Newspaper Page Text
SOUTHERN POWER CO AND
COUNCIL COULDN'T AGREE
(Continued from page one).
Council held an executive session,
and then the newspaper men were in-!
Tited in. Council then determined its
course, and then Commission Spear
man was called in, and the matter I
discussed with him. After council had
finally agreed as to its course Messrs.
Taylor and Milmow, the representa
tives of the Power company, were in
vted in, and -were told of council's,
aetion. President Hunt came in to
the meeting, but Presidents Summer
and Wright did not attend.
Full Council Present.
7ere were present at the meeting
Mayor Iangford, Alderman Earhardt,
Alderman Lominack, Alderman Sum
wer, Alderman Rodelsperger and Ald
erman Goree-a full council.
The Xaximpm Rate.
Mr. Earhardt moved that a maxi
mum Tate be required in the fran
ebise, said rate to be agreed upon by
sepresentatives of the company and
council. The motion was seconded by
Mr. Rpdelspierger. Mr. Earhardt ex
pained his position. He said he was
'ot wanting to stand in the way of
progres, and his desire was to do'
tht which was best for the city, as
he saw it. He said the members of
eouncil were present to represent the
.ity and. not their individual prefer
ences. He wanted to see the Power
company In Nwberry, but at the same
time council ought to sLiee that the
eltizens and tx-payers were protect
ed. If the Power company were al
lowed to come in without a maximum
rate, it would be only a question of
time until they would garbie, up the
eity plant, and then if there was no
maximum rate the city would be at
the company's mercy.
Mr. Earhardt's motion was carried
without dissenting vote, Aldermen
Earhardt, Lominack, Summer, Rod
elspergeir and Goree voting in the af
Alderman Summer moved that in
ease the company wouldn't accept the
maximum rate proviso that a proposi
tion be submitted to them for arbi-I
'tration a? any time they might see fit
'bd raisie the price above the present
price, council to. select one member
of the arbitrationi boaid, the company
-to select one, and the two selected to ,
select the third. Aldgman Laminack
seconded Alderman Sum.mer's motion,
'but after discussion, the motion rest
ed on the minutes without being put
to a vote.
Alderman Earbardt said that he!
stood fiat-footed for a maximum rate.
Alderman Summer suggested then
that in case the maximum rate pro
viso shdalid be turned down1lthat they
give the franchise with the proviso~
th4t the rates should nieyer be placed
any higher than are fixed in cities of
like size and similary situated.
City Attorney Blease said the fact
that this provision was in the Green-:
ville franchise, and possibly in others,
night be the reason the company so
* strenuously opposed a maximum rate
Wanted Them Here.
Alderman Lominack thought some
means ought to be dtevised to let the'
e company in.
Alderman Summer said he was un
decided whether the arbitration clause
or the Greenvilie franchise clause
would ibe 'better. Under the Greenville
franchise clause Newberry would have
the help of other cities and towns in
Alderman Earhardt said that be
cause Union, Chester and Greenville
had thrownm no safeguards around the
franchise was no reason Newberry
should .put itself in the power of the*
City Attorney Blease was asked if:
he had heard anything from any other
towns. He said the city attorney of
Greeniville had written him that the
company had not been operating in
that city long enough to determine
how the franchise would work,' and:
.the city attorney of Chester had writ
ten him there had been no comn
Alderman Earhardt asked Mr.
Spearman if the whole thing were
thrown on him to decide, "would you
vote, or could lyou conscientiously
vote, to let thlem in, without a maxi
"Personally I would not let them in'
without some restrictions," said Mr.
Spearman. Mr. Spearman said he
wouldn't pull the bridle off. The city
had a plant worth $150,000, on which
it owed 887.000, having about $20,000
in the sinking fund to apply to the
S107,000 debt, therefore leaving a net
deht on the town of 887,000 for the
water. light and sewer system. He
thought the town could get rid of it
at cost. But if the Power company.
wcre allowed to come in without some
restrictions the greater part of the
eie-'ic plant would be worthless to,
y -"'-an said no town
charged less than Newberry.
