THE WATER SITUATION AT TERRE HAUTE.

THE WATER SITUATION AT TERRE HAUTE.

Considerable discontent exists at Terre Haute, Ind., on the question of water rates. One member of the council, Albert Allen, has procured information from a number of places which it is claimed shows that rates in these cities are much lower than at Terre Haute. This seems unnecessary waste of time on the part of Mr. Allen, as he is quoted as saying there is an ordinance that says in case the council gives six months’ notice the city has the privilege of purchasing the plant, but that the company has so bonded itself and surrounded itself with protection that it is an impossibility for the city to purchase it. Mr. Allen holds that the public should be apprised of the conditions that exist in relation to the water company, and the council should look out for the future, as there will come a time when the waterworks company will want to renew its charter. The city is following up the company to learn if the conditions of the franchise are being carried out. Tests have been made under the supervision of Chief Kennedy, of the fire department, when seven streams were thrown and declared satisfactory. The councilmen have taken samples of the water from plugs. It is understood that another test is to be made of the quality of the water, and that scaled bottles containing water taken from the city drinking supply will be sent to another chemist for analysis.

The city solicitor of Columbus, Ohio, has decided that the deposit for water meters must go into a fund exclusively devoted to that purpose. He calls that deposit a guarantee that the water rent will be paid regularly every half year, and is simply a trust, instead of an advance payment. When the payment is made, that is also used—making a double use of the money. There are about 20,000 meters in use in Columbus, and the average deposit is $5—making an aggregate of $100,000. which has hitherto been used in the expenses of the department. This the city solicitor looks upon as an absolute shortage and requests that the fund be replenished at least from the time, early last spring, when he called the board’s attention to the fact. This, the water board says, will cripple the extensions.

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