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Brick Street Excerpts

Blair Brick Street News Excerpts from The Pilot  ca. 1920

February 11, 1920  — The Pilot – Blair, Nebraska
The city council met last evening at an adjourned session and accepted the plans and specifications prepared by W.E. Standeven, the city’s engineer, for the two new paving districts, No. 6 and 7, and an ordinance was passed authorizing and directing the improvement. Bids are to be opened Tuesday, Feb. 24th, the night of the next regular meeting. The estimates of the engineer are about the same as for the balance of the paving authorized, but cement has gone up 12 cents and brick 4 cents since the other contract was let. The probabilities are the Ritchie Co. will be the only bidders and that they will stay within the estimates, even though their margin of profits will be a little less on this job, but since their overhead has already been provided for they don’t need the same margin to make good. The council adjourned to Friday evening of this week, when City Attorney O’Hanlon will have some other important matters to take up, possibly the annexation ordinance.

March 31, 1920  — The Pilot – Blair, Nebraska
Mayor Christensen says the paving will not be put in on the main street right away because they expect to change the water mains to the alley as soon as the sewer machine gets here and digs the ditch. These old mains have been in about 34 years and are pretty well all in anyhow. It will save taking up the pavement to do the job later or for repairs.

March 31, 1920  — The Pilot – Blair, Nebraska
Actual work on the paving contract in Blair was begun Monday on the east end of Washington street. The dirt was dug out and the frames laid for the curb and gutter. The big machine was tuned up yesterday afternoon and the actual work of cement mixing and pouring was begun. Mayor Christensen put the first shovel full of sand in the hopper of the big mixing machine and started the job that will be going on now for some months. The sand and cement in the proper proportions are dumped into the little Ford trucks and they dump right into the hopper of the mixer. The mixer runs on its own track like a Cleveland tractor and so moves along just as the work progresses. It is certainly a modern outfit the contractors are starting work with and it should progress rapidly.

April 7, 1920  — The Pilot – Blair, Nebraska
We enquired of city Attorney O’Hanlon how it came that the city only pays for the part of the street actually crossed by the paving intersections for the whole of the street. At first blush it looks unfair to tax the property owner for the portion of the paving for his lot line to the paved line when the city owns the land. He said that under the old law that was in force when the paving idea was started here there was so small a limit to which the city could go into debt that it had become a custom to keep this down by having the property owners pay this extra strip. At the alley crossings the city does pay for the entire twenty feet for the paving is extended to the lot line at every alley. This will make quite a heavy tax and the property owners really get more out of the paving than the citizens who live off the paved streets entirely, and who yet must help pay for paving the street and alley intersections.

May 26, 1920  — The Pilot – Blair, Nebraska
There was a large crowd at the Chamber of Commerce meeting last evening, mainly to see what was to be done in regard to the paving project. The present financial situation has made it necessary for the Richey Co. to get local money if they are to go on with the paving. The usual methods of getting the money have been cut off and the business men of the city naturally don’t like to have the work, in the main part of the city at least, stop at this stage. Mr. Richey was present and made a statement of the situation and, after some discussion, the matter was settled by the appointment of a committee to canvass the business district within the next few days and report at an adjourned meeting of the Chamber Friday evening of this week. It would be useless for a few to buy warrants, enough must be pledged to insure the work being finished in the districts specified. District No. 1 takes in the main business section and if half the property owners will agree to take enough warrants to pay for their paving Mr. Richey says they can go ahead. It seemed to be the general feeling that more than half would be willing to do this. If enough can be secured in districts No. 2, 5 and 7 these will be completed also. Bonds cannot be issued until the work in any given district is completed. The committee named by President Claridge was as follows; Mr. R. Lippincott, S.W. Chambers, F.W. Arndt, John McKay and Karl Christensen.

June 23, 1920  — The Pilot – Blair, Nebraska
Is everybody happy? Well, Mayor Christensen and the city councilmen certainly are for they very much wanted to get district No. 1 paved first. The Richey Co. have secured enough brick now to insure the completion of this district and so will do it first in place of No. 2 as was contemplated last week. Three car loads have arrived and the work of digging was begun on the east end of Front street yesterday. We are all glad the business district is to become completed first and the chances are No. 2 will be completed this summer also.

July 21, 1920  — The Pilot – Blair, Nebraska
Two more blocks of cement base for the paving have been put in the past week, from Lincoln to Front on Fifth street. The big shovel has been sticking its nose in the main business block this week and has the excavating completed. The cement will soon be laid here, also.

(Editor’s note: What was Fifth Street in 1920, is now Seventeenth Street.)

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