Alderman Earhardt urged his maxi
mum rate, believing the Power com
pany might bluff for awhile, but that
it would come in. Alderman Goree
also believed it was coming and
thought best to have the maximum
Mr. Spearman said he wanted it un
derstood that he was anxious for the
Power company to come in. Under
the proper restrictions he believed it
would be to the advantage of the
City Attorney Blease said the course
to pursue was the maximum rate idea.
For All Stations in City.
Alderman Earhardt moved: "That
all plants or stations for the distribu
tion of :power witbin the limits of the
town of Newberry shall be placed
within the town of Newberry." The
motion was seconded by Alderman
Rodelsperger, and on a vote Aldermen
Earhardt, Lominack, Summer, Rodels
perger and Goree votled in the affirma
tive, there being no negative vote.
Alderman Summer suggested a pro
vision that if the company should re
fuse to furnish power to consumers
for a certain length of time that the
franchise should be void. There was
some discussion of this, but it was
decided that it was unnecessary.
Alderman Smmer movied "that the
Southern Power company shall not
sell ,power to any one in any quantity
for resale or distribution so long as
the present city plant is in operation
by the city."
It was urged that <this was for the,
protection of the city pow"er plant
that, while the franchise proposed
provided that power should not be
sold in quantities less than 100 horse
power that this power might be re
sold, especially in viw of the Parr
Eunter franchise. Alderman Rodels
perger seconded the motion, but it
was killed; only Alderman Sumrer
voting .in the affirmative, and Alder
men Earhardt, Lominack and Goree
voting in the negative. Later, however,
;he motion was reconsidered, and car
ried. Alderman -Summer said some
yne migb+ buy this franchise and the
Dity plant would have to go out of
Didn't Want to Blan ket it on a Sum
Alderman noiniack said let it go,
i it couldn't stand the :pressure. Cit
ttorney Blease said, if you have I
orse you want to sell you 'have to
ay it is a good one, and if it was de
ired to s(e'1l the city plant it would
e better to sell it rather than have it
put out of busi.ness, and 'have these re
~trictions until it could be sold. Ald
1man Summer said that was his posi
.ion-that he wanted to take care of
he city's property until some dis-.
osition could be mad.e of it. Mr.
spearman said the city couldn't manu
~acture power in competition with
muning water. In response 'to a1
luestion be said it would cost abo;ut.
1,500O to connect the city plant with
the Power company. He asked if
Tierman Lominack was dissatisfied
ith the price he was paying for- cur-'
rent. Alderman Lominack said all
uring last summe,r whenever hie used
mily 30 or 35 cents worth of light he'
was charged 50 cents, but if it went
o 51 cents they didn't fail to collect
that one cent. Mr. Spearm.an sia'id the
ost of resading each metre was the
sae. Alderman Summer suggested
that some people might pay rent for
store rooms and not sell any goods,
mdn there was a running fire of dis
cussion and comment. The motion1
ws then put and carried, by addingI
:his proviso to Seiction 6, Alderman
Goree seconding the motion and all
the aldermen votinig for it, except
lderman Ear'hardt, who voted in the
Alderman Earhardt's Position.
When this motion was killed at the
i--ne it -was first offered, and prior to
t reconsideration and 'adoption, Aid-.
rman Earhardt took the consistent
position that, having fixed a maxi
.um rate, Section 6 of the franchise
ught to be strickgn out and the comn
pany allowed to furnish power in any
quantity it desired, and to any persons
or corporations it de'sired. He s'aid
t.nless this were done, nobody would:
be benefited except the cotton mills.
Alderman Summer said it would mean
he breaking up of the power plant,
and what was this use to take money.
out of one pocket and put it ina
other. City Attorney Blease said
zouncil had better go slow, sell thel
power plant first, and then 'strike that
out Alderman Goree had seconded
Alderman Earhardt's motion, but
Alderman Earhardt was the onely onm
voting in the affirmative, the four oth
er aldermen voting against the mo
Mr. Earhardt's position was entire
It consistent, in connection with a
maxmhum rate. be urging that if a
maximum rato should govern, th-en
the cilizens should all alike receive
the benefits, and were editled to the
cheapest powie-r they could secure.
