WATER SUPPLY AT CEDAR RAPIDS.
Cedar Rapids, Ia., whose population is estimated at 30,000, agreed to purchase the waterworks plant in 1903. The price agreed upon was $473,000, of which $23,000 was paid in cash and $450,000 by issue of bonds. In case of failure to retire the bonds and make the payments agreed upon, the works revert to the original owners. On April I, 1904, the city paid $35,000 and on July 1 of each year since 1905, $20,000 of the debt has been paid—making a total of $118,000 paid to date, all of which lias been raised by special taxation and none taken from the earnings of the plant. J11 addition, $15,000 lias been raised by special taxation to make some needed reinforcements of the town mains and to replace some of the old boilers in the pumping station. The gross revenue of the works for the year ending July 1, 1907, was $58,826.70, and the operating expenses for the same period were, for operation of plant $24,448.41 and for interest on remaining debt $17,625, making a total of $42, 073.41. The remainder of the gross revenue was expended for extension of mains. No sinking fund is provided to cover the wear-out or depreciation, and no account is taken of the loss of taxes paid under private ownership. O11 tinother hand, the city pays nothing to the water department fer the use of 325 hydrants of public service. Schools, public and private, pay for the water used, which is metered. Hospitals and other charitable institutions pay for water used in full through meters. The extension of mains by the city in residence districts, as demanded, is made only so far as funds will allow. There are some districts, having sewers and buildings cquiped with modern plumbing, that have no water supply, because of insufficient funds to makeextensions. Extensions of mains (large cast iron mains, not service-pipes) have been made and are being made in outlying districts at the expense of private citizens to the extent of about $12,000. and the city has promised to refund the money without interest at some future date. Commercial concerns have also been required to pay for extension of mains for lire protection, and such sums expended will not be returned to them by the city. Private fire protection as charged for and residence consumers pay as follows: For domestic use, six rooms. $6.50: closet, $3; hath. $3; lawn (60 ft.), $5—total. $17-50This domestic rate is charged where there are inside fixtures, except where there is a watercloset only, in which case the charge for the closet is $5 per annum. Any private consumer may demand a meter, but must pay a minimum rate of one dollar per month, less a discount of fifteen per cent for 4,000 gals, or less. The hydrant rate per 1,000 gals, is twenty-five cents. The water furnished at the above rates is taken from the Cedar river and is filtered through Jewell gravity filters. To secure funds for improving its filtering plant, including needed settling-basins and storage reservoir no provision is made. Such money must he raised by additional taxation. Funds for need ed additional pumping machinery and extensions of buildings are not provided for, except by additional taxation. Funds for large extensions to mains in outlying districts, if needed, are not provided for, and it will be necessary to secure these by additional taxation or contributions from persons desiring the improvement. It would cost $100,000 to $150,000 to make the extensions to the mains required at the present time. The water levy for the next year’s tax is two mills.