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Sewerage Again

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The sewerage questionisa trouble some one. Like the ghost of the murdered Banquo, it will not down Sooner or later it must be settled in Ann Arbor. In fact it is now the one important question awaiting settlement. It all other respects, the city is on a par wsth or in advance of its sister cities. We have an excellent system of water works; a good system of lighting and ampie fire protection, while the good order of the city and its public works are well cared for. That the sewerage question has not hitherto required attention has been due in arge measure to the natural fulness of the city. It is situated on a large gravel bed which formed a natural sewerage while the city was in its infancy. Of late years ïowever, buildings have been placed upon the building lots and during nine months of the year, at least, a arger number of people occupy each ïouse than is customary in other cities of our size. So that there has come to be a demand for sewerage n order that the natural healthfulness of the city may be maintained. The editor of this paper has always favored a compulsory dry arth closet system. While this sysem is cheaper, if maintained with any efficiency at all, it must be most igidly enforced and every houseïolder must be made to live vigorously up to the requirements of the ystem. It makes no disposition, ïowever, of water from bath rooms, te, and it therefore requires from he richer class of house-holders as ;reat an expenditure as would build and maintain a sewerage system. One of its chief merits, however, is hat it keeps the city from debt. Butit is evident that no move will e made to put this system into opration. It is the part of wisdom not to wait until the city becomes unïealthy before taking such measures as will insure its continued liealth:ulness. A year ago Prof." Charles E. Greene made a report to the council on a proposed system of sewerage, accompanied by a carefully [rawn map. This report has been widely commended by sanitary engineers and has grown in popularity as its merits have come to be better understood. This system contemplates a main ewer from Madison street down A.llen creek to the Huron river and 'rom there to the foot of Thirtèenth treet. Prof. Greene's careful estimates show that this main sewer vould cost $15,000. The size of he main sewer increases from en inches in diameter at Hill street to twenty-two inches along the river; This system ,conemplates the building of lateral ewers as follows: From the Old emetery and Forest Hill cemetery northward down Thirteenth street; he Fifth ward, down Wall street astwardjand the balance of the city jy laterals running into the main ewer on Allen'screek. The lateral ewers, he thinks; should be six and ight inches in diameter. These fig; res are not mere guess work but made after a careful computation of he amount of the sewerage to be isposed of and the rapidity with vhich it will be carried off owing to he natural fall of the ground. His eport calis attention to the efficincy of Kalamazoo's twelve miles of ewerage which cost $69,256. 13, with cost of #204.97 fr annual mainaenance. Twelve miles will hardly complete the system of sewerage needed here. The water works company now has about twenty-five miles of water mains. There are several methods of paying for sewerage. These are summarized by Prof. Green as follows: 1 . By a ganeral sewer tax, paying for the sewers as far as built. 2. By issuing bonds and providing for their gradual payment by general tax, 3. By assessing the property benefitted. 4. By paying for sewers by a general tax and charging for permits to enter private drains. 5. Byassessingproperty adjoining sewers in proportion to the frontage of each lot. 6. By assessing adjoining property in proportion to the value of each lot. 7. By assessing a certain part of the cost on the adjoining property in proportion to the frontage area, or value and paying the remainder ay a general tax. 8. By assessing a certatn uniform amount per foot front on adjoining )roperty, and paying the remainder )y a general tax. It is clear that the main sewer, costing say #15,000, should be built by a general tax. It is also clear hat it would be equitable to pay at east part of the lateral sewer exense by a general tax, especially hose laterals into which other laterls discharge. Assuming that $100,000 would ut in a good sewerage system, it might be raised by twenty years )onds, $5,000 falling due each year. f these bonds drew 4 per cent inerest, the expense would run from 59,000 the first year down to $5,200 he twentieth year, when the sewerge system would be paid for. On the present valuation a tax of #9,000 would amount to a lery of one and a half milis. This would be a tax of $1.50 on each person who pays tax on a $1,000 valuation. After the first year, the tax to be levied would diminish $200 each year. Joseph T. Jacobs brought this fact forcibly to our reporter's mind the other day by saying that he would be willing to pay the sewerage tax of one hundred of the smaller tax payers, those who now pay f rom $1 to $10 taxes each year, for a period of twenty years, in order that the benefits of sewerage might be obtained by the city now. He thought if others would make similar pledges the burden might be taken off of the smaller tax payers, those least able to bear the burden. From this generous offer it will be clearly seen that Mr. Jacobs is an ardent advocate of sewerage. The Argus would be glad to have the citizens express their views on this momentous question through its columns. Shall we have sewerage or not?