Would Meet Catskill Debt By Installing Meter System
That the installing of a meter system in elevator apartments in New York City was a necessity because the annual surplus of $4,000,000 heretofore received by the city from its water revenue is not only wiped out, but changed to a large deficit by the carrying charges of the large sum invested in the new Catskill aqueduct system, was pointed out by Commissioner William Williams, of the Department of Water Supply, Gas and Electricity, in an interview in which he is quoted as saying that after the deduction of the operating and maintenance charges the net revenues the city gets from the water system at the present time amount to less than 3 per cent. on the investment. “Under these circumstances,” he said/ “it seems no more than just that the water consumers should be required to pay in the water rates a sufficient amount to prevent the municipal water works from incurring an actual deficit in connection with the assumption of the Catskill debt. For this purpose considerable additional revenues will be needed, and while the metering of apartment houses will not alone suffice to make up this prospective deficit, it will go a long way in that direction, and is the most obvious step which should be taken immediately in an effort to meet the financial situation.” Recently the water meter ordinance before the Board of Aldermen was shelved on recommendation of the Committee on General Welfare, and the Commissioner said that he would make no further effort for the present to have meters set in elevator apartment houses. “The responsibility for the waste of water,” he declared, “is now up to the Board of Aldermen.” According to the Commissioner, the public was left under the impression that he wanted to put meters in all apartment houses, although after the first public hearing in the matter he sent a communication to the Board agreeing to an amendment which limited the meter project to apartment houses with elevators.