The Algona Upper Des Moines from Algona, Iowa on August 16, 1938 · Page 31
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The Algona Upper Des Moines from Algona, Iowa · Page 31

Algona, Iowa
Issue Date:
Tuesday, August 16, 1938
Page 31
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The Algona Upper Peg Moines, Algona, Iowa, Aug. 16,1938 on* City of ALGONA This is your town. It does not belong to the Mayor, the Council, or the various officials who perform necessary services. It is yours. You and you and you—everyone in town—has a share of the city, whether you own property, rent, or live with somebody. t ^ Algona is known far and wide as a "good" town. It is a good town, because you have made it so. You have approved good government and good operation of the many varied services you ask your city to perform for you. * You, as a citizen of Algona, are a part owner in the biggest single business in the town—its government and its public utilities. You are a stockholder—and a voting stockholder—in the light plant, the water works, the fire department, the police department, the street department, the health department, the swimming pool— everything that is Algona. We, who perform these necessary and vital governmental and public utility jobs for you, feel strongly our obligation. This is the territorial centennial of the State of Iowa. Your town was established 85 years ago. It has grown from a population of two people its first month to a new estimated 4500. It has grown because it has attracted good people—good citizens who take an interest in the town. With the growth of Algona came the growth of its service. First came the sanitaiy and storm sewers which you take for granted, but which cost thousands of dollars and requires continual upkeep and watchfulness. You established one of the earliest municipal light plants and water works, which is prosperous, returning dividends each and every month to you as a stockholder in this town of ours. Through your business judgment we, as your agents, have maintained this public utility service on a business - like basis, carefully husbanding the surpluses, returning the savings to you in lower rates for your purchases. Through wise and careful business principles set up by you through former officials, and continued by your present officers, you have completely retired the public debt of your city, with the single exception of swimming pool bonds, which, by the way, are owned by you. You pay interest only to yourself. Your $350,000 light plant is paid for. Whenever repairs or new machinery are needed you have seen to it that you can buy it on a cash market at the favorable prices that cash in governmental affairs will bring. You nave kept a balance on hand so that when these repairs or new machinery are needed you do not have to oav interest. We are proud of our employers^-prpud of the business which we operate for you—proud to be a joint stockholder with you—proud of your business judgment and common sense. We are proud to say we are a part of the governmental and utility organization of Algona, because over this state Algona is known as a "good" town. You should visit your property more often than you do. You should see the shining engines in the light plant that bring you light, heat, and power by the turn of a switch blocks away. You should see the water in the water plant being aerated in sprays in pools so that it will come to you fresh, clean, and pure. We who are working daily with these tools of yours are proud of them, and we are more than anxious and glad to have you come and see them. Soon there will be installed a new eight-cylinder engine which you have purchased to furnish you with continued good service in light, heat, and power needs. Come and see it, with three other big engines in operation. Then you will have a better understanding of this city which you have built. The history of your Algona utilities begins before the "turn of the century." It was July 27 1895 that the Western Electric Telephone System was granted a franchise. Two years after that an ordinance was passed prohibiting you from riding bicycles after dark on city streets. Five days after the phone franchise grant an ordinance was passed requiring residents to build a plank walk from Harlan St. to the Northwestern depot It was also in 1895 that the water system was established, with an 8-inch main running from the city plant east on State street to Harlan. Then you had two wells 800-feet deep with a capacity of 50 gallons per minute. In 1913 a 10-inch well 1375 feet deep was put down with a capacity of 100-gallons per minute In 1925 a 12-inch well was sunk, with 125 gallons per minute. In 1936 a 171-ft. well, 24 inches in diameter was put down, with a capacity of 400 gallons per minute. The waterworks was established and operating between 1896 and 1897. No meters were installed till 1913, everybody paying a flat monthly rate. Installation of the meters cut water use by one-half. A Mr. Foster was named first superintendent of public works May 25, 1898 at a salary of $60 per month July 25, 1898, the city granted a franchise to a group of Algonians to bujld an electric light plant. The Al- gonians built the plant, leased it immediately to the city, which purchased it a few years later and has owned it since. In 1900 there were 300 light customers—no power. Today there are 1800 light meters In 1898 vour plant was operated by steam with a capacity of 150 h. p. Today you have 3300 h. p. Diesel, all paid for. The first electric light rate was 10 cents per kilowatt—no discount—no sliding scale. In 1912 the rate was 10 cents, with the first power rate 4 cents. In 1921 you boosted the rate to 13 cents for lights, and 6 cents for power, and established a cooking rate of 5 cents. In 1922 you reduced it to 11 and 5c. In 1928 you reduced it to 8£ and 4|. Your rate now starts at 7J and 5, with a sliding scale depending upon use, and a 25 per cent discount from this amount for cash payment. Iowa's 100th Year - Algona's 85th Year

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