The New Deal in Waterville Maine part 2

1937

Mayors Report

Poor relief expenditures caused the largest overdraft of our appropriation. This was unavoidable and does not reflect any discredit upon the management of this department. Including the amount expended to sponsor Federal Relief projects this department calls for more money than any other except the School Department. W. P. A. projects have given work relief to more than 200 men and women which has helped to lessen the demand on the city poor department. These projects have included sewer and road construction; lengthening the runways; clearing and grading safety strips and helping install lights at the airport; and sewing for the women. Colby College has contributed to the sponsors share of projects carried on at Mayflower Hill. Dr. George G. Averill has contributed $10,000 through Airways Inc. to the airport development project. These projects are accomplishing work that is of value, both from a practical and from a relief standpoint. They should be continued as long as such widespread unemployment exists. Thirty-two and eight-tenths acres of land have been purchased at the Northeast end of two runways in order that it may be cleared and kept free from all obstructions to a point below a 1 to 20 gliding angle to the end of the runways which is a requirement of the Bureau of Air Commerce for after dark landing of the Boston and Maine plane. A price of $50 per acre was established for this purchase. A W. P. A. Project Proposal to construct extension to Kelsey Street starting at Main Street and extending westerly approximately 1200 linear feet, thence southerly 200 linear feet to intersection of Roosevelt Ave, and Hillcrest Street and to construct a storm sewer for the new streets, has been submitted to W. P. A. officials. Mr. Lewis J. Rosenthal offered to give the city a strip of land fifty feet wide for these proposed new streets. He offered to give $1500 to be used in the sponsors’ contribution to the project. Furthermore he offered to give gravel from his pit on May Street to grade the new streets. This generous offer was accepted by the City Government and I hope the project may be started at the proper time since it opens a new residential section to the construction of good houses.

Support of Poor

The various W. P. A. Projects have been a great help to this Department. The W. P. A. Sewing Project under the Supervision of Mrs. Blye Drew has been a tremendous help to us.

Street Commissioner Report

SURFACE TREATMENT OF STREETS

Five and one-half cars of tar and one car of calcium chloride were used on our streets this year. The two years previous to this we had W. P. A. labor on this work.

NEW SEWERS

Having a W. P. A. project for sewers we were able to rebuild the sewer on Messalonskee Avenue and upper Western Avenue.

STATE AID ROADS

The state aid road on Western Avenue was completed this year by the W. P. A.

1938

Mayors Report

I wish also to express my sincere appreciation for the assistance received from the several federal agencies which substantially relieved our welfare burden. The City received from these sources approximately $125,000 for labor payrolls, and several thousand dollars worth of materials and foodstuffs.

Contingent Fund

W. P. A. Sewing Project Material …….$3,253 83

W. P. A. Projects Materials ……………….4,024 83

W. P. A. Projects Labor ……………………3,017 36

W. P. A. Projects Rental ……………………..248 19

W. P. A. Projects Rental of Equipment. 2,001 85

W. P. A. Projects Insurance …………………151 50

Report of Assessors

Through the W. P. A. Project, the department is in possession of a nearly complete set of Street Maps and a Key May, at very little cost to the City. In addition to this we also obtained a complete description of each piece of property with photographs.

Report of the Board of Finance

We appreciate the assistance given by the Federal Government in providing labor for several projects which have been of great assistance to the Welfare Department.

Report of Street Commissioner

NEW STREETS

Only two new streets were constructed during the year 1938. Johnson Heights was built with the use of W. P. A. labor, Mr. Louis Rosenthal contributing $1500 toward the cost of materials for this project. The balance being paid out of the Contingent Fund. This street is approximately 1200 feet long, having 18″ of base gravel with 3″ of surface gravel. This should make a very good street after it has been treated with calcium chloride or tar.

NEW SEWERS

1200 lineal feet of sewer were completed on Johnson Heights. This was an eight-inch sewer constructed by the W. P. A. in connection with building of the new street. Approximately 200 feet of a four foot sewer has been built by W. P. A. in the east branch of the Hayden Brook Sewer. This job is still in progress;

At this time the much needed Ann Street Sewer is very near completion. This work has been done by the W. P. A., the materials paid for out of the regular sewer approbation. 600 feet of 10″ pipe has been laid and approximately 300 feet of 8″ pipe. This has been rather a slow project as we encountered quicksand and had to use plank sheating to protect the workmen.

