This Day in History: May 6 1914

Yellow stripe on a sewer grate

Voters Clear the Track For Greater Milltown by Balloting For Sewer and Water Systems Gratifying Results of Election

Expected to Prove a Great Boon to the Tire Town and Pave the Way to Michelin Co.’s Expansion.


MILLTOWN. May 6 – Two-thirds of the voters of the borough of Milltown turned out at the special election which was held yesterday, about 75 per cent, of whom voiced their approval of the action of the officials to proceed with the Installation of sewer and water systems in accordance with the plans and specifications of the Milltown Sewer and Water Commission, as approved by the Borough Council.

Special ballots were voted for the construction of a sewer system and the issuance of bonds therefor and the – construction of a water works and the issuance of bonds therefor, the results of which follow:

In favor of the construction of a system of sewerage in the borough of Milltown, according to resolution of council dated December 11, 1913……..192

In favor of the issue of bonds for the above, according to resolution of Council dated March 12, 1914……..183

Against the construction of a system of sewerage in the borough of Milltown……..49

Against the issue of bonds for sewer system……..46

In favor of the construction of a system of water works in the borough of Milltown, according a resolution of Council dated December 11, 1913……..188

In favor of the issue of bonds for the water works, according to a resolution of Council dated March 12, 1914……..181

Against the construction of a system of water works in the borough of Milltown, according to resolution of Council dated December 11, 1913……..47

Against the issue of bonds according to resolution of Council dated March 12, 1914……..43

There were 247 votes cast in all; of this number 16 were rejected.

After the installation of the sewers we will have not only a more attractive borough by way of conveniences, but a cleaner, healthier and up-to date borough.

While It will be necessary to bond the town for about $100,000 in order to establish the sewer and water systems as outlined by the plans and specifications, it Is believed that the same will not prove to be a heavy burden, compared with the conveniences that will be derived from the same. After the installation of the sewers we will have not only a more attractive borough by way of conveniences, but a cleaner, healthier and up-to date borough. This will also give Milltown better facilities for fire protection and have a tendency to reduce the insurance rates.

The vote cast yesterday was much heavier than had been anticipated, and a larger number turned out in favor of the plans than was looked forward to. In certain sections of the borough, where it was thought the vote would be dead against the new issue, a large proportion favored the movement.

All the Milltown voters employed in the Michelin tire factory were privileged to leave their work at 5o’clock yesterday in order to go to the polls to cast their votes.

The new systems after being installed, “It is believed, will have a direct bearing on the future plans of the Michelin Tire Company in the way of still further enlargements of their already enormous plant here, and thus Milltown will benefit in this way by bringing more people into the borough.


This Day in History: May 4th 1914

This Day in History: May 4th 1914

Tomorrow’s Election Is Most Important in History of the Borough

Milltown’s Future Depends Upon It Michelin Co. to Build Reclaiming Works if Water and Sewer Systems Are Voted For.


MILLTOWN, May 4. – May 6, is “Decision Day” in Milltown, when the voters will decide whether or not they want the proposed water and sewerage systems. Arguments have been heard for and against the proposition.

The principle arguments against are these:

  1. The Increased tax rate.
  2. The discomfort of making Improvements, such as torn up streets, etc.
  3. Annexation with the New Brunswick sewer system.
  4. The probable pollution of private wells now in use.
  5. The size of the main which will carry the sewage from Milltown to New Brunswick.

These arguments are answered by those favorable to the plans In this manner:

  • A town never begins to grow until it is bonded. The total bonded Indebtedness will amount to approximately $100,000. The interest on this plus the cost of the establishment of a sinking fund plus the cost of operation of the system, will amount to approximately between $8,000 and $9,000 annually, which cannot be claimed to be excessive in a town of one million dollars valuation. In the last ten years this valuation has Increased from five hundred thousand dollars valuation. In the next ten years, with added advantages of sewer and water the valuation should Increase in proportion. Besides this the water system should be a paying proposition by 1918, and undoubtedly will be.
  • Contracts awarded for these systems will embrace a clause requiring that the streets be returned to the same condition as when opened, and before final payments the borough councilmen will satisfy themselves on the condition of the thoroughness.
  • The annexation with New Brunswick brings with it $12,500 form the treasury of that city for the construction of the force line from the borough limits to New Brunswick., curtailing the cost of an expensive disposal plant on the banks of the Lawrence Brook. Our acceptance of this offer from New Brunswick does not place us under any obligations to that city, being but a purely business proposition for the protection of their water supply.
  •  With the clay and sandy soil, which proves to be an excellent filter, it is unlikely and improbable that the wells will be polluted, the small amount of sewage which escapes from the pipe cemented together, and plastered manholes, will become purified in a flow of a few feet in that nature of the soil.
  • Three engineers of note have declared that a twelve inch main, will carry all the sewage from Milltown, if there was a house on every lot in the borough, which should be satisfactory to those skeptical on this point. Many arguments have been advanced in favor of the plans, among them are
    • Encouragement for industries.
    • Increase of population.
    • Cleanliness
    • Domestic uses.
    • To place the town on higher level with towns of the same size and population.
  • Fire facilities.

What has Milltown to offer at the present time to new industries? Practically nothing but land and railroad facilities. One of the principal needs of any large industry is water and a place to dispose of the sewage. The Michelin Tire Company is at the present time severely handicapped in its growth by the lack of these facilities. The State Board of Health is decidedly against any addition pollution of the brook by the company, which is necessarily put an end to the plans of the building of a re-claiming plant, which it is understood the company will build upon the advent of water and sewerage systems, thereby greatly increasing the size of their plant in America.  

What has Milltown to offer at the present time to new industries? Practically nothing but land and railroad facilities. One of the principal needs of any large industry is water and a place to dispose of the sewage.

Why is it that Highland Park has increased in population during the last few years? Why is it that so many employed in Milltown who have their interests here have moved from New Brunswick to Highland Park and not from New Brunswick to Milltown. Because the facilities for modern improvements in modern homes fall short in that the borough has no water or sewers.

Upon the installation of a sewer system there will be a remedy for odors incidental to the distribution of sewerage on land and the other ills incidental to the lack of a system.

The slogan of the housewife tomorrow will be “Down with the rain barrel and in with the clear running water from the faucet.” Man can figure on saving his wife one-half her trouble by the installation of the pipe line and a receptive for the sewerage.

To compete with surrounding towns as a place for industry or a place for residence Milltown must sewer. New Brunswick is well sewered, as are South River, Metuchen, Highland Park and other surrounding towns Milltown must grow.

Milltown has a fire department of volunteers that is capable of fighting any fire. It Is equipped with a chemical auto truck which has done excellent work in small fires, but the company is seriously handicapped by the lack of pressure and lack of water, and it is likely that every fireman realizes it and those in the department who will be against it will be in the minority. The decision on its arguments advanced will be rendered by Milltown voters tomorrow.

The increase in the tax rate will be about 50 points, but this will be more than offset by the increased valuations. It is stated that the plan; Is not to pay off any bonded Indebtedness for five years, except Interest, so that property owners can connect with the systems without increasing their expenses too much.