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present rate formore than twenty years. But it is proposed not to sell the
ordinary householder water, at the present meter rates; but to establish a
minimum rate and to increase the meter rate or tfie householder.
We further desire to call attention to the unfairness of establishing
classes of water users. Water is not a commodity on which the city is sup"
posed to make a profiCnor should the city sell in wholesale and retail lots.
r Every consumer should procure his water at the same rate as every
! other consumer. '
What we need is not the establishment .of a water meter for the pur
pose of getting more money out of us, but a reduction of our present rates,
on the flat-rate basis, so that there will be 'no surplus water fund out of
which to pay the debts of the city.
We are already taxed too high and the "burden is becoming ntore than
the people can bear. It would be an outrage to ask 300,000 householders,
many of whom are poor, to pay the additional expense of over $30,000,000
for the installation of water meters which are not needed and which, when
installed, will cost many more million dollars to keep in repair.
In addition to this first cost, we must consider the damage to the
pavements which will result from tearing-them up, and which will neces
sitate in a very short time the laying of an entire new pavement. There is
a service pipe each 25 feet of frontage.
For instance, Indiana avenue has a new asphalt pavement, and it is
probably the best asphalt pavement 1n the city. If this pavement was torn
up each. 25 feet it would be ruined and we might as well consider the-laying
of a new pavement. The present pavement has cost the property owners
on the average of about $150 for 25 feet Itis not yet paid for. .This is
less than many people have paid 'for the same improvement.
This would mean the expenditure of millions of dollars in the laying
of new pavements and sidewalks. In addition to this, the installation of
new service pipes, which will be necessary, will necessitate the tearing up
of every householder's lawn, thereby destroying its beauty for the season.
Many other reasons could be advanced why this ordinance should not
pass. The fact that the annual repair of ttte meters exceeds the average
"water tax is sufficient in itself to condemn the measure. According to
present figures, the individual water bill would amount per year to the
Interest on money expended for meter, etc. .. .' .V$ 2,00
Installation for 20 years (water tax rate) 4.68
Water tax to exceed the present rate per annum. . .. 4.68
Total cost per annum $15.71
As compared with the present rate of . $4.68. , v
To this must be added the cost of new pavement in a considerably
shorter period than would be necessary if this ordinance were not passed.
Not one benefit can be shown by the department to the water user. Do
the people exist for the government, or does the government exist for the
Will you kindly therefore call the attention of the citizens of Chicago
to these facts. Yours truly, "
The Social Economics Club,
By Laura May McCormick, Chairman.
N The Human Rights Party of Cook County.
By Mary E. Miller, Chairman.