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Mail Tribune 100, Aug. 3, 1921

The following news items were drawn from the archives of the Mail Tribune 100 years ago

Aug. 3, 1921


Mayor and City Council Agree Distribution System, and Not Supply at Fault — People Urged to Aid in Conservation — Put All Commercial Users on Meter Next Year.

The water situation was discussed at length by the city council last night but no definite action was taken as all the councilmen seemed satisfied that headway toward a solution to the problem was being made by Messrs. Keene and Miles of the council water committee, and that till necessary improvements contemplated in the water system can be made with the cooperation of the water users of the city in obeying strictly the water regulation laid down by the city there will be plenty of water for everyone.

On this point all the councilmen are agreed — that there is plenty of water, and the only fault lays in the gravity distribution system. Mayor Gates and Councilmen Gaddis, Keene, Antle and Dressler were present at the meeting. The only absentee was Councilman Miles, who is away from the city on business.

The subject came up on the receipt of a communication from the directors of the chamber of commerce urging that action be taken promptly on the situation by providing for an engineering survey of the situation as to what improvements are necessary to be made.

Oceans of Water, Says Mayor

“We have plenty of water, oceans of it, if properly distributed,” said Mayor Gates after the communication had been read. “The water is getting away from us somehow. This is a serious situation, a big problem, and it must be faced.

“When the city water system was built three main lines were contemplated across Bear creek, but only one, the middle one, was built, and the projected north and south lines were not. If they had been built then we would have had an equal pressure and circulatory system throughout the city and there would be no such trouble as we have encountered in the past and now have.

“Medford, based on an estimated population of 8,000, consumes 4 1/2 times as much water correspondingly as Seattle uses with its much greater population. We should work out the original plan or some other plan, financed by a bond issue if necessary, so as to provide equal distribution and pressure throughout the city, give everyone water, and remove the fire hazard.”

“I agree with you, we all do,” said Chairman Keene of the water committee, “but the people must be a little patient. We are working towards a solution. This is a matter that cannot be rushed, and I deplore the wrong publicity that is going out over the state and country that Medford has a meager water supply, when in fact it has plenty of water. We cannot get an improved system ready until next year, but can get ready by making our plans as soon as consistently possible to begin this improvement work next fall and winter, when many men will need work and when materials will be cheaper.”

— Alissa Corman; acorman@rosebudmedia.com