SIDEWALKS

The City of Waterville was very fortunate in having an asphalt plant setup for their use. There was some discussion as to the type of sidewalk the city should build but after careful investigation and consideration it was felt that asphalt sidewalks should be built. It was rather late in the season before a W. P. A. project could be set up.

On August 17th we started our sidewalk project. The walks were built of asphalt concrete the same material used in the resurfacing of Elm Street. Th plant was rented from the Warren Brothers Roads Co. at a price per hour. The crushed stone bought from the Oakland Crushed Stone Company and gravel from a local gravel pit. The cost of the walks were divided on estimate that the abutter pay fifty per cent of the cost of materials, the city paying the other half. All labor being furnished by the W. P. A. Between August 17th and Sept. 24th eleven thousand one hundred and thirty-seven and a half linear feet of sidewalk was constructed.

Public Library

Since September the N. Y. A. help has been reduced from two to one.

1939

Mayors Report

The City has received substantial assistance from several Federal agencies. Notable among which were the contribution of PWA towards the construction of the addition to the Senior High School and the contribution of WPA in labor payrolls and materials. I feel that Waterville as a whole appreciates this aid.

Department of Public Schools

Coming now to the matter of school buildings the one great achievement of the year is the building of an addition to the senior high school building in the form of a combination auditorium and gymnasium. In so far as the contract is concerned this new wing is completed and paid for at a cost of $84,000 of which amount the city paid $46,200 and the Federal Government $37,800. In the fall of 1938 Mayor Dundas appointed a committee to consider and report on the need of an auditorium and gymnasium. This committee consisted of Messrs. Carroll Perkins, Chairman, Leon Tebbetts, Edmond Robichaud, Bryant Hopkins, C. E. Glover. On Nov. 29, 1938 this committee reported in favor of the project recommending that it be built as an addition to the senior high school building. On the same date the City Government authorized the Mayor to make application for a Federal grant of forty- five per cent of the amount necessary to finance the project. On Dec. 7th application was made through the Public Works Administration. Notice of the grant was received Dec. 16th; bids were opened Dec. 23rd and the contract awarded to the H. P. Cummings Co. of Winthrop, Maine. On Dec. 28th the first shovel full of earth was removed, construction thereby being formally begun.

On Jan. 12, 1940 the building was formally dedicated with appropriate exercises, the dedicatory address being delivered by Hon. F. Harold Dubord, former Mayor of the city. The auditorium seats 1330 persons, at full capacity; when set up for basketball use it seats 900. The main floor measures 66x 82 feet. The proscenium arch is 36 feet wide and the stage sufficiently deep to allow for any ordinary dramatic production. Dressing rooms, rest rooms, toilets and showers complete the picture. The citizens have a right to feel proud of this addition; it is another mile-stone marking the progress of the public school system.

Support of Poor

The relief problem is the Number 1 problem of this city, and until such time as the unemployment situation is cleared up, it will continue to be so. The W. P. A. Projects in this city have been a very great help to this department. Without them, the expense to this department would be staggering.

Street Commissioners Report

NEW SEWERS

The east branch of Hayden Brook sewer was extended northerly across Columbia Road with segment block. An 8″ sewer was laid from Hayden Brook sewer to Hazelwood Avenue, a distance of 300′. This was done to abate a nuisance which existed at the Rogers home. The west branch of Hayden Brook was repaired to a certain extent. This work was carried on with W. P. A. labor.

Abram Brook Relief Sewer has been constructed this year with a total of 1208′ of 18″ pipe. All of the above work has been carried on with W. P. A. labor.

Report of City Engineer

On Gilmore Street 250 feet have been graded and graveled and an 8″ sewer built, and an 8″ sewer 300 feet in length on Silvermount, by the regular city crew.

Hayden Brook Sewer has been extended northerly about 500 feet to the North side of Columbia Road.

An 8″ sewer was constructed from Columbia Road northerly to Hazelwood Avenue, about 300 feet, to abate a nuisance near the home of A. R. Rogers.