The Power company would not have
accepted these conditions, however.
Council having decided its corse,
Messrs. Travlnr Milmow were in
vited in. and th e three propositions
upon which council had determined
were read to them.
Mr. Taylor said:
Power Company's Position.
"It is unnecessary for me to argue;
it, I take it, because you, gentlemlen
have made up your minds. I do not
mean this offensively, because I dol
not think it necessary. In the first
place, we do a very large business,
as you know. We have our lines cov
ering a distance of 1,300 miles, driving
2,200,000 spindles. We are furnish
ing power to light fifty towns and ci
ties in North Carolina. The legisla
ture of South Carolina has recently
passed an act giving the public ser
vice commission of South Carolina the
right to regulate our rates. We are
perfectly willing to live under them,
but if we had -masters in every town,
each one fixing different rates, we
could not do it. It is out of the ques
tion. That disposes of that.
Would Put Stations in City.
"As to locating our sub-stations in
side your limits, if we are granted our
standard form of franchise, I say to
you we will do it. I say that in the
presence of witnesses, and say that in
order that it may be an inducement
for you to grant us a franchise, so if
we were not to do it the franchise
would be null and void on account of
fraud. And we are not going around
making fraudulent representations.
If you gentlemen think we are that
type you ought inot to grant us a
franchise under any circumstances.
-Would Agree to Re-Sale Clause.
"As to that last clause, that is ab
solutely unnecessary, because that lies
within your power. 'No man can dis
tribute pow;er for light and heat in
this city without the consent of this
town Cbuncil. Then why put it in our
ontract, when it is within your pow
er? It doesn't do any good. If you
will pardon me for saying so, it is af
vain thing to put in."
The 'mayor explained that there was
a franchise outstanding.
Mr. Taylor said if council wanted to
provide that his company should not
sel to the owniers of that franchise,
that would be sstisfactory.
But, said the mayor, they could sell
the franchise to same -one else.
So far as that was concerned, said
NIr. Taylor, if that was the only diif
erence he wouLld waive that and con
sent for it to 'go in.
Mayor Langford 'told Mr. Taylor
that he thought 'the whole council
wanted the Southern Power company
to come in anud be welcome.
Newberry Attractive, But-.
"What I say is not said in a narrow,
pcayunish spirit," said Mr. Taylor.
'We would like 'very much to do :busi
aess in Newberry. It 'is a town that'
we feel has prospects. We feel that
blhere is a future in front of it. But,
s much as we would like to come in,
ve can't disturb the equilibrium of a
system like we hy'e just for the pur
pose of doing business in Newberry. It
i a busines proposition with us out
and-out. The business that we pro
pose doing in Newberry is not such a'
busings, it seems to me, that the city:
council would concern itself with se
riously. We are limited to contracts!
above 100 horsepower. When you be-1
g.in to make power in 100 horse quan
tities steam is a live and active com
petitor, and the men -who take it in
100 horse-power quantities :are usual -
ly men of affairs who can take care1
of themselves. But, over and above
and beyond all that, you heave a pub
lic service conmmission of expierts to
fix the rates if they become exorbi
t'nt They never can become exorbi
tant because of 'the constant comfpeti
tion of steam, 'which is continually in
creas.ing in efficiency year b~y year,
and so stands as a check to us if we
were disposed to 'put op 'our price.
Anid so it seems to ane-not arguing
the question with you, 'or begging you
to do otherwise-it is a question the
city would not seriously concern it
self with, when there are all these
checks. If you gentlemen do not want
us in town there are no hard feelings.
We would be delighted to come here.:
But. :is attractive as Newberry is, it.
is not sufficiently attractive for us to
disrupt the equilibrium of a system
we have spent years and millions in
building up, and that clause would
simply open up to us the gap for Pan
dorn's box of evils, which I could not
describe to you in a speech of hours.
It is impossible, gen.tlemen."
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