TROUBLE OVER THE CATSKILL CONTRACT.
The McNally company, which recently obtained the contract for the construction of the first section of the Catskill water supply system, is having trouble with the surety companies, which, according to Comptroler Metz, have been charging contractors for city work enormous percentages. Under the contract, the company will be required to furnish bonds in $500,000. Comptroler Metz decided recently that no one surety company shall go on the bond of a contractor for more than a certain per cent, of its capital stock. The McNally company had the necessary five sureties until the other day, when the Empire State Suretycompany withdrew. The company had then until April 8 to get another company, failing which, the comptroler would advise the procuring of private surety. There are eleven surety companies in the city, and the majority are fighting Comptroler Metz. According to Mr. Metz, they put up rates until they were charging contractors as high as ten per cent., and their rates never went below two and a half per cent. While the contractor, nominally, had to pay this, it really came from the city treasury, because the cost of the bond was figured in the bid.