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Newspaper clipping, Where I stand, Las Vegas Sun, May 9, 1953


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Editorial from the Las Vegas Sun. Unlike a noble French merchant, who sacrificed greatly to give the people of Marseilles good water, the water company is trying to bleed all the money they can out of the situation before surrendering it to the water district. "80-11" written in red pencil. Date stamp from E.C.R.

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Physical Identifier

Box 25 Folder 80-11 Vol. 3 of 3 Part 1, LVL&W Co. Proposed Sale of Water Production Facilities of UPRR Co.


hln001239. Union Pacific Railroad Collection, 1828-1995. MS-00397. Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Las Vegas, Nevada.


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Manual transcription





LAS VEGAS SUN - May 9, 1953 WHERE I STAND By HANK GREENSPUN I would like for the Las Vegas Land and Water Company to know the story of the "Merchant Guyot" Guyot lived and died in the town of Marseilles in France. He amassed a large fortune by the most laborious industry and by habits of severest abstinence and privation. His neighbors considered him a miser and thought he was hoarding up money from mean and avaricious motives. The populace, whenever he would appear, pursued him with hootings and curses, and the boys threw stones at him. He finally died and in. his will were found the following words: "Having observed from my infancy that the poor of Marseilles are badly supplied with water which they can only purchase at high price, I have cheerfully labored the whole of my life to procure for them this great blessing, and I direct that the whole of my property be laid out in building an aqueduct for their use." The Las Vegas Land and Water Company which is owned by the Union Pacific Railroad, realizes, most thoroughly, that water is one blessing, of which Las Vegas is in short supply. But unlike the merchant Guyot, the water company is extremely anxious to WHERE I STAND (Continued from Page 1) squeeze the last dime out of the parched public, before turning over to the Water District, the facilities which can assure continued growth to the community. The water supply has been dropping steadily for the past years. Around the middle of the summer, it is not an unusual sight to turn on the faucet and watch the water drip in a maddening fashion, not unlike the common form of Chinese torture. The population of Las Vegas is growing. New subdivisions are finding it increasingly difficult to get water. This summer should reach a new high in frayed tempers as women wait to wash the dinner dishes and menfolk rave at watering lawns. And what is being done about it? The seven men on the board of the Las Vegas Valley Water District, have shown remarkable patience in trying to work out a deal with the Union Pacific-Railroad for sale of the water property. Tom Campbell, Spence But-terfield, Bill Coulthard, Harry Miller, Otto Underhill, Jim Cash-man and John Bunch have taken much time away from their private business to serve on the board without pay, in hopes that sufficient water will some day be brought to this area to take care of our needs. Their efforts, up 'til the present, have been met with delays and procrastination on the part of the Union Pacific officials. I have been writing columns about this subject for more than a year and it's very fortunate for the railroad that I am not a member of the water district because procrastination is one facet of life which I cannot endure. I would have blown my top long ago. As long ago as last August, a definite understanding was reached between the Water Company and the District for purchase of the local water system for a price of $2,500,000. The Union Pacific "played around" with the matter until the middle of October when they asked for a redraft. The District complied on October 15, and it took until the end of January before the Railroad once more replied, asking for another revision. There have been revisions on revisions and it is now approaching the middle of May, with another parched summer coming up, and still the Railroad and the Water District are no nearer completion than they were a year ago. I personally think there has been enough procrastination in a matter which is very vital to the well-being of the entire community. If anyone should ask me. I might even suggest that an immediate conference be held with all principals sitting around a table where problems can be solved in a matter of hours as compared to months when it is left to subordinates. The entire matter should be wound up without further delay so that a bond election can be held before the summer is over. Water must be brought in from Lake Mead and the Las Vegas Land and Water facilities must be turned over to the Water District if the community is to progress. As matters now stand, the Union Pacific has an opportunity to receive million dollars which should show them a handsome profit on their investment. If delays should continue, it might not be a bad idea for the Water District to explore the possibility of condemnation proceedings. Through condemnation, the Railroad would be lucky to get out with their original investment. Lay it on the line, you men of the Water District. Summer is coming on and the temper of the people increases proportionately with the rise in temperature and the decrease in water. Water is good anywhere except on the brain. I strongly fear that if the decision is left to the Union Pacific, the time will not be too far distant when the people of Las Vegas will turn on the faucets and sand will come out.