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Improving The City

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■ Ann Arbor is a progressive city. In the past few years she has been j making rapid strides forward, yet where there has been so much to do there yet remains several improveraents for the city to make as a city. It is the purpose of this article to speak of these as well as to drop a word or two in a discursive son of way on what has actually been done. There bids fair to be a revival of the sidewalk building epidemie next spring. A few years ago, in 1887 or 8, in fact, there were only two or three stone sidewalks in town, now nearly all the business portion has stone sidewalks. Plank walks have been built at the rate of four or five miles a year. A number of walks ordered last year have not yet been built. It hardly looks likely now that the main sewer will be built for less than $30,000. In fact the chances are much stronger that it will run over $30,000 than ttiey are 'that the construction will cost less than that siim. The talkof constructing laterals has not yet commenced. This is apparently strange, for the main sewer will be practically valueless until the laterals are constructed. Before spring, therefore, we may look for considerable discussion on the topic of the construction of lat-f eral sewers. V - The building of sewers in Ann Arbor this winter has been a big boon to the laboring classes. It has very materially kept down demands upon the poor fund, which would otherwise have been made by families which have never accepted poor.aid. The street commissioner is authority for the statement that while he believes t-hat sewers could be built much more cheaply in the spring or summer than now, yet if the laborers did not have this work they would be obliged to accept aid or starve. If this is true, it certainly is to the city's interest to keep them at work, even if it costs a little more. They are enabled to preserve their self-respect and to ffcel that they earn their livelihood. Our paid fire department is equal to that of any city of the size of Ann Arbor in the country. It has kept down the fire losses in Ann Arbor since its organization to practically nothing. ■ It is efficiently manned and the work of the department is done quickly and intelligently. There is, however, one thing which the city needs for more efficiënt fire protection and which could be put in at a much less cost than has been incurred in any way so far for increased fire protection, and that is an efficiënt fire alarm system. The Argus is inclined to the belief that a modified telephone fire alarm system would be the most effective, as then the department would be enabled to lócate the fire at once. The chief of the fire department who has paid considerable attention to the matter favors this. Sooner or later, bridging the Toledo, Ann Arbor and North Michigan railroad in this city will become a necessity. The.road runs through a valley so that bridging it would really save heavy grades fortteams, besides securing safety. At present buildings hide the track so that it is impossible to see approachingtrains. The principal factor in preventing the building of the bridges is the íact that under the supreme court decisions the property owners on each side of the embankments leading to the bridges would be entitled to receive damages. Of course it could be fixed so that the owners of this land near the railroad tracks could get access to their property, but they would still be apt to put in big bilis. Still public safety demands that some better means be devised to cross the Ann Arbor tracks. Bridges would give a big Ímpetus to the second and third wards. Germany is the greatest zinc produeing country ín the world. The main district is in Upper Silesia, where the metal is inade trom caianine and zinc blended by distillation. The greatest depth recorded of Lake Michigan is 870 feet, or about one-sixth of a mile. The mean depth is about 325 feet, or one-sixteeath of a mile. A woman ia never known to advertise for the return of stolen property "and no questions asked. " She woukl ask cyiestions or die.


Ann Arbor Argus
Old News