15″ sewer has been constructed, draining the north of Grove Street, about 1400 feet.

A relief sewer to take a part of the load on Abram Brook Sewer has been constructed from Redington Street to Gold Street, using over 1200 feet of 18″ pipe.

These sewers have been built by W. P. A. labor which is now engaged in building a sewer to take care of the Nelson Heights section along both sides of the Oakland Road. The present project contemplates the building of nearly two miles, and the whole when completed will require two miles more, so that with the present sewer, there will be about 5 miles in this section. This has been planned so that it can be built in large or small sections and when done will completely drain this community, from the Messalonskee Stream to the First Rangeway.

1940

Mayors Report

College Avenue was rebuilt at a cost of $32,000, of which the Federal Government contributed one-half.

National Defense requirements made it necessary for an expansion of our Waterville Municipal Airport This necessitated an expenditure of a small amount of money by the city in comparison with the amount contributed by the Nation. The Federal Government is spending $500,009 on this project while the city’s cost will be approximately $30,000.

The City is fortunate in being the recipient of a great deal of aid from the various Federal organizations. Outstanding is the Federal Government’s contribution to the Waterville Municipal Airport Project, as well as their participation in the construction of College Avenue. I am sure the citizens of Waterville appreciate this generous financial assistance.

Contingent Fund

W. P. A. Sewing Project……………………….$ 8,757

N. Y. A. Sewing Project …………. …………….. 159

N. Y. A. Boys’ Project …………………………….1,630

Airport (Construction Project) ………… 13,007

Report of the Road Commissioner

The Second Rangeway has been reconstructed from the Oakland state road northeasterly to the Stanley farm a distance of about a mile. Two-thirds of a mile of this road has had two applications of tar. The most of this work has been carried on with W. P. A. labor.

NEW Sewers

A sewer project was carried on by W. P. A. during the winter and spring. This project was known as the Nelson Heights sewer. Twenty-nine hundred feet of eight inch pipe with twelve manholes and one catch basin being constructed. This project employed nearly a hundred men.

Poor Department

Credit wood at the WPA Sewing Proj. $168 00

Credit wood at the WPA Airport Proj. $63 00

Report of the City Engineer

The work on the Second Rangeway by the W. P. A. was continued Northerly from the Oakland Road to the home of Ralph Stanley. Of this 3300 feet is tarred and about 1900 feet is graveled. This wrork was stopped when the men were sent to the airport.

Oakland Road Sewer – 8” pipe 2900 Feet 12 manholes. The Oakland Road Sewer was built by W. P. A. labor.

1941

Mayors Report

Main Street from Appleton Street to and including Ticonic Bridge has been resurfaced with the aid of the Federal Government, the cost to the city being $12,500.00.

In cooperation with the Federal Government continued improvement of the Waterville Municipal Airport has been made at a cost of $21,675.38 to the city. I was later able to persuade the State Military Defense Commission to assume $11,192.60 of the city’s share, making the net cost to the city $10,462.78. Against this small outlay by the city the Federal Government spent $500,000.00 in extending and surfacing the runways. As a result Waterville has one of the best Airports in the State. To further the development of this airport the city acquired the following pieces of land.

Report of the City Engineer

Plans are ready for sewer projects on Cool Street, Yeaton Street and two outlets on Water Street. These sewers are to be constructed by W . P. A. labor.

1942

Street Commissioner’s Report

A new parking area for planes was constructed by the W.P.A. this spring at the Airport. A fence was also put up to keep automobiles from driving on the parking area.

The W. P. A. constructed three new sewers one on Water Street opposite Sherwin Street, one on lower Water Street in back of C. Dubord’s, one on Yeaton Street.

Report of City Engineer

A sewer was built on Yeaton Street by W.P.A.

A new sewer outlet was built opposite Sherwin Street East of Water Street where the former one was filled over and plugged. This also was a W.P.A. Job.

Support of Poor

I also wish to report to you that all W.P.A. projects were closed in this City during the past year. This did not affect our department a whole lot. The cases derived from the closing of all W.P.A. projects are, to my mind, negligible.

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