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.

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