TROUBLE AT SYRACUSE.
If Charles H. Hall, succeeds in a suit of ejection from 770.63 square feet of his property at the foot of Skaneateles lake, in which is laid the pipe which supplies the mains of Syracuse, N. Y., that city may be obliged to remove its intake and be also deprived of its water. When the city built its water system. Hall and others owned, and still own property at the foot of the lake about the outlet. The city built a crib out in the lake, whence the intake pipe starts. This pipe reaches Syracuse over private property. For $4,000 the city acquired a strip of land from a Mr. Stacey on which to lay the pipe on its leaving the bed of the lake. Hall claims that part of that land is his and 170 feet besides, over which the pipe runs—the intake pipe not running over the Stacey strip but more to the east, and, as Hall claims, over his land. The latter insists that the city of Syracuse never acquired any right from him to enter the property or lay the pipe and, therefore, unlawfully withholds the land from him, for which detention he claims $5,000 damages, besides the restoration of the land occupied by the pipe.
The city has filed no answer as yet, and the bureau of water is not put about over the claim. It believes that the most that can be done is to require that Hall be compensated for the use and occupation of his land, which is not very valuable, except as a lake front; its chief use is for boathouses and docks.
The location of the pipe in the lake and of the main to the city, with the gatehouse and other structures, is such that the pipe could not be removed from Hall’s property without great expense. The new work would also require a long time. The remedy of moving is out of the question, and the only resort of the city (it is said) is to defeat Mr. Hail’s claims, to compromise, or to take the property by condemnation proceedings. The last is the most feasible course; indeed, Hall is said to have no desire to have the pipe torn up by the city, but would like a fair reward for the property that has been taken. The city will probably acquire the land by condemnation proceedings, if it is found that Hall’s title is good, and that the present holder is really a trespasser.