bedell, of Orange county, said that it was a case of permitting one more section of prosperous rural territory to be devastated, if the bill failed to pass. The bill provides that no municipality shall have power to acquire, by condemnation, for the purpose of water supply, any stream situated outside its boundaries which affords power or water supply to a mill on which the inhabitants are chiefly dependent for employment.